Chris Stephens

Bulldogs Don't Need Bulletin-Board Material For Opener

Created on Jul. 13, 2013 2:54 AM EST

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins believes the Tigers are "going to beat the mess out of Georgia."

According to Ben Wright of the Greenville News, Watkins said he's focused on what the Tigers are doing.

“If we come out and beat Georgia, not just beat ‘em but beat the mess out of ‘em like we should, I don’t see no problems in getting started in the right direction. I don’t have disrespect for them or for nobody else, I just believe we can be just the kind of team we want to be, the talent is here, we know how to win.”

Some writers believe his comments provide bulletin-board material for the Bulldogs.

However, I don't see it that way.

Georgia is expected to once again compete for the conference title and possibly the national title. Comments by an opposing player regarding its season-opening game should not give Georgia players extra incentive or desire to win. The chance to compete for a conference and national title should be all the incentive the players need to do their best.

Georgia's defense isn't as highly-touted as it was last year, meaning they know they have something to prove. Watkins and quarterback Tahj Boyd are going to provide them with challenges and they're going to work at solving them.

Clemson has a great offense, one that averaged 512 yards per game last year. However, so does Georgia. And unlike Clemson, whose losses include running back Andre Ellington and receiver Jaron Brown, Georgia returns basically its entire offense, with the exception of receiver Tavarres King.

Georgia's offense can put up points with the best of them, having averaged 467 yards of offense and almost 38 points per game. Let's also not forget the Bulldogs produced an NCAA-leading 7.1 yards per play. So to say Clemson is clearly the more dominant offensive team would be a false statement.

The bottom line is that regardless of what the 2012 stats say, both teams are going to line up to play on Aug. 31.

Whatever either side said prior to kickoff will mean nothing. The only thing that is going to matter is the 60 minutes of football that will be played in Death Valley.

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