Georgia on their mind

CLEMSON - Brent Venables and the rest of the Clemson defensive coaches know they'll have their hands full in 11 days.

Georgia finished last season ranked 22nd in the country in total offense [467.6 yards/game] and 19th in scoring offense [37.8 points/game].

The Bulldogs welcome back quarterback Aaron Murray, running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, tight ends Aaron Lynch and Jay Rome, wide receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Michael Bennett and all five starting offensive linemen.

All played important roles in Georgia's run to last season's SEC Championship game.

"It's a huge challenge," Venables said. "They're as good as anybody in the country, in terms of experience, a play-caller. Their quarterback is like another coach on the field, great player, a great supporting cast and a veteran offensive line."

A quick look at Georgia might lead to the assumption that the Bulldogs are very similar to the LSU team that Clemson beat in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve.

Malcolm Mitchell and Michael Bennett are Georgia's top two returning wide receivers.
Clemson defensive ends coach Marion Hobby said that's not necessarily the case.

"It's a little bit different, a little bit different because of that quarterback," Hobby said. "He's special. He's a good decision maker. He's putting the ball in the right spots, checking to the right plays. He's different. He's good. He's really good."

An Elite 11 classmate of Tajh Boyd, Murray has thrown for 10,091 yards and 95 touchdowns in three years as the man in Athens.

"I think we'll hear his name sometime in May, next year during the draft," Hobby said. "Because, you watch him on tape and you're like, ‘Did he make that throw? Whoa. What a great decision.' Where he puts the ball, you can tell he's the Georgia offense."

In the Capitol One Bowl against Nebraska, Murray passed for 427 yards and five touchdowns.

"I think Nebraska was the No. 1 pass defense in the country and they went up and down the field on them like they're going against a scout team, at times," Venables said. "We'll have our hands full, but it's a great challenge for Georgia as well."

How much Clemson's defense challenges the Georgia offense could be the difference when the old rivals get together on Aug. 31. Top Stories