Clemson at UGA: What to watch

Here are five things to watch in tonight's Clemson-Georgia game.

QUARTERBACK SHUFFLE: Senior Cole Stoudt is the new starting quarterback at Clemson, but keep an eye on Deshaun Watson. The touted freshman is a dual threat, setting Georgia state high school records with 17,134 yards and 218 touchdowns passing and rushing. He's expected to get some playing time in the opener, and Clemson fans will surely be calling for more if Watson plays well against the Bulldogs.

DEFENSIVE GEORGIA: The Bulldogs have a new defensive coordinator, luring Jeremy Pruitt from national champion Florida State. Pruitt pushed the guys up front to lose weight and get quicker, but the success of this unit will likely depend on the revamped secondary. Two starters were kicked off the team, and another decided to transfer. Cornerback Damian Swann is the only returning starter for a group that could include two freshmen. Head coach Mark Richt said of Pruitt, "He's driven to have a great defense. Over time, I think he'll do a phenomenal job."

BEASLEY THE BEAST: Clemson's Vic Beasley is one of the country's best defensive ends, topping the Atlantic Coast Conference with 13 sacks a year ago. Fortunately for the Tigers, he decided to return for his senior season instead of entering the NFL draft. The Bulldogs know that Beasley will require extra attention from the offensive line. "Whoever lines up against Beasley has got his hands full," Richt said, "and is probably going to need some help."

STARTING TIME: Georgia fifth-year senior Hutson Mason is heading into his lone season as the starting quarterback after serving as Aaron Murray's understudy the last four years. Mason started the final two games of 2013 (Murray was injured) and the Bulldogs don't expect much of a drop-off. "It feels to a certain degree like we've got a veteran starter back with us," Richt said. "Usually when you have a new quarterback, you're wondering what they can comprehend, how they'll handle being the starter. Some of those questions have already been answered with him. I don't think a whole lot about it."

AILING RECEIVERS: Georgia will be without two of its top receivers. Malcolm Mitchell sustained another knee injury while working out just before the start of preseason practice, while Justin Scott-Wesley is sitting out after being charged with marijuana possession. Scott-Wesley is coming back from a knee injury and there was speculation he wouldn't have been ready to go anyway.

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