There are two reasons this is a big game for Georgia – it's the first game of the year; and it's against a legitimate foe. The game, for all practical purposes, however, is a glorified scrimmage for the Bulldogs against an old rival from decades gone by. Win or lose, Georgia's season won't change one bit with either outcome from this game.
The SEC isn't won the first month of the season; it certainly isn't won or lost with a result at an out-of-conference venue in August.
But the Tigers have sharpened their skills a bit better in big games of late. They beat Auburn at the Georgia Dome to start the season (even though the Tigers were a dumpster fire by the end of the year; they were trying hard to win the first game), and beat LSU to end it. The win over LSU was an impressive one – and one Clemson needed to quiet the SEC's chanting in their ear all summer.
Sandwiched during the season, however, were losses to Florida and South Carolina – and neither was encouraging. Georgia has had enough trouble with the Cocks of late, but Clemson's results against their in-state foe has been troubling for those in orange to take. Four losses in a row to South Carolina has grinded on the nerves of the Tiger faithful to be sure; and highlighted Clemson's inability to score against a stout SEC defense.
The in-conference loss to Florida State was troubling in this sense – Clemson allowed Florida State to score 35 and 49 points in back-to-back seasons. It also allowed Boston College to score 31, Georgia Tech to score 31 and NC State to score 48.
Georgia can score with the best of them; Clemson had better hope it can, too.
Here's Vince Dooley and Larry Munson taling about the classic between Clemson and Georgia in 1982.