Kirk Herbstreit breaks down Georgia-Clemson, what the Dawgs’ biggest advantage could be

ATHENS, Ga. — No. 5 Georgia’s Week 1 match up with No. 3 Clemson is only days away and it’s easily the most anticipated game to start the season. The game will air Saturday night on Channel 2 with coverage starting at 7 p.m.

It’s the first time Clemson has started the season against a ranked opponent since the Tigers and Dawgs met in the 2014 season opener.

ESPN’s Saturday Night Football crew will be calling the game. That includes college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit. Channel 2 sports director Zach Klein spoke with Herbstreit leading up to the game.

Full coverage of Georgia vs Clemson starts with Bulldogs Game Day airing at 11 a.m. Saturday and continues on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m.. You can watch the Dawgs LIVE on Channel 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Herbstreit said one of the biggest keys for Georgia is how their defense front seven and new faces in the secondary will hold up against Clemson’s revamped offense.

The Tigers lost several of its offensive stars including quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne.

“Clemson couldn’t run the football last year and that was with Travis Etienne. He’s no longer there,” Herbstreit told Klein. “If Clemson can’t run the ball and becomes predictable with their play calling, that’s an advantage for Georgia.”

While there will still be a whole season of football left to play, this game will have clear implications on the College Football Playoff picture.

Both teams are favored to win their conferences. But if it turns out either team is on the bubble during playoff talks, Herbstreit says this head-to-head result would be a major factor.

“If they are still in that discussion of the fourth, fifth or sixth team, the committee is looking for things that can separate those teams. One of the first things they look at is did the teams play head to head. You want to win this game,” Herbstreit said. “You do not want to get into a tiebreaker with a team you lost to back in September.”

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