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No. 16 Clemson came to No. 12 UGA to start the season, and UGA was determined to avenge last year's 38-35 loss. Mission accomplished!
Clemson is still a good team, and they might have been better on the line than Georgia to start the game. However, they weren't as deep. Eventually, in the 4th quarter, the Bulldogs broke the game open, beating Clemson into submission with our relentlessly pounding running game.
Three things of note:
1. Todd Gurley. I mean, great balance, great strength, great vision. He scored 5 touchdowns, including one 100-yard kickoff return. In years to come, this is probably the game that we will all remember as Gurley's signature performance.
2. The crowd. I mean, people everywhere. Maybe because it was a 5:30 kickoff and no one felt compelled to wear white (red, red, red), or maybe it was because the game was a tie into the third, but there was a huge crowd with great energy. In years past, when the crowd has been excited, there's been an undercurrent of desperation or anxiety. Not tonight. Whether because expectations were low after Murray, or because we were playing a non-SEC opponent, whatever the reason: excitement without the fear. What a great way to open the season!
3. The heat! Hotest game I've ever been to. Kickoff temp in the mid-90s, humidity you could see, no breeze, and the sun hiding behind clouds so that your sweat didn't evaporate... brutal. I'm sure the heat is the main reason Clemson folded in the 4th, and I commend UGA trainers and coaching staff for getting our players ready to play and mostly cramp-free.