The Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference will be represented in this intriguing week-one showdown in the Georgia Dome. As the Georgia Bulldogs (SEC) face the North Carolina Tar Heels (ACC) in a matchup featuring two teams ranked in the preseason top 25.
Date: Saturday, September 3rd.
Game Time: 5:30 PM ET on ESPN
Location: Atlanta, Georgia in the Georgia Dome.
Why this game is worth watching:
Kirby Smart makes his Debut as the head coach of the football team at University of Georgia- Kirby Smart is now the former defensive coordinator of the Alabama Crimson Tide, taking over the head-coaching position for the Georgia Bulldogs. To say the least, he knows a thing or two about winning and coaching defense. Immediately his squad will be tested against a Tar Heel football team that scored 40.7 points per game just a season ago.
It’s a matchup featuring two of the most highly-touted running backs in college football- Georgia running back Nick Chubb and North Carolina running back Elijah Hood earned first-team-all-conference honors in the preseason. Expect both Chubb and Hood to put up big numbers in 2016, with this week-one showdown in the Georgia Dome as a nice addition to each of their perspective highlight reels.
Both teams will be looking for a marquee victory to give them a spark to start the season- Neither the University of Georgia or North Carolina are favorites to win a conference title, but an impressive showing along with a week-one win on national television could give one of these teams a nice boost that could potentially lead to bigger things down the road in conference play.
Key to the Game:
Each team comes into this game with a dominant running back leading the way for their offense. Both quarterbacks should have third-and-manageable situations throughout the game. The key to the game will be which defense can generate a consistent pass rush on third down. It won’t be easy for either defense to get off the field, so every sack or quarterback pressure could be the difference in a game where it would be anything but a surprise if each team scored over 30 points.
Player Who is an X-Factor:
Mitch Trubisky- The redshirt sophomore takes over an offense that’s loaded with talent at both running back and wide receiver. If Trubisky is the real deal, UNC not only could come out with a victory over the Bulldogs, but be a contender to win the ACC.
This is a tough choice. I’m very excited to see how well Kirby Smart’s defense does against the offense of North Carolina. There’s no denying the talent the Heels have, but at the same time, Smart’s proven he’s a great defensive coordinator. Since it’s only week one, I gotta go with the team I see as the more-talented one overall.
North Carolina 31 Georgia 30
Photo Credit: John Trainor (flickr.com)