There might not be a bigger game next season than the opening weekend matchup pitting Georgia and Clemson against one another.
It will be the first time the teams that are separated by just 75 miles have played since a home and home series in the 2013 and 2014 seasons, with each team winning at home.
The Tigers won a 38-35 thriller over the Bulldogs in 2013 in Tajh Boyd’s final season, with Georgia returning the favor the next season, winning handily 45-21. The Tigers were outscored 24-0 in the second half.
Six years later and the two teams are set to do battle again, this time with the matchup with taking place in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. Clemson linebacker James Skalski met with the media last week and said that having such a big matchup to open the season, and against a rival no less, provides the Tigers with a little more motivation.
“You’re playing a team as talented as Georgia, as good as Georgia, it’s gonna be a big game,” Skalski said. “It’s very exciting, so yeah, it definitely does motivate you a little bit. But we’re just as motivated every year. We’re just excited to play football, doesn’t matter who lines up in front of us.”
Skalski, who is now entering his sixth season with the Tigers, is from Georgia. However, unlike many who grew up in the state, he didn’t come up rooting for the Dawgs. While he does lean towards one team at times, he said he’s always just been a fan of good football, and that it doesn’t much matter to him who is playing.
“All my good buddies from home, they’re all Bulldogs,” Skalski said. “They all want tickets to the game you know, but no, that’s cool. Luckily for me I wasn’t really a fan of any team growing up. My dad played a little at OU (Oklahoma), so that’s kind of where I lead honestly, but I just loved watching football, good football, I’m all for that.”