Could this be final Georgia-Clemson series?

Could this be final Georgia-Clemson series?

August 28th, 2013 by David Paschall in Sports - College

University of Georgia NCAA college football coach Mark Richt speaks to members of the media in Athens, Ga., in this file photo.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

ATHENS, Ga. -- While Texas-Texas A&M and Kansas-Missouri were among the traditional football rivalries lost to the Southeastern Conference's recent expansion to 14 teams, the Clemson-Georgia pairing went away the last time the SEC expanded.

The Tigers and Bulldogs played 26 times in the 30-year span from 1962 to 1991, which was the last year the SEC was a 10-member league. The SEC added Arkansas and South Carolina before the 1992 season, and Clemson and Georgia have met just four times since.

Saturday will be the fifth post-expansion encounter between these two foes separated by less than 90 minutes on days without football, and Georgia coach Mark Richt was asked Tuesday if he would like to see Clemson more frequently. The Tigers will make a return trip to Georgia next season.

"A lot of our scheduling has already been done a few years down the road, and they're not on the horizon that I know of," Richt said. "We'll just have to wait and see. A lot of it will have to do with whether our league goes to nine games. If we go to nine conference games, it will be a lot less likely.

"If we stay at eight, it will be a lot more likely."

Georgia annually plays Georgia Tech at the end of each season, which would give the Bulldogs 10 opponents from BCS conferences if the SEC went to nine league games.

Murray's new contacts

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray admits he's one for sitting in the back of the classroom, and he bought glasses last year when words on the chalkboard became blurry.

Murray recently ditched the glasses by obtaining contacts, and he has worn them to a couple of practices. He said he's not about to wear them Saturday night at Clemson but was asked if he ever has trouble seeing receivers way down the field.

"The players are big enough for me to see," Murray said. "Unless it's [5-foot-10, 176-pound senior Rantavious] Wooten and he's 90 yards away. Then we'll have problems."

Glad it was Buffalo

Count sophomore outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins among those Bulldogs who are happy their first career game did not come against Clemson in Death Valley.

"I'm glad I had to go against Buffalo last year," Jenkins said. "I don't want to knock them, but it wasn't the same preparation, and it was a more lax preparation going into that. Camp has been a lot harder this year, and we've been game-planning a lot more.

"So I'm kind of glad I've got that under my belt already and I can just play nonstop and relentless this year."

Odds and ends

ABC has set an official kickoff time of 8:22 for Saturday night. ... Backup strong safety Corey Moore (knee sprain) is likely out this week, so Connor Norman and junior college transfer Shaquille Fluker are the top strong safeties, with freshmen Tray Matthews and Quincy Mauger the top free safeties. ... Richt is 11-0 against Clemson, collecting nine wins as a Florida State assistant and two as coach of the Bulldogs. ... The Bulldogs hold a 41-17-4 series lead. ... Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said after practice that redshirt sophomore cornerback Devin Bowman from Ridgeland High School will make the trip to Clemson and added, "We'll see what happens" when asked whether he would contribute against the Tigers.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.