Georgia defense smothers Clemson to win opener

AP photo by Chris Carlson / Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean celebrates after sacking Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei during the first half of the Duke's Mayo Classic on Saturday night in Charlotte, N.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - There might be millions of college football fans who found the Duke's Mayo Classic on Saturday night inside Bank of America Stadium boring or aesthetically unpleasing at best.

For the Georgia Bulldogs, it was absolutely beautiful.

Unleashing a smothering defense and using the precision of senior punter Jake Camarda, the No. 5 Bulldogs pounded No. 3 Clemson into submission with a 10-3 downing before an electric crowd of 74,187. In what may be the only top-five matchup of the regular season in 2021, Georgia racked up seven sacks of Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, which heavily factored into the Tigers rushing for a scant 2 yards.

Uiagalelei drove the Tigers to Georgia's 45-yard line with 4:52 remaining, but a fourth-and-5 pass fell incomplete after he was pressured by linebacker Nakobi Dean and safety Lewis Cine.