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Georgia's Damian Swann is lone experienced DB vs.Clemson


Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd will throw the ball in all directions Saturday against Georgia, but there's not much reason to throw it Damian Swann's way.

After all, any Bulldogs defensive back other than Swann will be learning as he goes.

Injuries and suspensions have left the UGA secondary in a mess entering college football's premiere Week 1 matchup. Swann started 14 games last season at cornerback. But when he looks around the secondary, he doesn't see much that's familiar.

Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons is suspended for a team rules violation related to a marijuana search by campus police. Junior safety Corey Moore is doubtful to play with a knee sprain, and junior college transfer safety Shaquille Fluker has had injury problems in the preseason as well.

The answers?

Tray Matthews, a freshman safety Georgia coaches are quietly excited about, will start at one safety spot. Barely. Per, Matthews is just getting back to full speed from a hamstring injury. Freshman Brendan Langley will play the corner opposite Swann, and former walk-on Connor Norman, mostly a special-teams player in his career, will have to fill in for Harvey-Clemons.

"He practiced, so that was good," Richt said of Matthews. "It was hard to gauge since it was mostly scout team work and the tempo wasn't blazing, but he got into some competitive drills and he looked fine. When a guy is coming off a hamstring, it's gonna be a couple of days before you feel like he's over the hump. Hopefully he'll have no more setbacks."

Boyd has thrown for over 8,000 yards in his Clemson career, and may carve up Georgia's inexperience with help from star receiver Sammy Watkins. Georgia will counter with one of the nation's top offenses itself, with star power at quarterback (Aaron Murray), running back (Todd Gurley) and receiver (Malcolm Mitchell).

Get your popcorn.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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