Georgia is the odds-on favorite in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic against North Carolina Sept. 3.
But that didn’t stop ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit from picking the 22-ranked Tarheels to upset the no. 18 Dawgs.
And he may be on to something. UNC had as light a schedule last season as any team that finished in the Top 25, which may explain how they won 11 games and actually made an appearance in the Top 10 for the first time since 1997. But they did play two really good teams in Clemson and Baylor, losing to Clemson by just 8 in overtime of the ACC Championship game, and Baylor by 11 in the Rusell Athletic Bowl.
And they return virtually everyone on both sides of the ball. Except for their most important player from last year—QB Marquise Williams. Williams passed for 3,068 yards and 24 TDs last season and added another 948 yards and 13 TDs on the ground.
So, it’ll be junior Mitch Trubisky under center. Just like Georgia’s likely starting QB Jacob Eason, Trubisky was a highly-touted high school QB. There are also a few differences. Eason is a pocket passer, Trubisky a dual-threat. Eason has no experience at the collegiate level, Trubisky has a pretty good amount. In two years of backing up Williams, he’s connected on 82-of-125 for 1,014 yards and 11 TDs.
This game will go a long way in forecasting the 2016 fortunes of both sides, but for Georgia, if Eason does end up getting the start, it could end up being the benchmark for a couple seasons to come.