In preparation for Saturday’s season-opener between Georgia and Clemson, Saturday Down South is taking a look at the key matchups that may decide the showdown between the Bulldogs and Tigers.

Georgia offensive line vs. Clemson defensive line

The offensive line is the biggest question mark for Georgia’s offense heading into Saturday’s opener against Clemson.  The Bulldogs are replacing three starters on the offensive front, and as preseason camp has progressed so have the questions and movement on the line.  Vic Beasley’s decision to return was the best news of the offseason to Tiger fans and defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

So who holds the advantage in this matchup?

I give it to Clemson.

After shuffling guys around throughout fall camp and the scrimmages the Bulldogs participated in, offensive line coach Will Friend released his depth chart on Monday.  Senior David Andrews, the unquestioned leader of the group, gets the start at center.  Greg Pyke, had been getting reps at the right guard since the middle of spring ball, seemingly was as safe as Andrews at his position.  The rest of the first-time line includes John Theus at left tackle, Brandon Kublanow at left guard and Kolton Houston at right tackle.

Related: Matchup Breakdown: Georgia secondary vs. Clemson passing attack 

Andrews and Houston are the only two guys entering Saturday’s contest, however, with game experience which doesn’t bode well for the Bulldogs against a stout Clemson defensive line.

The Tigers are athletic up front and have arguably the nation’s best defensive end in Beasley.  In his opening press conference on Tuesday, head coach Mark Richt recited pretty much every one of Beasley’s stats from 2013.

“If you look at their defense you start with their front … just a bunch of guys who have played and have been highly productive,” Richt told reporters on Tuesday.

Related: Scouting report: Clemson at Georgia

If the Bulldogs are to win Saturday evening, their offensive line has to keep Hutson Mason upright and need to contain the ends of Clemson.  Beasley and Shaq Lawson are athletic guys on the outside who can get to the quarterback and disrupt the offense.  Beasley and Lawson combined for 33 tackles for loss and 17 sacks in ’13.

With three guys who have little-to-no experience getting the call, all Georgia can ask is that they create running lanes for Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, and that they give Mason time to throw the ball.

The Tigers will stack the the box and dare Mason to beat them, so the big uglies must create time up front.  Venables will create a game plan that will attack the Georgia offensive line and force them into tough situations.  The Tigers possess much more experience than the Bulldogs and will disguise looks  to try to confuse the ‘Dawgs up front.

This could be a key difference in the ballgame.

The edge belongs to the Tigers.