Fresh Start for a Freshman in South Bend.
The Georgia Bulldogs entered this contest coming off a comfortable 31-10 victory over Appalachian State. Now, the Dawgs were in for a test in one of the historic college football towns, South Bend. For the second time in school history, Georgia would face the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The Bulldogs entered the game with a young and fast defensive unit and behind a offense led by Freshman Jake Fromm. He earned his first start at UGA due to Jacob Eason’s injury a week before and earned a 20-19 victory over #24 Notre Dame. The game was intense from start to finish; however, the defense was able to contain the Irish even when the offense sputtered at times.
Georgia and Notre Dame are two of the best college football programs in the nation and they were looking to take the next step after dismal 2016 campaigns. Saturday night was a defensive game against these squads and both should be excited for the progression of their respective units! Georgia unfortunately were flagged a LOT last night for a grand total of 12 Penalties for 126 negative yards which helped Notre Dame keep a few scoring drives alive. Georgia had two turnovers that resulted in (10) points for the Fighting Irish and UGA would force two turnovers, including the Game-Winning strip sack!
Jake Fromm’s first start for Georgia was fairly decent posting (16-29) for 141 yards, a touchdown, and one interception in the win over Notre Dame. He staggered a bit at times with bad reads, some over throws, and taking unnecessary sacks as well, which is expected for a Freshman Quarterback in his first road game. Major credit to Fromm despite the inconsistencies, he led the Dawgs on a game winning drive as Rodrigo Blankenship connected on a Field Goal to give Georgia the 20-19 lead with 3:08 Remaining
Georgia’s running game was a key component in the victory last night as Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and Freshman De’Andre Swift. All three backs had posted at least a run of 20+ Yards throughout the game and Sony Michel scored a touchdown for the backs this game. Sony Michel led the Dawgs in rushing with 13 carries, 73 yards, and a touchdown. Terry Godwin had two receptions for 36 yards and a one handed touchdown grab, which is the “Catch of the Year” so far.
Although the offense was inconsistent for most of the game, the Dawgs were able to score when it mattered. Fromm connected with Javon Wims for a 31 yard pass and catch to secure field for the game winning field goal by Ricardo Blankenship. Special teams played a big part in the win as well as Me’Cole Hardeman provided a spark, Elijah Holyfield, and Terry Godwin had solid returns as well. Nick Chubb posted 13 carries for 63 yards and reception for 11 yards in the win vs Notre Dame. With the depth in the Bulldogs backfield, they have the ability to split carries and keep their stars fresh for clutch moments throughout the season!
The defense was the key factor in last night’s victory! After posting 300+ rushing yards in their victory against Temple were just held to under 100 yards rushing by the Dawgs. The Fighting Irish posted 211 passing yards but the defense didn’t surrender a Touchdown Pass. The defense played a hard fought game and consistently pressured Notre Dame all night. With the numerous sacks, and forced incompletions, Georgia’s defense was the story of the win!
Lorenzo Carter and David Bellamy both caused havoc and forced fumbles in key situations during the game. Bellamy’s forced fumble and Carter’s recovery got the ball back to the Dawgs offense to close the game out. Also, Roquan Smith and J.R Reed led the Dawgs in tackles! After a dramatic victory, Georgia returns home looking to continue their success against Samford on Saturday. As the saying goes “Offense Sell Tickets and Defense Wins Championships”, well the Bulldogs defense looked like a Playoff Caliber unit! Go Dawgs!