The 15th ranked Georgia Bulldogs are in South Bend, Indiana to face No. 25 Notre Dame. A game that has only been played once before. The game will be the first time in regular season play that the two teams have met. After both teams defeated their opening weekend opponents handily, Georgia beat Appalachian State 31-10 and Notre Dame beat Temple 49-16, they face their first true challenge of the season. Both the Dogs and the Irish have something to prove, however, I believe this will be head coach Kirby Smart’s statement game. For Georgia to win they must do these three things.
1: Stop the Run and Contain Big Receivers
Notre Dame had three players to rush for more than 100 yards in their season opener. Josh Adams, Dexter Williams, and Brandon Wimbush each rushed for at least 106 yards. The strong Georgia defense must stop these three guys and prevent them from gaining momentum. Defensive coordinator Trey Scott worked hard this off season to perfect fundamentals on the d-line and I believe it pays off here. After containing App State’s run game to just 136 yards, the defense must duplicate that performance but against a bigger more talented Irish o-line. Notre Dame will push the run in their RPO style offense until they are forced to pass. Which leads me to the second part of my first key.
Georgia must contain Notre Dame’s big receivers. One, in particular, they need to keep an eye out for is Equanimeous St. Brown., who is 6-5 and 204 pounds and knows how to give defensive backs fits. The Bulldogs need to contain him and prevent big wide out from getting many looks. If they can stop him, and limit the run, Georgia has a great chance to beat the Irish.
2: Jake Fromm is There….to Score Points
After starting quarterback Jacob Eason hurt his knee in the opening game, true freshman Jake Fromm took over. He led the team on to defeat App State and showed just how talented he is. Kirby Smart called him a football junkie and said he lives for this kind of stuff. I believe the youngster has an impressive game and helps lead Georgia to 2-0. However, for that to happen, he has to continue to be confident and stay cool, calm and collected on one of the biggest stages in college football. Notre Dame is a hard place to play, especially at night, so Fromm will have a challenge.
Fromm has the opportunity to shock the world, even more, this week and I believe he does it. With great running backs like Nick Chubb and Sony Michel behind him, Fromm just needs to stick to the game plan, make smart passes, taking care of the ball, and be the leader the offense needs. However, that means the offensive line has to step up and protect Fromm to give him enough time to throw.
To win this game, Georgia must score points. They cannot allow red zone trips to go without points and they must score over 31 to defeat the Irish. The Bulldogs have a strong defense, but the offense must get the ball rolling and put points on the board. I mentioned earlier in the article that this will be Smart’s statement game, well to make a statement, points need to be scored. If Georgia scores over 31, they win this ball game.
3: Stay Calm and Collected on the Big Stage.
A huge component to winning this game, Georgia must maintain maturity and zone out all the extra excitement around it. There cannot be mental mistakes in the first couple drives because Notre Dame may strike giving Georgia the short straw. The Bulldogs have plenty of weapons to put points on the board and they need to maintain their composure long enough to score those points. This is critical to success because of how big this game is. A lot of emotions are riding on this matchup and the team must keep those in check as much as possible. If Georgia zones out the excitement around them, overcomes the adversity of being on the road, and not have any mental mistakes in the first two drives, they win this game easily.
As one of the best games in week two of college football, the game should be quite entertaining. Both teams have a lot to gain this season and it will be historic to see these two face off. However, I believe Georgia gets the best of the Irish and defeats them at home in South Bend. The Bulldogs must keep their composure, score over 31 and stop Notre Dame’s skill players to win this and I think they will do just that. I predict Georgia defeats Notre Dame 31-17 and goes 2-0 on the season. The game will air at 7:30 p.m. on NBC, so don’t miss one of the most historic matchups in college football.