Saturday night, the electricity of the fans in Sanford Stadium played a huge role in Georgia’s big win over Notre Dame.
“They impacted the game tonight more than I’ve ever seen a game impacted, not just here but anywhere. They just affected the game with the false starts and everything,” Smart said.
The fans cheered constantly from kickoff all the way until the final play of the game on an Ian Book pass that was broken up by the Georgia defense. It was Sanford Stadium’s largest crowd as University officials brought in extra seats to accommodate more fans.
The University of Georgia definitely stepped up and made the atmosphere for the fans match the hype of the game. Before the game, four F-16 fighter jets flew over the stadium, and the volume on the stadium’s PA system blasted music all game long.
The fans were so disruptive that the Fighting Irish offense couldn’t even get a play off in time at some points during the game. Notre Dame had 6 false start penalties as well, and a bad snap on fourth down that led to a turnover on downs.
It seemed like Notre Dame never could figure out a consistent snap count that worked because of the loudness and animosity of the Georgia faithful.
“We practiced in a louder environment, we’re very disappointed that we didn’t handle it better,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “They were much more better coached for a crowd like that. We needed to do a better job of silent cadence longer, they handled it so quickly and so easily.”
On third down, Georgia fans seemed to be the loudest, and it helped as Notre Dame only converted 4 of 13 third down plays. Smart was impressed with that stat line and gave credit to the crowd for their ability to affect that outcome somewhat.
Georgia fans also were able to enjoy the new LED lights that were installed inside the stadium, and they were put on display at the start of the fourth quarter. The tradition of “lighting up Sanford” was carried on as well,
When the game became close, the Notre Dame fans in attendance were starting to become lively, but it was quickly drowned out by the tens of thousands of screaming Georgia fans.
Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) was impressed with the show out and said in his post-game interview that it will definitely be one of the greater experiences of his football career at Georgia.
“This was a really big day for Athens and the University of Georgia. Unbelievable,” Fromm said. “That was what just made the atmosphere unbelievable tonight. It’s going to be a moment I hold forever.”
Saturday night Georgia fans might have started what could be a great look for future recruits that come visit for a home game. There were many of the nation’s top high school players in attendance Saturday, and that is the kind of environment that could help land more high profile names.
During Smart’s post-game presser, he talked about how well the Georgia fan base represented and hinted that fans play big role in when he pitches why you should come to Georgia.
“Our fans are by far the best in the country, and this is why you come to UGA,” Smart said. “When you get an opportunity to play in an atmosphere like that, an environment like that it was really incredible.”
Here are the post-game interviews: