All of the focus and attention can now be turned to the Fighting Irish.
Third-ranked Georgia dismantled Arkansas State 55-0 this past Saturday in Athens, improving to 3-0 on the season. Bulldogs head coach was legitimately concerned about a Red Wolves program that has been to eight straight bowl games, and the spectre of the looming Notre Dame game. His team responded with a dominating performance. Dating back to 2017, Georgia has won 27 games, 25 by at least 14 points. The two victories that weren’t by a minimum of two touchdowns were the 50-48 Rose Bowl win on January 1, 2018, and the thrilling 20-19 triumph at Notre Dame in the second week of the 2017 campaign – a launching point for the Smart era in Athens.
That Georgia team would go on to win the Southeastern Conference championship, advance to the College Football Playoff, and play for the national title following the aforementioned win over the Sooners.
Following a heartbreaking loss in the SEC Championship Game last season, the Bulldogs were No. 5, and undefeated Notre Dame advanced to the CFP.
Both the Bulldogs and Irish are hungry to return to that biggest of stages. A loss Saturday would not completely derail those dreams, but it would leave absolutely no margin for error.
These two storied programs will most certainly be the toughest challenges for one another thus far this season. The Bulldogs opened with a 30-6 victory at Vanderbilt and followed by overwhelming Murray State 63-17 and Arkansas State.
Notre Dame started its season on the road as well, topping Louisville 35-17 in a Labor Day Night road opener. The Irish were idle the following Saturday and took out New Mexico in extremely impressive fashion 66-14 this past weekend.
Both the Bulldogs and Fighting Irish winning by more than ‘half a hundred!’
This will famously be the third meeting between Georgia and Notre Dame and the first in Athens. Along with the Bulldogs win in South Bend two years ago, Georgia beat Notre Dame 17-10 in the 1981 Sugar Bowl to capture the national championship.
In a game of this magnitude, there will always be an extraordinary amount of attention given to the quarterbacks. Two of the very best in the nation will suit up Saturday night between the hedges. Georgia junior Jake Fromm and Fighting Irish sophomore Ian Book have both delivered in major games on big stages. Well, the curtain is finally drawing for the biggest battle in the country Saturday and one of the most highly anticipated games to ever be played in Athens.