The Dawg Bones: Georgia vs. Notre Dame

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The Dawg Bones: Georgia vs. Notre Dame

Dominick Blaylock (8)
Dominick Blaylock (8)

DAWG BONE OFFENSE – GEORGIA

Thus far in 2019, the Georgia offense has been solid but not spectacular. Jake Fromm has made all of the right decisions and his ability to get Georgia into the right play at the line of scrimmage is a massive advantage. The offensive line continues to open massive holes for the tailbacks and the pass protection has improved each week. Injuries have been an issue at wide receiver but freshmen Dominick Blaylock and George Pickens are showing why they were 5-Star recruits and their performance will be critical for the Georgia offense Saturday. Notre Dame’s offense cleaned up their issues from Week 1 with an explosive offensive performance against New Mexico. Ian Book was extremely accurate and Chase Claypool could be a problem for the Dawgs Saturday ability to physically overwhelm Georgia’s defensive backs. The major area of concern heading into this game for the Fighting Irish is whether they can present any threat in the running game. Since Jafar Armstrong’s injury against Louisville, the rushing attack has been non-existent.

Georgia takes home the Dawg Bone on offense because of their ability to dominate on the ground. Georgia is going to run the ball effectively on Saturday while that is a huge question mark for Notre Dame. If you are a one-dimensional offense Coach Smart & Co. are going to make your life very difficult.

Malik Herring (10)
Malik Herring (10)

DAWG BONE DEFENSE – TIE

The Georgia defense emphasized havoc in the offseason and the havoc rate has increased in 2019. Georgia is on pace for 48 sacks and 84 tackles for a loss this season which is a giant leap from 2018. The biggest strength of the Georgia defense is the incredible depth. The ability to rotate players at all three levels of defense without a step down in the level of play allows the Dawgs to play fast and physical in the fourth quarter. The Fighting Irish are loaded with NFL talent at key positions on defense. Julian Okwara, Daelin Hayes, and Khalid Kareem are three defensive ends that will play on Sundays. Safeties Alohi Gillman and Kyle Hamilton are arguably the best safety duo in the country. It is impossible to give an advantage to either team heading into this matchup.

Rodrigo Blankenship (98)
Rodrigo Blankenship (98)

DAWG BONE SPECIAL TEAMS – GEORGIA

Rodrigo Blankenship has been a weapon kickoffs and perfect on field goals. Jake Camarda has not been called upon often, but when asked to punt, he continues to boom the ball with tremendous hang time. The Fighting Irish are breaking in a new kicker in Jonathan Doerer who has made his only field goal attempt this season but Saturday will be a different test. Thus far in 2019, neither team has had anyone step up as a threat at kick or punt returner. Georgia wins the Dawg Bone because of the depth on their roster that allows them to have elite coverage units loaded with athletes.

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly (photo from Notre Dame Athletics)
Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly (photo from Notre Dame Athletics)

DAWG BONE COACHING – NOTRE DAME

Notre Dame takes home the coaching Dawg Bone because Brian Kelly never coaches scared. The Fighting Irish are going to throw haymakers from their first offensive snap and go for it on fourth down at least three or four times. If they take the lead early he is going to keep the pedal down and make a statement. As Georgia fans have discussed ad nauseam since the loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship last season that is something they need to see from Coach Smart. Until he proves he is willing to put the hammer down and coach aggressively in big games it is difficult to give Coach Smart and Georgia the advantage.

James Cook (4) and D'Andre Swift (7) greet Kenny McIntosh (6) after his 4th-quarter touchdown in the Arkansas State game on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019
James Cook (4) and D’Andre Swift (7) greet Kenny McIntosh (6) after his 4th-quarter touchdown in the Arkansas State game on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019

DAWG BONE OVERALL – GEORGIA

The overall Dawg Bone goes to Georgia. In big games, teams that can run the ball and play great defense typically take home the victory. Georgia has a massive advantage in the running game with their elite offensive line and five deep stable of running backs. Furthermore, the Dawgs have more depth on the defensive side of the ball which will allow them to stay fresh against a high powered Notre Dame offense. Expect a close game on Saturday with a special environment in Sanford Stadium that will live in Bulldog lore forever.

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Matthew “Huck” Pasek was born into a family of Georgia Bulldogs. Huck’s father, Gary, graduated from UGA in 1976 and became a high school chemistry teacher at Peachtree HS in Dunwoody, GA where he coached alongside Georgia High School football legend T. McFerrrin. Gary’s love of football, especially Georgia football, was passed along to his son. Huck lives in Belmont, NC with his wife, Whitney, and works in Financial Services Litigation. In his spare time he is an avid golfer, movie fanatic and habitual traveler to St. Simons Island with his wife “just to get away”. The moniker ImYourHuckleberry arose from his favorite movie, Tombstone, and character Doc Holiday’s famous line, “I’m Your Huckleberry”. Matthew was never one to shy away from a confrontation or debate, thus the nickname instantly stuck.