Notre Dame v. Georgia 2017 Primer

On to week two for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  This weekend the Georgia Bulldogs visit Notre Dame for the first time ever.  We’re hear to get you ready for the game with our weekly primer.

What you Need to Know

  • Game Time: September 9th at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC
  • Location: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana
  • Matchup: Georgia leads the all-time series 1-0 (Last Meeting 1981 Sugar Bowl)
  • Odds: ND -6.5
  • Weekend Events: The Pep Rally will take place this Friday, September 8th at 6:00 p.m. at the Hesburgh Library Quad. For more information on game day events visit http://gameday.nd.edu/events/ .

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Notre Dame – Georgia Tickets

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Georgia Details

  • Conference: SEC (East)
  • Head Coach: Kirby Smart
  • 2016 Record: 8-5
  • 2015 Record: 10-3

Georgia Storylines

The major storyline for Georgia is their inexperience at quarterback. Georgia’s starting QB Jacob Eason left the Georgia opener against Appalachian State with a knee injury and will be out for the Notre Dame game. True Freshman Jacob Fromm took over and went 10 of 15 with 143 yards of passing with 1 touchdown. Fromm has a lot of potential, last year he was listed as the #44 overall player and #3 QB in the country on 247 Sports. Fromm will face a big challenge in South Bend for his first road game.

In week 1, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel ran for 183 yards on 31 carries with three touchdowns total. Will they be able to run through the Irish defense in week 2? Without a doubt the major storyline for both teams will be trying to stop the run game. The run game is a strength for both teams. Look for Notre Dame and Georgia to try and load the box, forcing young quarterbacks to try and beat them.

Kirby Smart enters his second season at Georgia and the expectations are extremely high in Athens. He put together a top 3 recruiting class last season, and brings a defensive mindset from his days at Alabama. Georgia fans are expecting big things in year two. The Bulldogs are the favorites to win the SEC East and meet Alabama in the title game. Smart will be looking for a signature win in 2017, but he will be facing Brian Kelly who is desperate to get the Irish back to their winning ways.

Notre Dame Storylines

Are the Irish ready to pound the rock against the big boys in the SEC? Notre Dame controlled the trenches last week against Temple, but will they have same success against Georgia? No one is expecting Notre Dame to accumulate 606 total yards of offense by any means, but if the Irish can continue to run the ball with success against a legitimate SEC defense, they have a chance to pull off the victory.

Wimbush looked good against the Temple Owls, but still has a lot of room to develop. He was 17 of 30 in the passing game for a 56.7% completion percentage. There were several throws that he certainly missed throughout the game. Conversely, Wimbush was terrific on the ground with 106 rushing yards. He looked like the most dynamic quarterback of the Kelly Era. But he is going to have to step it up in the passing game to become an elite quarterback.

Brian Kelly said postgame that he was not concerned with Justin Yoon. I wasn’t sure if he truly meant this or was just saying the “right thing” so that his kicker still knew he had confidence in him. Yoon has been a quality kicker for the Irish and his two misses were at 44 yards and 47 yards. Anyone who knows the Roberto Aguayo story though, knows that kicking can be more mental than physical. The Irish are going into battle against an SEC juggernaut, they might not be able to afford missed field goals in this matchup.

Head to Head Matchups

Notre Dame Offense vs. Georgia Defense – Advantage Notre Dame- The Notre Dame Offense accumulated 422 rushing yards over Temple in Week 1. Although the Irish will face an SEC defense in week 2, they still have the advantage. Notre Dame is loaded on the left side of the offensive line, with 2 Potential First Round picks. The Irish have a mobile quarterback with Wimbush and an NFL receiver with St. Brown.

Georgia Offense vs. Notre Dame Defense – Advantage Georgia- Notre Dame’s Defense looked vastly improved in Week 1. The Irish still are far from where they need to be on defense and they will have an enormous test this week with Georgia. Nick Chubb and Sony Michal are two of the best running backs in the entire country. Georgia will be playing with a true freshman quarterback, but I will still give the edge to their offense with the talent they have. I need to see the Irish defense step up this week before they have my full seal of approval.

Special Teams – Tie- Neither Notre Dame nor Georgia scored a touchdown on special teams last week. As previously mentioned, Justin Yoon struggled in the kicking game going 0 for 2.  His counterpart went 1 for 1, although his field goal was only a 23 yard attempt. The special teams matchup is even in this game. But I do expect CJ Sanders to give the Irish good field position, and he will likely break a touchdown or two this season.

My Prediction

Last week I thought I would be picking the Georgia Bulldogs to win. But now that a true freshman will be making his first career start in South Bend, along with other factors, I’ve change my mind.

The Notre Dame Offensive line overwhelmingly impressed me last weekend. Wimbush’s ability to create yards when no one is open was outstanding. Although he has a lot of room to grow, he is the best running quarterback Kelly has had in South Bend. Although the passing game still needs improvement, I admired his first game against Temple.

I believe the Irish defense will give up a lot more points this week against Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, but Notre Dame Offense will get their points as well. The Irish have the better quarterback, this game is in South Bend, and Brian Kelly desperately needs this win to turn “EVERYTHING” around, I’ve got the Irish pulling off the upset.

My Prediction: Notre Dame 38 Georgia 31

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12 comments

  1. Jamie Adcock 2 years ago

    First Im not sure I agree we have the better QB, just because Fromm isnt a starter.
    Secondly other than Ronald Jones these will be the best backs we will see all year.
    And I hate to throw this out there but its a really good SEC team. They have speed and size on both sides.
    BUT we have them at home at night. The atmosphere will be insane. And we are pretty athletic as well.
    I do agree I would have picked the Dawgs with Eason. And I think this game will determine the direction we will go
    this season. Can we seize the moment?

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  2. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 years ago

    Hey Hey to y’all rich people who are going to the Georgia game ( it’s way too high a price for a retired high school physics teacher): listen up:
    Every time we get them in second and 7 or worse – stand up and scream like a bunch of rabid banshees! Don’t wait for third down on this one, like we usually do. I won’t be there, but do me proud. The loudest game I was ever at was 88 vs. Miami. These Georgia boys want the full ND experience, I’m sure. Be sure to give it to them for ARA, Joe Yonto, George Kelly, Mike D’Cicco, and “Gentle” Dan Devine…all watching from the best seats.

    Thanks guys,
    Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

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  3. fxm 2 years ago

    I would prefer a lower score. BK has a really poor record at ND when the points climb above 30.

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  4. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 years ago

    I do not see this as a high scoring game. Perhaps something in the high twenties or low thirties wins it. As is usually the case, the team that takes care of the ball best will probably win. Special Teams execution is a MUST…ST lost the Sugar Bowl for us with a muffed punt inside the ten yardline that gave Hershall and Buck an impossible advantage to defend the only other time we met Georgia.

    Bruce G. Curme ’77 ’82

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    1. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 years ago

      Sorry, my mistake. ST muffed a kickoff inside the ten yard line, not a punt. By the way, we also had a field goal attempt blocked in that game. The ensuing good field position that block gave to Georgia resulted in them scoring then too! Our defense played great that day – but our ST’s were an atrocity. I’m still mad as hell about it, since I badly wanted a win for Dan’s last game.

      Bruce G. Curme
      La Crosse, Indiana

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  5. Michael the Archangel 2 years ago

    I counted 4 dropped passes and two others that could have been caught but weren’t. Had the receivers made those catches, then Wimbush would have been 23-30 and we’d be talking about a Heismann like performance from game one. Also, when you get too many times after the pass, a QB tends to get a bit hurried. If the receivers catch the passes they should, and th
    e OL maintains their pass blocks a second longer, Wimbush will become a superstar. His escapability alone and his superior running ability make him an ideal modern day QB.

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  6. Tim McGonagle 2 years ago

    The Irish are a 6.5 point favorite, so…how is a win “pulling off the upset” ?

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  7. Greg Kelly 2 years ago

    When the game really starts in the 4th Quarter and Flogging Molly gets the Irish up, this will be the difference. Georgia will be intimidated. The dawg better wear ear plugs!

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    1. Ed Westbrook 2 years ago

      Only thing you’re gonna be hearing is crickets in the 4th quarter, My mom could put up 600 yrds on Temple. You boys are kidding yourself. UGA only lost 1 of it’s starters on defense from last year. It’s gonna be lights out. You probably didn’t notice but the only reason App state made it past the 40 yrd line last week was because of our 3rd string in the 4th qtr. Low scoring game this Saturday. Especially for ND..

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      1. Bruce Gregory Curme 2 years ago

        Ed, I’m not going to dispute your analysis of the game. I have no idea who will win this game. None at all. At this point, I’m clueless. But I have to dispute one thing – there are no crickets in Notre Dame Stadium…not even one. I’ve been going out there to ND since 1962 when I was a cub scout selling Christmas fundraiser candy in the dorms! No crickets at all, sir. But we do have little tiny yellow bees…always have been there in and around the stadium. Last weekend I was thinking the bees might be gone after our Administration took an electric axe of some kind to every old tree they could find near the stadium and added on three huge structures to the hallowed football house that Rockne built. But no sir, they were there…maybe in lower numbers, but they were there! Resilient little yellow bees! They survived the change to athletic turf, two renovations, and the Faust era. They never swarm, but as every true “fac brat” knows, they are partial to overflowing trash cans, sweet pop, and ladies hair spray. So my only counter to your analysis is this: No crickets in the fourth quarter. But you just might get stung.

        Bruce G. Curme
        La Crosse, Indiana

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  8. Bob Rodes 2 years ago

    I’m about as concerned about Wimbush’s passing game as Georgia fans appear to be about Fromm’s. The thing that stuck with me most was overthrowing EQ early in the third to lose a sure TD. Something tells me Kizer (not to mention Book) would have hit that one, although I don’t think Kizer would have hit Weishar for that TD that he caught. Hopefully, Wimbush will clean that up. I’d hate to find that he’s got a Rusty Lisch arm (Rusty is the guy that Dan Devine kept playing over Joe Montana, much to my chagrin. He went on to play for the Bears before Jim McMahon showed up, gaining the dubious distinction of being perhaps the only guy in the NFL who could consistently overthrow Willie Gault.)

    Meanwhile, Fromm strikes me as a deadly accurate passer who has to learn not to telegraph his intentions to the defense. He could shred our secondary while Wimbush continues to be uneven. He could also throw a few INT’s, though. All in all, it seems that both our and their fanbases are reservedly confident. My feeling is that our coaches are — finally — extremely well organized, and very focused on what they need to do to get the results we are all looking for. Whether Georgia is equally so perhaps our game will tell.

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    1. Trey Guy 2 years ago

      The overthrow of EQ for a walk in touchdown was a guy making his first start. Should he have hit it sure? It will be cleaned up in a few games. His arm is as strong as there is in CFB to go along with your Rusty Lisch reference, but he can fit the ball into tight windows.
      While I agree that Fromm possesses top level talent, it is potential talent at this point and Wimbush is in the same position that Fromm is. Accuracy needs refinement against top level talent.

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