When unbeaten Notre Dame entertains unbeaten Georgia Tech on September 19th it will mark the first ACC version of a short, but intriguing, football series.
Rockne was ever eager to expand Notre Dame’s national footprint and he agreed to travel to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech in 1923. The series was cordial, though dominated by eleven Notre Dame wins in the first 12 games.
John Heisman, the man for whom the eponymous trophy is designated, coached at Georgia Tech but retired after the 1919 season. Heisman never faced the Irish.
Bobby Dodd, the inventor of the “belly series” was Georgia Tech’s most famous coach and he held sway from 1945-1966. He won 165 games and still holds the record. He was 1-2 against the Irish, sneaking in a 14-10 win over Kuharich’s Irish in South Bend in ‘59.
Georgia Tech joined the SEC in 1932 and that had decreased the opportunities for the teams to meet. However, a vicious dirty play by Alabama’s Darwin Holt, fracturing bones in the face of Georgia Tech’s Chick Graning in a 1961 game accelerated Georgian Tech’s decision to leave the SEC. Holt’s villainy, and Bryant’s nonchalant unapologetic attitude afterward confirmed a suspicion that had been discussed in the corridors of the Georgia Tech administration. Tech wanted to find a place more consistent with its values and somewhere that, unlike the SEC and Bryant, was within the boundaries of civilization. Georgia Tech bid the SEC adieu after the ’63 season.
Notre Dame and Georgia Tech played more frequently while Georgia Tech was an independent, meeting nine times in the 15 years after Tech left the SEC.
Georgia Tech then joined the ACC in 1979. The relationship remained cordial but the schedule became more complicated. Georgia Tech and the Irish have met just seven times in the last 35 years, one of them a vintage Bob Davie bowl loss by 35-28 to Tech in Jacksonville in the 1999 Gator Bowl.
November 8, 1975
Daniel Ruettiger played three plays on defense for the Irish, registering a sack against Georgia Tech on the third of his plays. They made a movie about it. You might be familiar with it, as it is called “Rudy.”
The Day the Fraud was Revealed
It was Georgia Tech, and the overhyped Jon Tenuta who finally exposed the emptiness and deception of Charlie Weis’ promises, his pomps and his evil works. It was September 1, 2007, when Weis finally had “his recruits.” Georgia Tech walloped the Irish 33-3. Weis, in the lamest schematic display since Hugh Devore was having Frank Budka run quarterback keepers in ’63, threw Demetrius Jones under the Georgia Tech bus and let Jon Tenuta rock it back and forth over Jones again and again. Notre Dame generated a total offense of 122 yards, 130 passing and -8 rushing. Clearly, emperor Weis had no clothes. Never one to accept accountability, Weis attributed the victory to the genius of Jon Tenuta’s blitzes, then doubled down and hired Tenuta a year later.
With the Irish now playing 5 games a year against SEC opponents the Irish will now see Georgia Tech every third year, with a clash with Paul Johnson’s team scheduled for Saturday.
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|32||L||01-01-1999||28||Jacksonville, FL||35||Gator Bowl|
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