NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL GAME NOTES VS. GEORGIA
IRISH AT BULLDOGS – BY THE NUMBERS
2 Notre Dame’s visit to No. 3/3 Georgia will mark just the second time the Irish will face a top-five SEC team on the opponent’s home field in school history. The No. 24 Irish fell 38-14 at No. 4 Tennessee in 1999. 3 Notre Dame recorded at least 66 points in a game for just the third time since 1932 in tis 66-14 win over New Mexico. The other two occasions were a 69-13 win over Pittsburgh in 1965 and a 69-14 victory over Georgia Tech in 1977. 6 Ian Book accounted for six touchdowns against New Mexico (five passing, one rush) to join four other players as the FBS single-game leaders for total touchdowns in a game this season. 7 With ESPN’s College GameDay making an appearance in Athens this weekend, it will mark the 30th time the pregame show will appear before a game featuring the Irish and the 12th time in the Brian Kelly era. That is the seventh-most of any program in the nation. The College GameDay show started at Notre Dame, visiting campus for the 1993 Notre Dame-Florida State contest. 9 Notre Dame is averaging 9.0 TFL per game this season, a number that ranks ninth nationally among all FBS teams. Daelin Hayes, who wears No. 9 on defense for the Irish, leads the team with three TFL. 10 Brian Kelly continues his 10th season as the head coach at the University of Notre Dame, becoming just the fifth Irish coach to spend a decade or more at the school (Knute Rockne, 13; Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Lou Holtz 11). 12 Notre Dame has won 12 consecutive games at Notre Dame Stadium, including a 6-0 clean slate last season. It is the third-longest winning streak at home for the Irish since Notre Dame Stadium opened in 1930. 19.07 Ian Book leads all Power 5 quarterbacks in yards-per-completion with a 19.07 average (he ranks second among all FBS quarterbacks in that category). 20.2 Notre Dame skill players have averaged 20.2 yards after the catch this season (31 receptions, 627 yards-after-catch) – the best among Power 5 teams. 30 Notre Dame has held its opponents to 30 points or less in 16 consecutive games, matching Washington for the FBS lead in that category. 41.5 Notre Dame leads all FBS teams for opponent completion percentage, as Irish opponents are 22-for-53 (41.5%) in the first two games. 153.3 Career passing efficiency rating for Ian Book. Saturday’s game features two quarterbacks ranked in the top 10 for career pass efficiency – Book (ninth) and Georgia’s Jake Fromm (second, 168.26). 268 The Notre Dame Stadium sell-out streak stands at 268 consecutive games, the second-longest in NCAA history. 348ˆ Games coached by Brian Kelly in his career, second among active coaches in the NCAA to Mack Brown (North Carolina). 1041 Notre Dame running backs have gone 1,041 carries without losing a fumble – dating back to Nov. 21, 2015. It is the second-longest active streak in FBS behind Northwestern’s 1,076-carry streak. 2205 Over the last eight games, Ian Book has thrown for 2,205 yards, the fifth-most among all active FBS quarterbacks.
RANKED MATCH UP DETAILS • Notre Dame will be playing a third-ranked (AP) opponent for the 21st time on Saturday evening, posting a 7-11-2 (.400) mark in the previous 20 match-ups against No. 3. The most recent victory over No. 3 came in 2005, when the Irish knocked off No. 3 Michigan 17-10 in Ann Arbor. • After a stretch of an 0-8-1 record against a number-three ranked team from 1956 through 1986, Notre Dame has won four of its last six meetings against No. 3: Year Opponent ND Rank Opp. Rank H/A/N Outcome Notes 1988 West Virginia 1 3 N W, 34-21 1989 Fiesta Bowl 1991 Michigan 7 3 A L, 14-24 1992 Florida 18 3 N W, 39-28 1993 Sugar Bowl 1993 Michigan 11 3 A W, 27-23 2005 Michigan 20 3 A W, 17-10 2006 Southern Cal 6 3 A L, 24-44 • The Irish are 39-60-5 (.399) all-time against top-five ranked opponents and are pursuing the first win over a top-five team under Brian Kelly (0-4) and the first for the program since the win at Michigan in 2005. • Notre Dame is 51-39-5 (.563) all-time in its 95 match-ups between two top-10 teams. Brian Kelly has two of those 51 wins – 2012 at Oklahoma (30-13) and last season in Notre Dame Stadium over No. 7 Stanford (38-17). NOTRE DAME VS. GEORGIA Year Site ND Rank Opp. Rank H/A/N Outcome Notes 1980 New Orleans, LA 7 1 N L, 10-17 1981 Sugar Bowl 2017 Notre Dame, IN 24 15 H L, 19-20 • Notre Dame and Georgia will be meeting for the third time Saturday afternoon, with the Bulldogs claiming the first two meetings in the series – the 1980 Sugar Bowl and the first of a two-game home-and-home series at Notre Dame Stadium in 2017. THE 1981 SUGAR BOWL • Before the BCS, before the College Football Playoff, even before conference bowl tie-ins, there was the amazingly complex and politcally wrought college bowl system. Bowls competed for teams before the season ended, sometimes signing agreements for bowl match ups before the schedule was even complete. • Notre Dame spent the 1980 season, Dan Devine’s final year, slowly climbing the national rankings to No. 1 in early November. A shocking tie suffered at Georgia Tech (3-3) pushed the Irish back down to No. 6 – but Notre Dame rallied the next week with a victory over No. 5 Alabama at Legion Field in Birmingham to set up a date in the Sugar Bowl with undefeated and top-ranked Georgia. • Notre Dame still had one game left to play, however, and a 20-3 setback at No. 17 Southern Cal meant that the highly anticipated No. 1 vs. No. 2 match in the Sugar Bowl would not take place, but the Bulldogs would still have a strong claim to the national title with a victory over No. 7 Notre Dame. • The 1981 Sugar Bowl numbers are baffling over 35 years later. Georgia completed just one pass in the game (it was a big one, a third and seven completion that allowed Georgia to run out the clock with just over two minutes left). Freshman Herschel Walker ran for 150 yards on 36 carries after separating his shoulder in the first half – while the rest of the team accounted for minus-30 yards. • Notre Dame missed a field goal, had a field goal blocked, muffed a kick return to gift Georgia the ball on the one-yard line and fumbled on its own 22-yard line. Georgia took advantage of those miscues to turn three of those turnovers into a 17-10 victory • Georgia’s first trip north since a 1965 journey to Michigan proved to be a defensive battle, as the Bulldogs edged the Irish 20-19. Georgia claimed the lead on a field goal with 3:39 remaining, then forced a fumble with 1:27 left to secure the victory. • Tony Jones Jr. rushed one time and had one reception in the 2017 meeting, while Chris Finke ended the game with three catches for 36 yards. • Daelin Hayes had a fumble recovery on defense for the Irish, while Jordan Genmark Heath, Kurt Hinish, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and Jalen Elliott also saw action against the Bulldogs.
NOTRE DAME VS. SECˆ • Notre Dame is 29-19 (.604) all-time against the SEC and 9-5 (.563) on the road against SEC opponents. • The most recent SEC opponent the Irish have faced came just last season when Notre Dame defeated Vanderbilt 22-17 at Notre Dame Stadium on September 15. • Notre Dame’s most recent visit to an SEC opponent occurred in 2004, when an unranked Irish team knocked off No. 9 Tennessee 17-13 in Nehland Stadium. • Notre Dame has faced a top-five ranked SEC opponent 10 times – posting a 5-5 record in those contests (wins vs. Alabama in 1973 Sugar and 1975 Orange Bowls, along with a win over the Crimson Tide in Birmingham in 1980; vs. Florida in the 1992 Sugar Bowl; vs. Texas A&M in the 1993 Cotton Bowl). • Saturday night’s game marks the first for Notre Dame against a top-five ranked SEC team on its home field since the Irish fell 38-14 at Tennessee in 1999. • Notre Dame has already announced future home-and-home series with SEC opponents: • Arkansas – Home 2020; Away 2025 • Alabama – Home 2028; Away 2029 • Texas A&M – Away, 2024; Home 2025.
Bulldogs Welcome Notre Dame To Athens In one of the most anticipated games in the history of Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium, third-ranked Georgia (3-0) plays host to seventh-ranked Notre Dame (2-0) on CBS at 8 p.m. It will be the latest kickoff here since Labor Day 1985 when Georgia played host to Alabama on ABC at 8:15 p.m. Saturday’s match-up will mark the 21st time in history that the Bulldogs have had ESPN Game Day on site for their game. Georgia is 6-14 in those contests, including 3-2 over its last five appearances. Both the Bulldogs and the Irish are coming off blowout home victories as Georgia blanked Arkansas State 55-0 last Saturday while the Fighting Irish crushed New Mexico 66-14. An additional 500 seats will be added to Sanford Stadium on Saturday, bringing this week’s capacity crowd to 93,246. Temporary bleachers will be added in the plaza area under the scoreboard. Saturday’s matchup features two of the storied programs in the land. Notre Dame is in its 133rd year of football and ranks fifth all-time in the FBS with 899 victories. The Bulldogs, now in their 126th season, have tallied 822 wins. Georgia owns a 2-0 edge in the series with Notre Dame. The first victory over the Fighting Irish remains one of the most celebrated wins in the program’s history as the Bulldogs posted a 17-10 decision in the Sugar Bowl to capture the 1980 national title. In 2017, Georgia traveled to Notre Dame for the first time and won a 20-19 thriller. A total of 24 current Bulldogs saw action in the 2017 triumph at Notre Dame, including four who started and three of them were true freshmen. On offense, QB Jake Fromm and then RT Andrew Thomas started as freshmen while graduate DB J.R. Reed and junior DB Richard LeCounte drew starting assignments. The Last Time Regarding Top 10 Matchups The last time Georgia played host to a top 10 matchup came in 2013 when ninth-ranked Georgia outlasted sixth-ranked LSU 44-41. The last time Georgia had a top 10 non-conference match-up in Athens came in 1966 when seventh-ranked Georgia beat fifth-ranked Georgia Tech 23-14. The Bulldogs are 6-4 all-time in top-10 match-ups at Sanford Stadium (chart on pg. 13 ). The last time Georgia won a top 10 contest came in 2018 in Lexington when the sixth-ranked Bulldog clinched the SEC East with a 34-17 victory over ninth-ranked Kentucky. Inside The Numbers Along with it being a top 10 match-up, both offenses rank in the top 10 nationally in Scoring. Notre Dame checks in at seventh, averaging 50.5 points/game, while the Bulldogs are ranked ninth at 49.3. In Scoring Defense, Georgia ranks third at 7.7 points/game and Notre Dame is tied for 29th at 15.5. The Irish are tied for the national lead in Red Zone Offense going 8-for-8 with seven touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Bulldog defense ranks fourth nationally in Red Zone Defense. Opponents have scored no touchdowns in the four trips, settling for a pair of field goals and turning the ball over twice versus UGA. Notre Dame also leads the nation in Turnover Margin at +6 through its first two contests. Did You Know? Georgia has won 15 straight games at home dating back to 2017. That is tied for the third-longest home winning streak in school history. The record is 24 from 1980-83 followed by a 17-game stretch from 2001-04.