Georgia football: Dawgs above average against Notre Dame

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Hairy Dawg, the mascot for the Georgia Bulldogs on the field during the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Hairy Dawg, the mascot for the Georgia Bulldogs on the field during the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT /

Georgia football’s jerseys were red. The lights flickered. Most importantly, the entire country was watching. Well, if they follow college football anyway. If not, they aren’t important, and it doesn’t matter what they were doing.

The Notre Dame vs. Georgia football showdown last week was by far one of the most anticipated games of the 2019 season. There were hype and sarcasm for both teams. Georgia couldn’t win a game that matters, regardless of where it’s played.

The Irish were overrated and had no business being anywhere near college football’s top five in the polls.

Things have settled down a bit. I probably should have written this a day or two ago, but I needed to wait. It’s my first article for Dawn of The Dawg. We all know what they say. There’s only one first impression.

I’ve read a few articles since Sunday morning. I’ve looked at highlights and watched the game a second time.

More from Dawn of the Dawg

I’m a huge Dawg fan. I also live about an hour away from Notre Dame Stadium. I needed to get some feedback from some of my closest friends; we’ll just call them Irish fans to shorten it up.

The following are the grades I have for the Georgia Bulldogs. Because this article is somewhat late considering the topic, I’m going to keep the observation list brief.

Not short, but brief. There’s a huge difference. I’m a stat nerd. Statistics and theology were my areas of focus in college. I love giving an opinion and having numbers to back it up. That being said, let’s get to it.

Overall Offense

One of the things I’ve heard from many Bulldog fans the last few days is how surprised they are in Georgia’s lack of offensive production. Heading into the game against the Irish, Georgia was averaging 49.3 points and 564 yards per game.

The Dawgs were good for 278.7 yards through the air and 286 on the ground, through three weeks.

Against Notre Dame, the Dawgs racked up 339 total yards, 187 passing, and 152 rushing. The Georgia offense failed to produce a running back with over 100 yards in the game as D’Andre Swift just fell short with 98 yards on 18 carries.

I will say this, though. Both Swift and Brian Herrien galloped for over five yards per carry. Very impressive against the Irish defense that has been tough to run against this season.

Here’s the thing many Georgia fans fail to consider. Notre Dame is a very good team, both offensively and defensively. Were they overrated? Maybe. I don’t get to vote on that. Still, this was a great game to prepare for conference play that’s getting ready to start for the Dawgs.

I give Georgia a solid B overall on offense. Yes, they had a heck of a game against a very tough defense. That being said, they were at home. Within the next few weeks, they’ll be playing defenses just as tough, if not tougher, on the road in hostile territory.

The Dawgs played great, most importantly, they won. Still, they gave themselves plenty to work on moving forward. Jake Fromm completed 20 of 26 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. In the future, against SEC defenses, when Georgia fails to hit 200 passing yards, someone needs to have well over 100 yards on the ground.

I’m not trying to criticize or be harsh. Just pointing out an area where I think improvements could be made. Overall, very impressed with the ball: B

Overall Defense

The Georgia defense had been monsters their first three games. They were holding opponents to under eight points a game and well under the century mark stopping the run.

Notre Dame was able to score more points than I thought they were. As a sports handicapper and someone who writes previews and predictions on college football games for a couple of websites, I had the opportunity to write about the game before it was played. I had Notre Dame putting up 14.

Notre Dame came into this game averaging 50.5 points with 313.5 passing yards and 193.5 rushing.

Georgia kept those numbers down to 275 through the air and just 46 on the ground. One thing that did get my attention is the fact the Irish had three receivers average over 11 yards per reception.

That could get scary against a few SEC teams later in the year.

While the Bulldogs did hold Notre Dame to under 50 rushing yards, quarterback Ian Book ran the ball three times and averaged six yards a run. The defensive line and linebacker corps need to be better against scrambling quarterbacks with a few teams coming up on our schedule.

The Irish also had three scoring drives in the game. One with five plays resulting in a touchdown. Another with eight plays producing a field goal and a 10 play drive for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

None of these drives took more than 3:42. Now, I’m wrong a lot. I’m talking like multiple mistakes every day, usually before noon. But in my mind, this says Georgia needs to do something more when it comes to defending the deep pass.

Still, the defense had a great game against a tough offense. Yes, there’s room to improve, but Notre Dame is one of the better offensive teams in the country. They were held under 20 points, and they couldn’t run the ball. I give the Georgia defense a very high B+.

I think an A+ on special teams goes without explanation. Rodrigo Blankenship made all three of his field goals, including one from 40, 31, and 43 yards out.

I do have one more grade to handout. The fans in attendance also get an A+. During a press conference after the game, Brian Kelly said if there’s one area he wished they would have spent more time preparing for, it would have been dealing with the crowd noise.

Next. Georgia football: Biggest Takeaways from the Dawgs and Irish game. dark

The Irish had a tough time even communicating while on the field. As much time as the Dawgs spend practicing, that’s one area they have no control over. The fans who were at the game were fantastic at doing what Georgia fans do best.