Georgia Bulldogs Victorious in South Bend as Defensive Fumble Recovery wins game 20-19
In a game where the Bulldogs wanted to make a statement and show that they are good enough to be in Playoff contention talks, the Bulldogs traveled to South Bend to face the No. 24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Leading up to the game there was much back and forth banter about who would win this matchup, but as many people know, it all goes out the window once the clock starts ticking.
Georgia knew they were in for a battle after having a not as potent offense last week in App State as they did with Notre Dame tonight. Their game plan was to stack the box to stop the run daring Notre Dame’s QB, Brandon Wimbush, to beat them throwing in the pocket.
Special Teams and Defense were the keys for the Bulldog’s victory tonight as the kickoff team averaged 27.8 yards per return and the defense continually disrupted ND’s QB by forcing 3 sacks and 2 fumbles that ultimately gave UGA the win.
In the 1st quarter both defenses were imposing their will as neither team would give up a touchdown, making the game a 3-3 score at the end of the quarter. In the 2nd quarter is where the inexperience of Georgia QB, Jake Fromm, began to show, as he fumbled the ball while trying to hand it off at their own 36 allowing Notre Dame to have a short field and produce the game’s first TD. That touchdown gave the Irish a 10-3 lead with 12:24 to play.
Knowing that they needed to put some points on the board to keep the team in the game, Fromm, constructed a 12 play 63 yard touchdown drive, capping it off with a highlight reel 5 yard TD catch by WR, Terry Godwin. This spectacular TD grab gave the Bulldogs the tie at 10-10 with 6:45 remaining before halftime. But this game was far from over!
Notre Dame refused to go away and took back the lead after a 40 yard drive that ended with a 42 yard field goal giving the Irish a 13-10 lead at halftime. Since Georgia won the toss and deferred to receive the ball until the 2nd half, the Bulldogs began a pretty good drive going in the 3rd quarter but it ended with a missed 44 yard field goal that allowed Notre Dame to build on their lead to 16-10. Explosive plays and timely penalties by ND allowed Georgia to move down the field on their next possession. This drive was led by a 14 yard clutch catch by Riley Ridley and a 40 yard run by freshman, D’Andre Swift, giving way for a Sony Michel 6 yard TD run and a 17-16 lead.
There wasn’t much offense going on in the latter parts of the 3rd and 4th quarters because of the battle in the trenches, so to speak, from the defensive lines. The only points that were scored by ND after halftime were field goals that Georgia allowed after making costly penalties. In a game that constantly went back and forth and kept the fan bases on the edge of their seats, the Irish were able to take a one point lead with a field goal to end the 3rd quarter 19-17.
As many Georgia players predicted, with their backs put to the wall, the defense stepped up behind seniors Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy as both were able to cause strip sacks and make a lasting impression on the final score. After a monster catch last week by Javon Wims, he once again came up huge with a 31 yard catch to allow Georgia to score the last points of the game and give them a 1 point lead with 3:34 seconds left after a 30 yard field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship 20-19.
Smelling victory the Bulldogs defense went all out and attacked the edges and no play became any bigger than a sack by Davin Bellamy and fumble recovery by Lorenzo Carter with 1:27 that gave the ball to Georgia for the win! With this victory, Georgia moves to 2-0 and looks to make it 3 in a row next week when they face the Samford Bulldogs in Athens at 7:30pm.