Game of the Week — Week 4
After a relatively boring week of college football, where there were no top 25 teams played each other, we are back with one of the biggest games of the season. This weekend, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame will travel to Athens, GA to take on the #3 Georgia Bulldogs. Though the 2017 matchup in South Bend ended in a thrilling 20-19 victory for the Bulldogs, this matchup means more for Notre Dame than revenge: it brings playoff implications. Both of these teams have tough schedules, but they also have strong cases against their bids for a spot in the tightly-contested CFP. For Notre Dame, critics argue the obvious fact that they are an Independent, making their regular season schedule ever more important. Meanwhile, Georgia is playing in the SEC, where many argue that the stacked conference will cause the teams to knock each other out of playoff contention. Between this and a weak opening schedule, winning this weekend is crucial to establishing a resume for December.
Notre Dame is coming off a year where their defense willed them to the third seed in the CFP; however, the core of that defense is gone. While the Irish still have one of the best defensive units in the country, they won’t be able to limit the explosiveness of Georgia’s offense like they might have done in previous years. Thus, the Irish will turn to returning QB Ian Book to lead the Irish on offense, as Notre Dame will have to come up with a large offensive output if they hope to remain competitive in this game.
Georgia has one of the best offenses in the country. QB Jake Fromm has taken this offense to a whole other level since taking over the reigns in 2017, and returning a 1000 yard rusher from last season only helps to boost the eliteness of this unit. Nevertheless, every team has its kryptonite. For Georgia, that might be an untested secondary that allowed 261 passing yards to FCS team Murray State. While Georgia’s defensive line, which is averaging 4 sacks per game, is among the best in the nation, Notre Dame’s offense runs predominantly through the air. Georgia’s pass defense will be where the game is won or lost on Saturday.
College Gameday will be in Athens for game coverage on Saturday morning at 9. The game will be broadcast on CBS at 8 pm. Be sure to tune in as the Irish try to get revenge for their 2017 loss while the Bulldogs vie to improve their resume as two of the best collegiate teams in the nation face off under the lights.