Notre Dame vs. Georgia fearless prediction and game preview.
Notre Dame vs. Georgia Broadcast
Date: Saturday, September 21
Game Time: 8:00 ET
Venue: Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA
Notre Dame (2-0) vs. Georgia (3-0) Game Preview
Why Notre Dame Will Win
Ian Book is getting the job done.
He might not have the biggest arm, but with the running game sputtering a wee bit, he’s coming through with a strong start creating several big plays while not throwing picks.
Notre Dame was going to beat Louisville and New Mexico without breathing hard, and Book has done what he’s supposed to do with 553 yards and six touchdowns and no picks. He’s currently up there among the most efficient passers in college football, and he’ll have to be razor-sharp against a Georgia secondary that hasn’t been tested yet.
Along with Book not making a slew of big mistakes, to pull this off, the Irish have to own the turnover margin. So far this year they’re a +6 in the first two games, and the defensive front that’s been living in the backfield so far has to force the issue. No one’s been able to touch Jake Fromm on a consistent basis in the first three games, and the ND D has to change that from the start.
Patrick Mahomes isn’t playing for Louisville or New Mexico, but so far the Irish secondary has been outstanding. It has yet to allow a touchdown passes and has three picks, allowing teams to complete just 39% of their passes. It’s a different animal going against Fromm, but so far, the Irish defensive backs have locked down. More than anything else, though, this will come down to what’s up front.
On both sides, this is the only team with the lines to hang with these offensive and defensive fronts until the Dawgs play Florida in November. The Irish have to control things, but …
Why Georgia Will Win
The Notre Dame running game is only sort of there.
It’s been fine, and it hasn’t had to extend itself too much yet, but there haven’t been enough of the gashes like there were when Dexter Williams was tearing through the second level, and there won’t be enough of them against a Bulldog defense that’s not allowing a thing.
Arkansas State and Murray State are hardly going to challenge for the CFP title, but Vanderbilt has talent in the backfield, and it couldn’t get anything going on the ground, either. So far, the Dawgs are allowing just over two yards per carry and haven’t given up a rushing touchdown.
The Notre Dame receivers are playing well so far, but Book is getting time operate. Unlike what it would’ve been last season against this Dawg D, he’s not going to be able to get comfortable.
Again, Georgia hasn’t faced any killers yet, and it hasn’t dealt with an offensive line like Notre Dame’s, but it’s ramping up the pressure more. The defense came up with 24 sacks in all of last season, and it already has 12 so far this year with the plays coming from the young linebackers.
Offensively, Fromm has been flawless.
Give him time – even a little bit – and he’ll carve up a defense, and now he has three starts to work with the revamped receiving corps. 75%, 601 yards, five touchdowns, no picks, no big mistakes. He’s playing like a third-year starter and possible top 15 overall draft pick, but it helps to be working behind one of the nation’s best offensive lines.
What’s Going To Happen
Get ready for the best environment in college football this season …
Georgia will get off to a hot start with three big scoring drives in what looks like a national championship-level statement, but the Irish will work their way back into the game and make it a fight.
The ND defense will start to get to Fromm a little, mainly because the secondary will give the Georgia receivers a push for the first time all year. The Irish will get a few breaks to pull within a score in the second half as Book settles in and finds a groove. But just when the tension starts to kick in, Fromm will come up with a surgical drive to finally give the Dawgs a little breathing room late.
Notre Dame’s offense won’t be able to answer in the fourth, the Georgia defense will clamp down on two late drives, and it’ll be the fun game everyone is hoping for. It won’t be the 20-19 Dawg-win killer of 2017, but it’ll live up to the hype.
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Notre Dame vs. Georgia Prediction, Line
Georgia 27, Notre Dame 17
Line: Georgia -14, o/u: 57
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 5
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