Uncensored-play-by-play commentary: Georgia vs. Notre Dame
Sometimes, not everything that needs to be said can be said over a network broadcast. So that’s why we are bringing you Saturday Down South’s Uncensored Commentary of Georgia vs. Notre Dame:
Welcome to Athens, Georgia, for the biggest nonconference home game in UGA history. The crowd is rocking, the lights are bright red for some reason, and the eyes of the college football world are on Sanford Stadium to desperately hope Georgia can keep Notre Dame from taking up a Playoff spot again. Let’s get started.
Ian Book and the Notre Dame offense get the ball first. The Irish offense starts by doing what they do best, completing short passes to a tight end that eventually get wiped away by penalties. Eventually, Ian Book is forced to make a real pass on 3rd-and-11, and the pass ends up closer to the Georgia fans wearing shoulder pads than anyone on the field. Punt.
Georgia would prefer to have the defense on the field apparently, as its offense goes 3-and-out and Jake Fromm gets his arm warmed up for all the 3-yard passes he plans to throw.
After a beauty of a 25-yard punt, Notre Dame faces a 4th-and-1. It’s the first big play of the game … but the snap, like Notre Dame’s Playoff chances, is just out of reach. Georgia takes over on downs.
The Bulldogs take over in great position as Fromm starts completing passes all over the field. And by all over the field, we mean mainly horizontally, a few yards behind the line of scrimmage and tackled for a loss.
As the first quarter comes to an end, the announcers say that Notre Dame is outplaying Georgia, which is like saying Jeremy Pruitt is outcoaching Willie Taggart. It’s tied at 0.
Notre Dame has finally found its best play, having Georgia fumble the ball right into their arms. The Irish recover the muffed punt and take over on the 8-yard line.
There’s overthinking, and then there’s whatever Notre Dame is trying to do with these goal line play calls. Two fades, a sideways screen pass thing that fails miserably, Brian Kelly would rather embarrass himself on national television than try to run for 1 yard against this Georgia defense.
Eventually, on 4th-and-goal Notre Dame somehow lucks its way into a touchdown with — who else? — a tight end catching a pass clearly not intended for him. That was exhausting to watch.
Notre Dame 7-0.
Uh-oh, Notre Dame made Jake Fromm mad. He’s not making it easy on them with 2-yard passes anymore, he’s hitting those 4- and 5-yard passes.
Georgia slowly makes its way down the field and eventually scores on a short run by D’Andre Swift.
We’re tied in Athens, 7-7.
So far, it’s clear that both teams seem terrified of being on offense. Which is why the half is almost over even though it feels like both teams have only gotten the ball 3 times.
But there’s still time for Notre Dame to do something before the half, especially if Georgia keeps forgetting to put any effort into covering the tight end. The Irish get deep inside Bulldogs territory as the half winds down, and it sets up another classic chess match between Brian Kelly and his better judgment.
It’s riveting TV as Notre Dame sends its field goal unit out, followed by a Georgia timeout. On second thought, the Irish reconsider and send their offense out, followed by another timeout. Repeat that pattern a few more times. All that leads to Notre Dame throwing a pass out of bounds and making a short field goal. That’s final season of Game of Thrones level stuff. Great job everyone.
Notre Dame heads to the locker room ahead 10-7.
Georgia gets the ball and you get the sense the Dawgs need to start being aggressive, and as fate would have it, Kirby Smart has the chance to go for it on 4th-and-1 from midfield. The punt team is on the field faster than Kirby can say, “I need $200 million to build a new football facility.”
But remember, this is the game where no one wants the ball. Ian Book throws an interception that’s almost immediately fumbled and rolls out of bounds.
Georgia can’t score a touchdown, but the good news is it gets Rodrigo Blankenship on the field. He hits the field goal and brings some much needed chill vibes.
Georgia’s defense has started to really figure out this Notre Dame offense, or maybe it just remembered to cover their tight end finally. Amazing how that works.
Georgia also figured out that if they just run the ball on offense, things usually go pretty well. D’Andre Swift and the UGA rushing game are hurting the Irish defense, not literally though. The fake injuries have been Notre Dame’s best executed defensive scheme of the half.
It ends in another Blankenship field goal and even more chill vibes for the Dawgs.
For the first time, Georgia leads, 13-10
Now it’s Notre Dame’s chance to answer. And the Irish look like they’re clinging for life, while also clinging to their teammates to fake injuries.
Meanwhile, Jake Fromm might have just been pulling a rope-a-dope on us all along. He starts unleashing some seriously impressive throws, and on 3rd down pinpoints a perfect back shoulder fade to Lawrence Cager for a touchdown.
The Sanford Stadium crowd erupts celebrating their 10-point lead, while Cager is just celebrating that he doesn’t have to play for Miami anymore.
You know you’re running out of options on offense when you’re breaking out the flea-flicker in the 4th quarter. And you know you’re overmatched when it ends with an interception. It has been that kind of half for the Irish. And by “half,” we mean “past few decades.”
Now Georgia has the ball with the chance to really put this game away. But instead of going for it on 4th-and-very short, Kirby decides to play it safe and kick the field. They’re relying too much on the chill vibes of Rodrigo Blankenship. The field goal is good, but Notre Dame is still in the game.
Georgia leads 23-10.
All of a sudden, Notre Dame’s offense has life. Ian Book is hitting wide open receivers and in just a few plays, they’re in the end zone. It’s a 6-point game and all of the memories of Georgia melting down late in big games are coming back.
Notre Dame pulls within 23-17.
All Georgia needs is one 1st down to put this game away, which shouldn’t be a problem considering how much Swift has dominated running up the gut of this Irish defense. So of course, UGA runs a toss sweep to James Cook, who gets tackled for a big loss.
Now Georgia has to punt, but if the Dawgs can just pin them deep, they should still be in great shape considering Notre Dame has no timeouts and … oh, no he shanked it. Notre Dame has the ball at midfield.
It’s Georgia’s tendency to meltdown late in games vs. Notre Dame’s inability to win a big game. A true unstoppable force vs. immovable object. Who will prevail?
After a couple of 1st downs, Notre Dame faces a 4th-and-9 with everything on the line. The pressure gets to Ian Book and he launches a blind prayer toward the end zone. It hangs in the air for an eternity in the beautiful, naturally LED illuminated Georgia night sky. But there’s no miracle tonight. It’s swatted away and Georgia wins, 23-17!
The Bulldogs celebrate and the few Notre Dame fans in attendance sullenly walk away to once again become Yankees/Patriots/Duke basketball fans.