Georgia is in a surprisingly tough battle with Notre Dame as the Bulldogs trail 10-7 at halftime in Sanford Stadium.

“It’s a defensive battle right now,” Smart said in a halftime radio interview on the Bulldogs Radio Network. “They’re doing a great job up front, playing really physical, like we thought they would. They’re loading the box on us with their defense. Our defense is playing a lot of snaps, we’ve got to get off the field on third down.”

Known for his running ability, Notre Dame QB Ian Book was 16-for-24 passing for 146 yards and a touchdown. Georgia did hold Notre Dame to 17 rushing yards.

Offensively, Georgia QB Jake Fromm was 11-for-12 passing for 59 yards, but the Bulldogs were held to 55 yards rushing. D’Andre Swift led the team with seven carries for 33 yards and a score.

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A last-second field goal gave Notre Dame its second lead in the game after the Fighting Irish scored first.

A botched punt return by Georgia helped Notre Dame get its touchdown on fourth down and goal from the Georgia one-yard line. Book threw the pass to Cole Kmet, who had seven catches for 68 yards.

Asked about getting the ball to start the second half, Smart replied, “Absolutely, we’re looking forward to it.”