College Football Game of the Week: No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 7 Notre Dame
This week No. 7 Notre Dame heads down to Athens, Georgia to take on No. 3 Georgia. These two teams are rather unfamiliar with each other and Georgia has won both meetings between the two, most recently a 20-19 win in South Bend in 2017.
Georgia comes into this game led by third-year starting quarterback Jake Fromm. Fromm, through three games, has 601 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. He will be met by the 12th best pass defense in terms of yards per game, averaging only 142. With defensive backs like Kyle Hamilton and Jalen Elliot, each having have six tackles, an interception, and two pass deflections, Jake Fromm will have his hands full come Saturday.
The Bulldogs, dubbed as "Running Back U" for their constant success at the position, come into this game averaging 287 rush yards per game. This is good enough for eighth in the NCAA. This attack is led by junior D’Andre Swift, who ran for 1,049 yards last year. This could prove to be a major issue for Notre Dame as they give up an average of 231 rushing yards per game, which puts them at 120th in the NCAA.
On the other side of the ball, Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book is off to a hot start this season. Book has thrown for 553 yards and five touchdowns in his first two games. Senior wideout Chase Claypool has been the favorite target for Book with 190 yards and a touchdown in two games.
Georgia's defense has allowed 182 pass yards per game, which puts them at 44th in the NCAA. The secondary has also had trouble forcing turnovers, only intercepting one pass and forcing one fumble. The Bulldogs are going to have to put the pressure on Book, one thing they have done successfully this year, as they've put up 12 sacks. Senior defensive lineman Tyler Clark will be a major factor as he enters this game with 1.5 sacks and 10 tackles.
Book has proven to wreak havoc this year in more way than just one. His 127 rushing yards are tied with junior running back Tony Jones Jr. for the team lead. Georgia has had no problem defending the rush this year though only allowing 60.7 yards per game, currently sitting at fifth in the NCAA.
Georgia has been very difficult to beat at home, winning 16 straight games in Athens that date all the way back to 2016. The rushing game has been nearly unstoppable per usual and Fromm will keep any defense honest.
On the other side of things, Notre Dame is coming off an undefeated regular season just to have the juggernaut Clemson Tigers smack them 30-3 in the College Football Playoff semifinal. The offense is good enough but the defense has simply not been able to contain the run game, which will be their downfall.
Prediction: Georgia 31, Notre Dame 17
Caleb Schweiger is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.