Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more.
The 5 most important games on Georgia’s 2019 football schedule
Georgia football figures to play one of the tougher 2019 schedules in all of college football. To go along with the usual rigors of an SEC schedule the Bulldogs also have a huge home against a Notre Dame team that took part in last season’s College Football Playoff.
Every game is important for Georgia this season, but some are more so than others. Below we’ve ranked the top-5 games on Georgia’s schedule in terms of importance to both the 2019 season and what it could possibly mean for future seasons. We should also note that these are only games currently on Georgia’s schedule, so a hypothetical SEC championship game is not on here. Because as talented as Georgia’s 2019 team is expected to be, it’s no guarantee the Bulldogs make it back to Atlanta.
5. Texas A&M, Nov. 23, Athens, Ga.
This game comes following a brutal three-game stretch that sees Georgia play Florida, Missouri and Auburn. It’s the Bulldogs’ final SEC game of the 2019 campaign, and the SEC East title could still be on the line going into this game.
Texas A&M is one of the more fascinating teams in college football this year. It has a lot of intriguing talent — led by quarterback Kellen Mond — but the Aggies also play a brutal schedule as they play the Bulldogs, Alabama and Clemson this season. This game could be used to cross compare the Bulldogs to the Crimson Tide and the Tigers.
This game will also be the final home game of the 2019 season. That means it will be senior day for the likes of JR Reed and Charlie Woerner. But this could also be the final game in Sanford Stadium for some talented juniors like D’Andre Swift, Andrew Thomas and even possibly Jake Fromm. That alone should make this an extra special Saturday in Athens.
4. At Tennessee, Oct. 5, Knoxville, Tenn.
Kirby Smart really got the ball rolling in his second season with a road win over Notre Dame. That was the first tangible sign he was building something special with Georgia. It ultimately led to a College Football Playoff appearance in 2017 and fast-tracked Georgia to joining college football’s elite.
I’m not saying a Tennessee win over Georgia would be a sign of things to come for the Volunteers, but it would definitely offer some serious validation to what Jeremy Pruitt is building in Knoxville. Most knowledgable Georgia fans would probably argue that Tennessee is the biggest long-term threat to Georgia, and a home win over the Bulldogs would certainly indicate that.
The last time Georgia went to Knoxville, it came away with a 41-0 win in a game where Jake Fromm had fewer than 100 yards passing. It won’t be quite that easy this time around, as Georgia won’t be able to waltz through Tennessee now that Butch Jones isn’t around.
3. At Auburn, Nov. 16 Auburn, Ala.
For all that Smart has done so far in Athens, he is still yet to play a competitive road game against an SEC West team. In each of his three seasons as head coach, Georgia has lost by at least 20-points when visiting an SEC West foe.
This season the Bulldogs visit Auburn. It comes during the aforementioned tough November stretch. The Tigers once again figure to have a strong defense with defensive tackle Derrick Brown returning for his senior season. And whatever questions there might be about the quarterback position, Auburn should have those answered by what will be its 10th game of the season.
This game will offer Smart an opportunity to show that he’s grown as a coach. Beating Auburn on the road would be another milestone for him to cross off his list. And given Gus Malzahn’s ever-constant hot seat, a loss at home to Georgia could really turn up the pressure on the Auburn coach.
2. Notre Dame, Sept. 21, Athens, Ga.
This game has been potentially earmarked as an 8 p.m. kickoff by CBS. You can imagine College GameDay will strongly consider visiting Athens for this possible top-5 matchup. ESPN has already called this game the best non-conference matchup of the 2019 season.
Regardless of whether or not you think this will be a close game for Georgia — the advanced stats suggest it might not be — it will absolutely be a chance for Georgia to make a statement early in the 2019 season.
Notre Dame will be plenty motivated coming into this game, especially after a what several Georgia players tweeted during last season’s College Football Playoff. If the Bulldogs truly want to prove they’re on the same level as Clemson and Alabama, beating Notre Dame would go a long way to justifying those comparisons.
1. Vs. Florida, Nov. 2, Jacksonville, Fla.
This game will likely pit the top two teams in the SEC East against each other, and decide who represents the division in the SEC championship game. But that is not why this is the most important game on Georgia’s 2019 schedule.
These two schools and fan bases have been lobbing shots at each other all offseason long. Whether it be Dan Mullen using the Florida spring game to troll Georgia’s championship drought, or seemingly every Georgia commitment in the past month naming Florida as a finalist to only end up picking the Bulldogs, it is clear that these two teams utterly despise each other.
When the Bulldogs won this game last season, they showed off some rare video of Smart really celebrating the win. If the Bulldogs beat Florida and Mullen for a third straight season, you can imagine a similar celebration will take place in Jacksonville.
If not, it is going to be an incredibly long offseason for Georgia in 2020.
Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Numbers show if Georgia is to make the College Football Playoff, it will need new No. 1 receiver to emerge
- 4-star OL Akinola Ogunbiyi explains his flip to Texas A&M
- Greg McGarity addresses Kirby Smart’s feelings about UGA-Florida venue and more
- Tim Tebow: Georgia football was ‘ahead of schedule,’ but needs to beat Alabama
- Jake Fromm, Cade Mays to play against brothers in SEC showdowns
- LOOK: Georgia football leadership team traveled to Florida, meets with renowned ‘brain trainer’
- Georgia football podcast: Akinola Ogunbiyi de-commitment puts Andrew Raym, Sedrick Van Pran in spotlight
- SEC Network expert: Georgia QB Jake Fromm making calls on and off field
Dawgs on Twitter
— Donovan Jackson (@D_jack78) June 24, 2019
The best players never ARRIVE. They just keep showing up and are determined to get better and to dominate. Then they do it again the next day…and the next day…..and the next day. The BEST PLAYERS can’t have BAD DAYS.
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) June 24, 2019
Just a couple of @BaseballUGA Dawgs meeting up in Boise at the start of their pro careers!! @RealSlimSchunky (Rockies @BoiseHawks ) and @TimElliott44 (Mariners @EverettAquaSox ) – nice to see the smiles of 2️⃣2️⃣ and 4️⃣4️⃣ together again!! #DGD #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/lZMqQwTiBP
— eric schunk (@ericschunk) June 21, 2019
As of now, these two might be the most important players for Georgia in 2019. Two highest rated receivers we’ve landed in a decade.
Dominick Blaylock + George Pickens pic.twitter.com/n57KKLKx9J
— blakejmorgan (@bIakejmorgan) June 23, 2019
Good Dawg of the Day
This is Frida. She became Mexico’s symbol for hope after the 2017 earthquakes. It’s reported she’s located over 50 people in her long rescue career. Today, her protective gear was removed and replaced with a toy to signify her retirement and a new beginning. 15/10 #GraciasFrida pic.twitter.com/y7VDFhlPuE
— WeRateDogs™ 🏳️🌈 (@dog_rates) June 24, 2019