ATLANTA — Georgia football got the AllState Sugar Bowl invitation everyone expected and will face Baylor at 8:45 p.m. on Jan. 1 in New Orleans.
The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) are making a repeat trip to Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where last year they came off an SEC Championship Game loss and were defeated by Texas, 28-21.
Big 12 runner-up and No. 7-ranked Baylor (11-2) is coming off a 30-23 overtime loss to College Football Playoff semifinalist Oklahoma on Saturday.
This marks the fifth time the Bulldogs and the Bears have met, UGA holding a 4-0 series lead with all four prior meetings taking place in Athens.
This marks Georgia’s 10th Sugar Bowl appearance and fourth in the past 18 years. The Bulldogs have played in the Sugar Bowl more than any other postseason game.
It’s a rich history that includes the program’s most recent national championship, a 17-10 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 1, 1981.
Kirby Smart’s current Bulldogs entered this season with national championship aspirations, but injuries took a toll, particularly in the receiver ranks where there was already heavy attrition.
Georgia lost its top five pass catchers from the 2018 season, and the passing game took a major hit when go-to target Lawrence Cager suffered shoulder, rib and ankle injuries the second half of the season.
Freshman Dominick Blaylock, another of the Bulldogs top targets, suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 37-20 SEC Championship Game loss o LSU on Saturday. Blaylock has a torn ACL.
Georgia also figures to be without junior tailback D’Andre Swift, who was limited to five touches in the SEC title game on account of a shoulder injury. Swift is expected to declare himself eligible for the NFL Draft and not play in the bowl game.
Bulldogs’ junior All-American left tackle Andrew Thomas is also headed tor the NFL Draft, but Thomas might still decide to play in the Sugar Bowl as he has maintained his health throughout the season.