Georgia plays Notre Dame on Saturday for the first time since the programs met in the Sugar Bowl for the 1980 national championship, and the Bulldogs’ current coach is proud and excited that his team will be joined at the game by the program’s last title winner.
Vince Dooley and his wife Barbara are making the trip to South Bend, Ind. this weekend to support the team, something Kirby Smart thinks will be invaluable for the former coach and the current players.
“It’s such a great honor to have him be a part of our program,” Smart said Wednesday during the SEC’s weekly teleconference. “He’s a part of the rich tradition here. For him to win the national championship game and then have him come back and enjoy the game, I’m excited.”
Georgia and Notre Dame is one of the multiple marquee games this week, and Smart acknowledged that it’ll be in a “venue no other Georgia player’s ever been in.” But he said that he and his team will not detour from their normal Thursday, Friday, and Saturday routines in order to take in the environment, which he thinks will help, if only a little, to normalize the big stage they’ll play on.
“They’re on NBC and these kids grown up watching college football,” Smart said. Our kids associate that part with Notre Dame, and it’s a big national game.”