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Georgia football fans, players want black jerseys to return for Notre Dame game
No, Georgia won’t seriously consider wearing black jerseys when it takes on Notre Dame on Sept. 21. And given Kirby Smart’s past comments on the uniforms, it’s not likely they’ll return. Unless you count when recruits wear them on visits or the spring game.
“I’m not saying we’re not ever going to do it, I’m not saying that we are, that’s just really not what is important to me,” Smart said prior to playing Auburn last year. “I believe in the guys going out and playing physical, playing hard; you don’t have to do things like that to get them fired up to do it, I really think they should want to do it.”
Smart added that the jerseys were used against Louisiana-Lafayette in 2016 as a motivational ploy. And when he made those comments prior to the Auburn game last year, Smart added that you shouldn’t need any motivation to be ready for the Tigers.
Notre Dame certainly falls closer to Auburn than Louisiana-Lafayette. Despite Smart’s comments and history with the jerseys, that hasn’t stopped fans, media types and even a certain Georgia quarterback from wanting to see the black jerseys under the Sanford Stadium lights.
Jerseys don’t win or lose games. I love the black jerseys. Go Dawgs.
— Lance (@SportsGuyLance) July 23, 2019
— PorkyDawg (@PorkyDawg) July 23, 2019
Time to bring out the black jerseys https://t.co/GLRyKRYGkj
— Dalton Nettles (@nettlesdalton21) July 23, 2019
Few things in the Georgia football fan base are more divisive than the black jerseys. The Bulldogs first wore them in a 2007 game against Auburn, which Georgia ended up winning. The last time they were worn was in a 2016 win against Louisiana-Lafayette. Georgia is 3-1 all-time when wearing black jerseys. But it’s the one loss that plays such a key role in the discussion of the black jerseys.
That loss came in a primetime game in September. It was a matchup of top-10 teams, and the Bulldogs came into the contest ranked as the No. 3 in the country. That all sounds like the scenario Georgia will be walking into when it hosts Notre Dame on Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
But the 2008 contest was against Alabama. And despite the hype surrounding the game and black jerseys, the Crimson Tide put an end to all of that rather swiftly. The Bulldogs trailed 31-0 at halftime but ultimately losing by a score of 41-30. The final result made the game respectable but it was an absolute beatdown by Nick Saban and his team.
The jerseys were never worn again in the Mark Richt era. When Smart took over, he reincorporated the jerseys as a recruiting pitch. When players come on visits, they are often photographed in the black jerseys.
University of Georgia 📍🐶🔴 pic.twitter.com/9pdkNKkJyO
— Marcus Rosemy 🌐 (@rosemy_marcus) April 1, 2019
— Carson Beck (@carsonbeck01) March 3, 2019
But now it seems like even some of the players have been inquiring about the return of the black jerseys. CBS’ Brad Nessler revealed that quarterback Jake Fromm has asked about the possibility of wearing them against Notre Dame this season.
“Somebody said black jerseys would be nice,” Nessler said in reference to Fromm. “And I said,’You better get on that right now with the coach if you really want to get that through.’ And that someone (Fromm) ‘I might not get another chance to ever wear then.
Nessler himself even called for the black jerseys when he will be calling the Georgia-Notre Dame game.
“I think the only way that it would be made better is that black jerseys would make that night perfect,” Nessler said.
All those sentiments are nice and understandable. I am in favor of Georgia wearing the black jerseys annually. They’re a great look and the uniforms aren’t the reason Georgia lost to Alabama in 2008 —or beat Auburn in 2007.
It’s worth mentioning that Smart was on that Alabama sideline in 2008, and the black jerseys may have actually been a motivating factor for Alabama that day. If Georgia were to wear the black jerseys and possibly lose to Notre Dame, the blowback Smart would dwarf the criticism Richt got following the Alabama loss.
Smart has made it perfectly clear where he stands on the black jerseys and their usage. A great recruiting tool, but not something Georgia fans are going to see on a Saturday anytime soon. Let alone a home game of this magnitude.
WATCH: Georgia football releases video of D’Wan Mathis dunking just months after brain surgery
It hasn’t been a normal summer for Georgia freshman quarterback D’Wan Mathis. In May, Mathis underwent brain surgery to remove a cyst that had been discovered. The surgery was a success, but his football status for the 2019 season is still up in the air.
When speaking at SEC Media Days last week, Smart provided an update on Mathis. Smart didn’t give a specific timeline on when Mathis might resume football activities and that Georgia was going to be careful with his recovery.
“D’Wan is doing very well. Ron (Courson) and his staff, I think it’s very well-documented how well Ron and his staff managed D’Wan and the things that they’ve done,” Smart said. “D’Wan is back in classes, he’s back in workouts, he’s doing a really good job for us.”
On Wednesday, the Georgia football Twitter account gave another update on Mathis’ status. And while it wasn’t something he did on the football field, Mathis showed off some of his athletic ability on a few dunks.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) July 25, 2019
Mathis was rated as a 4-star signee in the 2019 class. He enrolled early and participated in spring practice with the Bulldogs, as he split reps with Stetson Bennett for the backup quarterback role. Mathis completed 15 of his 28 attempts for 113 yards in the Georgia spring game.
With Mathis’ status still uncertain, the backup duties will fall on Bennett. He also was a member of Georgia’s 2019 signing class, as he joined the Bulldogs from the JUCO ranks. Bennett was a member of the 2017 Georgia team, where he served as a walk-on quarterback.
Georgia has not yet announced when it will begin fall practice ahead of the 2019 season. The Bulldogs’ first game is on Aug. 31, when Georgia visits Vanderbilt. The game is set for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Why Georgia-Notre Dame is the most anticipated home game of the decade
- Home team: Dominick Blaylock found a homegrown fit at UGA
- Kirby Smart’s fascinating dive into Georgia football philosophy
- Elite TE target Theo Johnson still thinking hard about a potential fit in Athens
- Georgia football podcast: UGA recruiting target gets huge compliment from national analyst
- Former UGA star Hines Ward takes job as NFL coaching intern
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) July 24, 2019
When @jaykwon1walton got here 7 weeks ago, he benched 90 pounds THREE times. Today, Jaykwon just benched 225 THREE times. The Commitment is REAL! Great work to @coachshayes and your staff. #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/OlWTvhnhYZ
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) July 24, 2019
— UGA (@universityofga) July 24, 2019
— Arik Gilbert (@arik_gilbert) July 25, 2019
Good Dawg of the day
This is Smudge. She likes to sing but missed a note and got embarrassed. Hopes the tongue slip makes pup for it. 13/10 it does indeed pic.twitter.com/fruNJ2i5yA
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) July 25, 2019