Georgia football stock report: 23-17 win over Notre Dame
ATHENS — Georgia football got down to business in the second half, looking like a title contender after a first-half struggle against Notre Dame.
The UGA coaches made key halftime adjustments, downing the Irish, 23-17, before a crowd of 93,246 on Saturday night at Sanford Stadium.
Jake Fromm finished 20-of-26 passing for 187 yards and a TD.
The No. 3 Bulldogs (4-0) were facing the No. 7-ranked Irish (2-1) in the first non-conference battle of Top 10 teams at Sanford Stadium since 1966.
Georgia trailed 10-7 through the first two quarters. It was the first time the Bulldogs faced a halftime deficit at home since the 2016 contest with Auburn.
Georgia’s defense stepped up in the second half, intercepting Notre Dame QB Ian Book twice in the final 30 minutes. Book finished 29-of-47 for 275 yards with two touchdowns.
Georgia fans packed Sanford Stadium and made a difference, triggering four Notre Dame false starts in the first half with the Bulldogs struggling and two more in the second half. The crowd defended the integrity of home field, even as deep-pocked Irish fans tried to invade.
Divaad Wilson’s interception and 11-yard return to the Notre Dame 22 swung the momentum in the second half. Wilson also had a key PBU on a ND third-down pass in the third quarter.
Eli Wolf came through with an 8-yard catch to convert a third-and-6, sparking Georgia’s first TD drive.
Rodrigo Blankenship provided a boost with his game-tying (10-10) 40-yard field goal and go-ahead 31-yard field goal in the third quarter. Blankenship’s fourth-quarter field goal, from 42 yards out, made it 23-10.
J.R. Reed came up with a key fourth-quarter interception after nearly picking off two other passes.
D’Andre Swift’s leaping moment — hurdling a Notre Dame defender on a 10-yard run — is one for the memory banks.
Linebacker Tae Crowder led the defense with nine tackles.
Jake Camarda shanked a 20-yard punt on his first attempt and failed to drop kick inside the 20-yard line on punt from Notre Dame 48. Camarda’s final punt went just 27 yards.
Tyler Simmons muffed punt at the UGA 8-yard line, which set up Notre Dame’s second quarter TD.
Charlie Woerner had a fourth-quarter penalty after lining up improperly and fumbled after a first-half catch.
Cade Mays had a false start and allowed a QB pressure — and hard hit — on Jake Fromm.
Justin Shaffer’s personal foul wiped out a Swift gain to the 14 in the third quarter.