Perry McIntyre Jr./UGA
Georgia fans were out in force at Notre Dame Stadium.

Georgia football: Give yourselves a hand, Dawgs fans

Cy Brown

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Georgia fans show they can travel with the best

There was a little joke that spread around Georgia fan circles ahead of the Notre Dame game: If every Georgia fan who claims to be going to the game makes the trip, there will be 100,000 Dawgs fans in South Bend, Ind.

It turns out that was a really bad joke.

There weren’t 100,000 of them at the game, but Georgia fans still packed every corner of Notre Dame Stadium. It was one of the most impressive traveling displays I’ve ever seen in college football for an away game at a non-neutral site. Nebraska’s trip to South Bend in 2000 takes the cake in that category, but Georgia fans’ showing on Saturday is a close second. I mean, just look at this, man:

It was the rare performance by a crowd that actually had an effect on the field. The throng of Dawg fans negated any home-field advantage Notre Dame held. Coach Kirby Smart said as much in his postgame comments.

“[We] never felt like it was so much of a road game,” Smart said, according to Chip Towers of DawgNation. “I mean, there were times our quarterback was able to go on his own cadence. You don’t usually get to do that on the road. You don’t get to do it on the road in the SEC; the fan bases don’t let you do that. We were able to go with ours and I thought a lot of it had to do with the red and black.”

Considering all that, Georgia fans deserve a bit of self-congratulation. It’s been quite a while since Georgia was on the true national stage. And Dawgs fans took that opportunity to show the nation what we’ve known for quite a while, but they might have forgotten: Georgia is one of the most passionate fan bases in college football.

Now, part of the reason for the showing by Georgia fans was the situation. This game with Notre Dame was considered a once-in-a-lifetime chance by fans to see a game in South Bend. I don’t think we’d have seen that number of fans travel if it was a game in, say, Bloomington against Indiana. The Notre Dame mystique helped draw the crowd.

Georgia fans also stated their case for more of these major out-of-conference road trips. Bulldogs fans serve as a walking, talking, barking billboard for UGA. Why wouldn’t the athletic department want more videos like the one of Georgia fans taking over Wrigley Field or Brian Kelly’s radio show to spread?

I hope this can set a precedent for Georgia fans. You showed once how this fan base can travel, and you need to do it again. I want to see more seas of red in Knoxville, Nashville, Auburn and Atlanta this season. And whenever these big, once-in-a-lifetime away games come around — like the trip to UCLA in 2025 — I want to see 40,000 barking lunatics. Get ready, Rose Bowl.

Top Dawgs

Here’s a look at Georgia’s top 5 performers from the win against Notre Dame:

5. Terry Godwin — Godwin had just 2 catches for 36 yards. But when one of them looks like this, you’re going to end up in Top Dawgs:

4. J.R. Reed — Reed was all over the field in his second game with the Bulldogs, leading the team in tackles with 9 total, 5 solo. He also pressured the quarterback with 2 hurries. The Tulsa transfer is proving to be one of the best additions to the team since Smart was hired.

3. Roquan Smith — Smith was his typical brilliant self. He patrolled from sideline to sideline all game and stopped quarterback QB Brandon Wimbush and running back Josh Adams from breaking into the second level. He finished the game with 7 total tackles and a sack.

2. Lorenzo Carter — It seems Carter finally has become the star he showed the potential to be over his first three years in the program. He dominated the edge and tied for second on the team in tackles and came up with a vicious sack. More importantly, he recovered 2 fumbles, including the one that iced the game.

1. Davin Bellamy — Bellamy faced All-America left tackle Mike McGlinchey and made the potential first-round NFL draft pick look like anything but that. He had 6 tackles, including 1.5 for loss. But the reason he takes the No. 1 spot in Top Dawgs is his game-winning sack and forced fumble. Bellamy and Carter made the difference in this game. Make no mistake, Georgia won this game in December when the two decided to return to campus for their senior seasons.

Around the polls

With Georgia’s win over Notre Dame also came a bump in the polls. The Bulldogs jumped from No. 15 to No. 13 in both the AP and Amway Coaches polls this week.

Georgia also moved up a spot in the SEC Country Power Poll, which ranks all 14 teams in the SEC. The Bulldogs jumped from No. 4 to No. 3 with the win, switching spots with Auburn, which lost to Clemson in Week 2.

Rodrigo Blankenship gets a scholly

Rodrigo Blankenship is finally on scholarship. From Towers:

“It’s a dream come true,” said Blankenship, who was invited to Georgia as a preferred walk-on out of Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Ga. “Since the day that I committed in December of my senior year, it’s been a dream to play for the University of Georgia on scholarship. Now, it’s coming to fruition.”

Here’s video of Blankenship announcing the news to his teammates after the game. If this doesn’t bring a smile to your face today, nothing will.

UGA closed on Monday and Tuesday

UGA is shutting down Monday and Tuesday because of Hurricane Irma. To all of y’all who are in the storm’s path, hunker down and stay safe.

 

Dawgs on Twitter

Good dog

And now a live look-in at a Georgia fan who traveled to South Bend:

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