Sunday, September 10, 2017

Post Game Notes

UGA Sports Communications

Playing from Behind And Getting Another Win: Georgia erased four deficits tonight, falling behind 3-0, 10-3 and 13-10, which increased to 16-10 in the second half, and lastly 19-17 in the final quarter before winning 20-19. With 4:34 left in the 3rd quarter, Georgia took its first lead at 17-16. With 10:21 left in the contest, Notre Dame moved back in front after an 18-yard field goal for a 19-17 lead. With 3:39 remaining, Rodrigo Blankenship hit a 30-yarder for a 20-19 advantage.

In head coach Kirby Smart’s first season, Georgia rallied back for five victories when they trailed in the fourth quarter, beating No. 22 North Carolina in Atlanta, on the road against Missouri and Kentucky, home versus Auburn and against TCU in the Liberty Bowl (Memphis, Tenn.). Tonight marked the sixth time in the Smart era the Dawgs have a fourth-quarter comeback.

Series History: With tonight’s 20-19 win, Georgia is now 2-0 all-time against Notre Dame. The only other meeting came in the 1981 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, a 17-10 Georgia win. The Dawgs are scheduled to play host to Notre Dame in Sanford Stadium on Sept. 21, 2019

Road Win Over Ranked Team:  Before tonight’s 20-19 victory, The last time Georgia went on the road and beat a ranked team on its home field came during the 2014 season when the No. 13 Dawgs blanked No. 23 Missouri in Columbia 34-0. Georgia did open the 2016 season with a win over #22 UNC in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game in Atlanta.

Rare Road Debut For Freshman QB: Jake Fromm became only the seventh true freshman quarterback to start a game, including just the second to do it on the road in his first career start as No. 15 Georgia beat #24 Notre Dame 20-19. True freshman Georgia quarterbacks to start included Johnny Rauch (1945), Joe Dupree (1990), Eric Zeier (1991), Quincy Carter (1998), Matt Stafford (2006), Jacob Eason (2016) and now Fromm. Zeier was the only true freshman to have his first career start on the road when he led #22 Georgia to a 37-17 win over #23 Ole Miss in Oxford. In that game, Zeier was 18-for-30 for 216 yards. In the first half, Fromm was 8-for-15 for 69 yards with one TD and one INT as Georgia trailed 13-10. He finished 16-for-29 for 141 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT in the win.

Defense Leads To Victory: Sophomore DB J.R. Reed had a career-high nine tackles to lead the team followed by big games by junior LB Roquan Smith with seven tackles including a sack while senior OLB Lorenzo Carter registered seven tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.  Davin Bellamy forced a fumble on a sack and it was recovered by Carter to secure the victory.Notre Dame was 0-for-10 on 3rd down conversions with 6:22 left in the 3rd quarter and finished 3-for-17. Last week, they tallied 422 yards on the ground in the win over Temple but tonight were held to just 55.

Rushing Attack: Georgia tallied 185 rushing yards highlighted by senior tailbacks Sony Michel with 73 yards and Nick Chubb with 63 yards. Chubb’s first carry covered 30 yards. Also of note, senior fullback Christian Payne notched his first career carries with two for 11 yards. Coming in tonight, Payne had 12 career catches for 119 yards and one TD plus four tackles on special teams. Freshman D’Andre Swift finished with 42 yards including a career-high 40-yard scamper that helped set up the go-ahead TD. Michel ran in for six yards for a TD to tie the contest with 4:34 and Rodrigo Blankenship’s PAT gave Georgia its first lead at 17-16. The scoring drive covered 75 yards on seven plays in 1:48.

TD For Godwin: Georgia capped a 12-play, 62-yard drive in 5:39 with a 5-yard acrobatic TD catch by junior receiver Terry Godwin from Jake Fromm. It tied the game at 10-all with 6:45 left. It was Godwin’s first TD catch since the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl win over Penn State, and that one covered 17 yards. Tonight, he had two receptions for 36 yards.

For Starters: A trio of Dawgs made their first career starts in junior Kendall Baker (LG), true freshman Jake Fromm (QB) and true freshman Richard LeCounte (STAR). Georgia had four first-time starters last week in the opener against App State including one true freshman Andrew Thomas (RT).

Blankenship Hits 2-of-3 FG: Sophomore PK Rodrigo Blankenship hit a 27-yard field goal to tie the contest at 3-3 with 6:36 left in the first quarter. In the second half, he missed a 44-yard attempt with 11:22 with Georgia trailing 13-10. He made his 2nd PAT of the night to put Georgia in front 17-16 with 4:34 left in the 3rd quarter.
 With 3:34 left in the game, he hit a 30-yarder to put Georgia ahead 20-19.

Points Off Turnovers: Notre Dame scored 7 points off two turnovers, while Georgia got no points off 2 turnovers. In the 2nd quarter, Notre Dame turned a Jake Fromm fumble at the UGA 32 eventually into a TD. With 26 seconds left in the first half, Fromm threw an INT as the Irish took over at their own 47 and were forced to punt. In the 3rd quarter,  senior OLB Lorenzo Carter recorded a sack, forced fumble and recovered it at the Notre Dame 47. It led to a punt. Georgia forced a fumble on a sack with 1:27 left by senior Davin Bellamy, recovered by Carter to secure the win. The Dawgs are -2 in turnover margin this year, and opponents have scored 17 points off the miscues.

Captains: Tonight’s captains were seniors Sony Michel (TB), Dominick Sanders (DB) and Lorenzo Carter (OLB).

After tonight's road win over Notre Dame, in the locker room, Georgia coach Kirby Smart turned to Rodrigo Blankenship and said "Do you want to tell them what I told you on Friday?

Blankenship said "I'm on scholarship!"

The team roared in excitement for its placekicker.

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