Ge­or­gia out­slugs ND for im­pres­sive road vic­tory

Calhoun Times - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY - By Ralph D. Russo

SOUTH BEND, Ind.

— Ge­or­gia got to Dawg Walk out of Notre Dame Sta­dium with a vic­tory, dozens of its fans form­ing a line from the locker room to the buses to con­grat­u­late the Bull­dogs af­ter the pro­gram’s first trip to this part of the coun­try in more than 50 years.

Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bel­lamy led a swarm­ing Ge­or­gia de­fense and the No. 15 Bull­dogs got enough plays from an of­fense start­ing a fresh­man quar­ter­back to beat No. 24 Notre Dame 20-19 on Satur­day night.

The first reg­u­lar-sea­son meet­ing be­tween the two pro­grams was a hard-hit­ting, penalty-filled tug-o-war, and when it was done the Bull­dogs gath­ered in the cor­ner of the sta­dium to sa­lute thou­sands of their fans who made the pil­grim­age. The Bull­dogs had not ven­tured this far north for a game since 1965 against Michi­gan.

“It def­i­nitely means a lit­tle more,” linebacker Ro­quan Smith said. “Com­ing up to South Bend, an awe­some en­vi­ron­ment. Then hav­ing all th­ese Dawgs fans com­ing out, show­ing their sup­port. Show­ing how much they be­lieve in us. It’s just an awe­some feel­ing to be able to give those fans a W.”

Ro­drigo Blanken­ship, a walk-on who re­ceived a schol­ar­ship ear­lier this week, kicked a 30-yard field goal with 3:39 re­main­ing to give the Bull­dogs (2-0) a one-point lead.

Carter and com­pany did the rest. Ge­or­gia forced Bran­don Wim­bush and the Fight­ing Ir­ish (1-1) into a three­and-out, and then, on Notre Dame’s fi­nal drive, Bel­lamy blind-sided the quar­ter­back and Carter re­cov­ered the fum­ble with 1:27 left.

“I saw Davin com­ing around the edge I was try­ing to get around the edge as well,” Carter said. “And once I saw him com­ing free I saw he had a chance to knock that ball off of him. And once he did I was like get on this ball and end the game.”

Carter had a strip sack in the sec­ond-half, too.

Wim­bush, start­ing his sec­ond game, scored Notre Dame’s only touch­down in the first half on a 1-yard run. He fin­ished 20 for 40 for 210 yards.

“All 11 po­si­tions, all the guys were re­ally phys­i­cal and had speed,” Wim­bush said of the Ge­or­gia D.

THE TAKE­AWAY

Ge­or­gia: Fresh­man quar­ter­back Jake Fromm was fill­ing in for the in­jured Ja­cob Ea­son and mak­ing his first ca­reer start. The Bull­dogs tried not to put too much on the for­mer Lit­tle League World Se­ries hero from Warner Robins, Ge­or­gia. He went 16 for 29 for 141 yards with a touch­down pass — thanks to a reach­ing, one-handed grab by Terry God­win in the first half — and two turnovers.

“Good poise,” Ge­or­gia coach Kirby Smart said of Fromm. “He never fal­tered.”

Notre Dame: The Ir­ish were look­ing for a big early sea­son win to ac­cel­er­ate the process of mov­ing on from last year’s 4-8 dis­ap­point­ment. There were rea­sons to be en­cour­aged, es­pe­cially from a de­fense that hung tough against one of the best run­ning-back com­bi­na­tions in the coun­try in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. The Bull­dogs ran for 185 yards, but only 4.3 per carry.

Still, it was an­other one-pos­ses­sion loss af­ter seven of them last sea­son. Coach Brian Kelly be­came curt when asked why this loss should be viewed dif­fer­ently.

“It’s not go­ing to snow­ball,” he said. “Next ques­tion.”

LOTS OF LAUN­DRY

Ge­or­gia was flagged 12 times for 127 yards. Notre Dame was hit eight times for 63, in­clud­ing a late hit in the third quar­ter on Fromm by Ju­lian Ok­wara that of­fi­cials video re­viewed to de­ter­mine if Fromm was still in bounds when he was hit. The call stood and con­verted a third down for Ge­or­gia, and the Bull­dogs scored on the drive to go up 17-16.

RED SEA

Ge­or­gia sold 8,000 tick­ets for this game and there was eas­ily twice that many wear­ing red in Notre Dame Sta­dium. For for­mer Ge­or­gia coach Vince Doo­ley, who won the school’s only na­tional ti­tle by beat­ing Notre Dame in the 1981 Su­gar Bowl, it was the best part of the trip to South Bend.

“I was just say­ing what a beau­ti­ful scenery it is right out­side look­ing out and see­ing Touch­down Je­sus and the Golden Dome over­look­ing the cam­pus. And then see­ing those beau­ti­ful golden hel­mets shin­ing. Of course, I like the red ones, too,” said Doo­ley, who threw out the first pitch at the Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field on Fri­day night. “And see­ing so many Ge­or­gia peo­ple here. That’s what’s re­ally been amaz­ing.”

UP NEXT

Ge­or­gia: The Bull­dogs re­turn home to face FCS team San­ford, be­fore start­ing SEC play against Mis­sis­sippi State the next week.

Notre Dame: The Fight­ing Ir­ish face Bos­ton Col­lege.

Carter Named SEC De­fen­sive Player Of The Week

ATHENS — Ge­or­gia se­nior Lorenzo Carter has been named the South­east­ern Con­fer­ence De­fen­sive Player of the Week fol­low­ing his per­for­mance in the win at #24 Notre Dame, ac­cord­ing to a league an­nounce­ment.

Carter, a na­tive of Nor­cross, Ga., jump­started the Bull­dog de­fense in the team’s c o me- f r o m- be­hind 20- 19 vic­tory against the Ir­ish. Carter tied for the team’s sec­ond most tack­les with seven, in­clud­ing a sack, forced fum­ble and re­cov­ered fum­ble on a sin­gle play with un­der two min­utes left in the third quar­ter and Ge­or­gia up 17-16.

Carter, who also had a sec­ond forced fum­ble in the game, then pounced on an­other loose ball with un­der two min­utes left in the game and the Bull­dogs lead­ing 20-19 to help clinch the vic­tory. Carter was an an­chor to a Ge­or­gia de­fen­sive unit that lim­ited the Ir­ish to 55 yards on the ground, which was Notre Dame’s low­est out­put since 2011.

KEN WARD / For the Cal­houn Times

Ge­or­gia’s Terry God­win (5) reaches for a one-handed touch­down catch in the sec­ond quar­ter.

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