Bulldogs stage a hostile takeover at Notre Dame

The Georgia defense doing what the Georgia defense did Saturday – taking down Notre Dame. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Here’s hoping Georgia and its swarm of followers enjoyed the little visit to the Vatican of college football. Because this certainly was not the kind of guest anyone would want to invite back any time soon.

If this was a wedding, Georgia had a plus-one but instead brought the entire family. Including that cousin who stuffed his pockets with chilled shrimp.

Georgia was the guest at the baptism who kept showing pictures of his own kid. The neighbor at the housewarming who kept bragging on the bean dip he brought. The brother-in-law at the bachelor party who just had to jump on the main stage and take off his shirt. You know the kind – it’s always all about him.

But this was a football game, and the Bulldogs did the worst thing of all: Beating the home team and making a big noise while doing it.

The Bulldogs came to venerable Notre Dame and made it all about them, 20-19.

It wasn’t always pretty. Georgia’s emergency freshman quarterback Jake Fromm made a couple youthfully indiscrete turnovers. The Bulldogs committed more silly offenses than you’d find in a big city drunk tank on Saturday night.  The offense sputtered, but certainly not as bad as the only other time Georgia played Notre Dame (in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, winning the national championship despite completing one of 12 passes for seven yards).

All that mattered was at the end, they had one more point than did Notre Dame. That feat still carries great heft even if the Irish aren’t what they used to be (but then, who among us are).

It was a victory that will hold more perceptual importance for the Kirby Smart regime than actual, since no road to the SEC Championship game leads through this pocket of Indiana.

“I still can’t believe we’re in Indiana,” smiled linebacker Lorenzo Carter, who headlined a defense that made Notre Dame re-think its running game (55 yards on the ground) and stubbornly refused it admittance to the endzone.

Hard to believe, indeed, because it felt just as much like Winder, Ga. as South Bend out there Saturday night.

As important as the statement made by this team in the beginning of Year Two of the Smart Era was that made by the invading horde of Georgia fans. They seized on the historical importance of a first-ever trip to Notre Dame and stormed the Knute Rockne gate of this old stadium.

“I saw a lot of red. It was a sea of red walking in here. It felt like the Dawg Walk (the home ritual of strolling through adoring fans on the way to the stadium),” Carter said.

Was maybe half the place painted red? It was enough that the Georgia fans greatly neutralized any home field advantage or home field awe that Notre Dame could usually command. Here’s something that should greatly disturb the Irish partisans, from UGA’s Smart: “You never felt like this was so much of a road game. Our quarterback was able to go on his own cadence which you don’t get to do on the road. You definitely don’t do it on the road in the SEC.”

When former Notre Dame back Jerome Bettis showed up for the game, he may have been the only Bus not carrying a load of Georgia fans in for this show.

And I think I saw Touchdown Jesus wearing a red Georgia visor.

For whatever else the Bulldogs make of this game – and the 12 penalties for 127 yards as well as an offense that still seeks an identity hint at much work to be done – this one had to do some wonders for the ol’ self-image.

That was Georgia just taking over Notre Dame, squatting defiantly amid all the Irish legend.

That was Georgia staging as loud a victory celebration in South Bend as just about any in Sanford Stadium. It is hard to imagine Notre Dame being any more surrounded by hostiles when it plays at Georgia in 2019.

“It shows that we can play with a team like this and play on a stage like this,” said receiver Terry Godwin, whose one-handed touchdown catch Saturday was of Odell Beckham/A.J. Green quality. “To put the Georgia brand back on top, it feels great for us. We hope for bigger things to come as well.”

“When you think about our players and this fan base, this will be a game they’ll talk about for a long time,” Smart said.

Here’s hoping that all parties enjoyed the experience fully because they ain’t getting invited back until the memory of this Bulldogs takeover fades locally – in a century of so.

Reader Comments 0

26 comments
Wascatlady
Wascatlady

I'm glad they won. It was a great game--thrilling.  I thought the SEC refs went overboard to not be biased.  It wasn't, however, a bottom-stomping.

cana45
cana45

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cana45
cana45

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DawgNole
DawgNole

 “It shows that we can play with a team like this and play on a stage like this,” said receiver Terry Godwin, whose one-handed touchdown catch Saturday was of Odell Beckham/A.J. Green quality. “To put the Georgia brand back on top, it feels great for us. We hope for bigger things to come as well.”

“When you think about our players and this fan base, this will be a game they’ll talk about for a long time,” Smart said.

______________

THIS is why you play actual teams in your OOC schedule--rather than crap like Samford, Coastal Carolina, New Mexico St, Idaho St, Tennessee Tech, Central Michigan, Western Carolina, App St, North Texas, Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, UAB, Western Kentucky, Troy, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafayette,Southern, Ga Southern, Charleston Southern, Northwestern St, Middle Tennessee, Marshall, Directional U, blah blah blah.

Why is THIS so difficult to understand???!!!

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

Since Georgia only got 8000 tickets from ND, and since, according to the TV announcers, the average price for tickets on the secondary market was more than $1100.00, an awful lot of Georgia fans sure shelled out a bundle of money to see two mostly mediocre teams play.  Neither team had any kind of on offense, and Georgia's defense seemed to depend on face mask infractions, almost none of which they got away with.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@tipstotips 

I have never struggled with supporting my team.  We have beat the mutts 2 out of the last 3 years and have much more to show for our wins than the mutts do.  The mutts are a mediocre team and will probably not win more than 8 games this year.  Their supposedly vaunted defense has not faced a good offense yet this year, but that will change soon, although certainly not against yet another patsy this coming Saturday.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@tipstotips 

Moreover I have been to South Bend when the Jackets won by more than one point, as well as two years ago, when we got beat.  I also "supported" my team by going to Dublin, Ireland last year.  But if by "supporting" a team means spending more than $1100.00 for a ticket, then yes, you can count me out.  That's just stupid, regardless of the opposition, the location, or the outcome.

Covfefe22
Covfefe22

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt @tipstotips Wait, I thought all you Techies were wildly successful engineers with millions in disposable income?


Oh right, you're just another brokeazz sidewalk fan like TO who pathetically clings to "his" team as a way to feel like he's "better" than UGA fans.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt: "The mutts are a mediocre team and will probably not win more than 8 games this year."

______________

You probably should leave the stupid-prediction business to jerks like TOJacket.

Doesn't do anything for your credibility.

____________

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt July 24, 2016

“. . . And as far as making a run for the playoffs, that will end Labor Day weekend when the Heels beat the mutts in Atlanta.”

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@Covfefe22 

We also have sense enough not to throw away hard-earned money on frivolous things like football games.  Paying face value is one thing, but  $1100.00 is just plain stupid, apparently a commonly shared trait among mutts.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@DawgNole 

So it got delayed a few weeks.  They still didn't get anywhere near making the playoffs, losing instead to the likes of Vandy (OMG), Tenn, and, oh that's right, to TECH !!!

Keith_S
Keith_S

$1,100 was the avg 'asking price' - most likely from a survey of StubHub listings. Very few were transacted at that price. Avg trans price was closer to $500.

Paul-jr
Paul-jr

You have to love the ga.fans go dogs

Covfefe22
Covfefe22

@StrangeMurphy Sharing a pizza with Corch Meyers in the tunnel.  His life's dream finally realized.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@StrangeMurphy

Over on Schultz's blog--all puckered up and trying to deflect attention away from the disgraceful performances of his team in two of its past three games.