Georgia survived a boatload of early mistakes that could have ended this one before it really got started. But thanks to some stifling defense and a rushing attack that flexed some surprising muscle in the second quarter, they find themselves trailing 13-10. A few items of note.
Jim Chaney restrained himself from overusing Nick Chubb early, and may have in fact not used him enough. I expect the Bulldogs to try to run the ball down the Irish’s throats in the second half if they can. If they don’t at least try, well, let’s not even consider it. Just RTDB.
Jake Fromm has looked about like you’d expect, unless your expectations are wholly unrealistic. He’s 8 of 15 for 69 yards, with the unreal touchdown to Godwin and a very freshman-y interception when he tried to force the ball into Isaac Nauta just before the half. But he’s thrown it enough and well enough for the ‘Dawgs to keep Notre Dame from fully stuffing the box. That’s really all you can ask of this young man in this environment in his first collegiate start.
Fromm and Nick Chubb also combined on a fumble that led to a Notre Dame touchdown. It looked to me like Fromm thought Chubb was taking it and Chubb thought Fromm was pulling it out. That’s what happens when players haven’t developed a feel for each other. It’s going to happen. And if Jake Fromm keeps the starting job for a few weeks then hands it back to Jacob Eason, it’s gonna happen again.
The Georgia defensive line is controlling things the way they needed to for the ‘Dawgs to have a shot. Notre Dame enters the half with 27 rushing yards on 18 attempts, a paltry 1.5 yards per attempt. The Red and Black on the other hand ran it 20 times for 86 yards (4.3 per carry), though 50 of those came on the powerful second quarter drive that culminated in Godwin’s touchdown catch.
I imagine Matt Austin got stuffed in a lot of lockers as a kid. No other official in major college football walks around with such perpetually sandy netherparts.
Let’s see if the Bulldog defense can continue to take care of business, and if the offense can avoid making any more costly mistakes. If that happens, I like our the Dawgs’ chances. Until later . . .