SEC & Big Ten Week 4 Preview: Notre Dame battles Georgia in Top-10 matchup
No. 7 Notre Dame (2-0) at No. 3 Georgia (3-0) at 8 p.m. on CBS
On Saturday, No. 3 Georgia will play host to No. 7 Notre Dame under the lights at Sanford Stadium. The primetime matchup will be the third all-time meeting between the powerhouse programs.
In the first, on New Year’s Day 1981, Vince Dooley’s Georgia squad — led by freshman All-American Herschel Walker — knocked off the Irish 17-10 in the Sugar Bowl, closing out an undefeated season with the Bulldogs’ most recent national championship.
The ‘Dawgs also claimed the first half of the current home-and-home agreement with a 20-19 win over Notre Dame in South Bend in 2017.
Both the Bulldogs and the Irish are coming off blowout home victories as Georgia blanked Arkansas State 55-0 last Saturday while the Fighting Irish crushed New Mexico 66-14. An additional 500 seats will be added to Sanford Stadium on Saturday, bringing the stadium capacity to 93,246.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the teams:
Notre Dame Quick Hits:
- Quarterback Ian Book leads all Power 5 quarterbacks in yards-per-completion with a 19.07 average. (He ranks second among all FBS quarterbacks in that category; UTEP’s Brandon Jones averages 20.6 yards per completion).
- Notre Dame is 29-19 (.604) all-time against the SEC and 9-5 (.563) on the road against SEC opponents.
- The Irish defense is averaging 9.0 tackles for loss per game this season, good for ninth among FBS teams.
- Notre Dame’s defense has also held its opponents to 30 points or fewer in 16 consecutive games, matching Washington for the FBS lead in that category.
- Notre Dame running backs have gone 1,041 carries without losing a fumble – dating back to Nov. 21, 2015.
Georgia Quick Hits:
- Georgia coach Kirby Smart is one of 11 Power 5 head coaches now serving at their alma maters.
- Quarterback Jake Fromm’s first career start came in the 2017 win at Notre Dame. He completed 16 of 29 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.
- D’Andre Swift — Georgia’s 2018 rushing leader with 1,049 and 10 touchdowns — is averaging 9.4 yards per carry on 31 attempts so far this season.
- Swift will be running behind a Georgia starting offensive line with an average height and weight of 6-foot-5 and 328.6 pounds, making it the biggest O-line unit in Bulldogs history.
Now let’s take a quick look at some of the other top games from this weekend’s slate:
No. 4 LSU (3-0) at Vanderbilt (0-2) at Noon on SECN
LSU’s offense leads the SEC in scoring (55.0), passing (436.3 yards per game), pass efficiency (209.2 rating), 3rd-down conversions (19-of-33, 57.6 pct.), first downs (81) and red zone offense (21-of-21).
Tennessee (1-2) at No. 9 Florida (3-0) at Noon on ESPN
Tennessee and Florida meet for the 49th time with the Gators holding a 28-20 lead in the all-time series. UF has a 14-5 series lead in Gainesville and has won the last seven meetings in The Swamp.
No. 23 Cal (3-0) at Ole Miss (2-1) at Noon on ESPNU
This is just the second all-time meeting between Ole Miss and Cal; the Golden Bears won the lone meeting between the two teams 27-16 in 2017.
No. 8 Auburn (3-0) at No. 17 Texas A&M (2-1) at 3:30 p.m. on CBS
Prior to Auburn 28-24 win at Jordan-Hare Stadium last season, the visiting team has won every matchup between the Tigers and Aggies since Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012.
Kentucky (2-1) at Miss St (2-1) at 4 p.m. on SECN
Mississippi State enters Saturday’s game against Kentucky having won 8 out of its last 10 games against the Wildcats.
South Carolina (1-2) at Missouri (2-1) at 4 p.m. on SECN
The Mayor’s Cup is on the line as the Gamecocks look to make it four straight wins over the Missouri Tigers.
Michigan State (2-1) at Northwestern (1-1) at Noon on ABC
Mark Dantonio will look to become Michigan State’s all-time winningest coach as the Spartans open Big Ten play at Northwestern on Saturday.
No. 11 Michigan (2-0) at No. 11 Wisconsin (2-0) at Noon on FOX
Wisconsin has outscored its opponents 110-0, becoming the first FBS team since South Carolina in 1980 to score at least 100 points and allow zero points in its first two games of a season. This is also just the fifth Top-15 matchup at Camp Randall Stadium in the last 20 years.
Nebraska (2-1) at Illinois (2-1) at 8 p.m. on BTN
Saturday will mark the fourth time in seven seasons since joining the Big Ten that Nebraska opens its conference slate against Illinois. The Huskers are 5-1 against the Illini in that span.