ATHENS, Ga. – Jake Fromm made his first college start as a freshman two years ago, directing Georgia to a thrilling victory at Notre Dame, and the junior leads the third-ranked Bulldogs into Saturday's rematch at home against the No. 7 Fighting Irish as one of the country's top quarterbacks. Fromm completed 16-of-29 passes for a touchdown in that 2019 triumph in 2017, and since has directed the Bulldogs to two SEC title contests and a national title game as Georgia has returned to prominence.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Georgia -14
Georgia coach Kirby Smart acknowledged that victory in the second game of 2017 is somewhat of a benchmark for the program and his quarterback, telling reporters Monday, "I think that helps the trajectory of things. I mean, it was a big win for us. It was a big win for Jake, to go on the road and play in a place like that and play well enough to win." The early-season showdown should provide a benchmark for both teams, as the Bulldogs have run roughshod over their first three opponents in averaging 49.3 points per game (Fromm completing 75 percent of his passes), while the Irish have scored 101 points in two convincing victories. Notre Dame also features strong play at quarterback, as senior Ian Book leads all Power 5 signal-callers in yards per completion (19.07 yards) and passed for five touchdowns against New Mexico last week. "We have to keep doing what we're doing, keep trusting our coaches, follow our plan," Book told reporters Tuesday. "We've been talking about this game for a while."
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (2-0)
Book passed for 193 yards and a touchdown at Louisville before crushing New Mexico with 406 yards of total offense (360 passing, 46 rushing), and ranks fifth in the nation in passer rating (202.7) as the Irish are seventh in the nation in scoring offense. Senior running back Tony Jones Jr. rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown against Louisville, while senior Javon McKinley caught two touchdowns last week. Notre Dame leads the nation in turnover margin (plus-six) and ranks ninth nationally in tackles for loss per game (nine).
ABOUT GEORGIA (3-0)
Fromm rested for most of the second half in blowouts of Murray State and Arkansas State, passing for 601 yards with five touchdowns and a 200.3 passer rating. Five Georgia running backs have rushed for 100 yards and at least one touchdown through three games, paced by junior D'Andre Swift's 290 yards (9.4 per carry) and two scores, while freshman receiver George Pickens leads the team with nine receptions for 162 yards. The Bulldogs have yet to be challenged defensively, ranking third in the nation at 7.7 points allowed per game and second in the SEC with 12 sacks.
1. Notre Dame running backs have 1,041 consecutive carries without losing a fumble, dating to Nov. 21, 2015, and currently the second-longest active FBS streak (Northwestern).
2. The Bulldogs have won 15 consecutive home games, tied for the third-longest streak in program history.
3. The Irish play their first road game against an SEC team ranked in the top five since 1999 (a loss at Tennessee), and this is just the third matchup with Georgia in program history (the first being Georgia's 1981 Sugar Bowl victory for the national championship).
PREDICTION: Georgia 37, Notre Dame 21