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Why the anticipated Georgia-Notre Dame game could be a letdown

Why the anticipated Georgia-Notre Dame game could be a letdown

Why the anticipated Georgia-Notre Dame game could be a letdown

Why the anticipated Georgia-Notre Dame game could be a letdown

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Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Why the Georgia-Notre Dame game might not be what we think it will be

From an outside perspective, the Georgia-Notre Dame game is one of the biggest games on the 2019 college football schedule. When the two teams meet in week 4, both figure to be unbeaten and likely ranked in the top-10. 

Factor in the potential for bad blood stemming from last year’s College Football Playoff, and there’s a chance that it might be one of the biggest games in Sanford Stadium in quite some time.

But a deeper look at some of the analytics shows that this game might not be what it’s cracked up to be.

Bill Connelly of SBNation wrote the Notre Dame season preview in his excellent season preview series. A brief overview shows why the Fighting Irish figure to be one of the top teams. They’re expected to be double-digit favorites in nine games and return a host of contributors, led by quarterback Ian Book.

But when looking a little bit deeper, Connelly’s numbers show Notre Dame may not be able to hang with Georgia. The thesis of Connelly’s article is that Notre Dame is clearly a good team, but a step below the Alabama and Clemson’s of the world. While Georgia has not yet beaten either of those teams, the Bulldogs are closer to that neighborhood than the one Notre Dame resides in.

Related: Georgia Bulldogs won historic 2017 matchup, but game served as springboard for Notre Dame, too 

The projected margin of victory for the Notre Dame game using Connelly’s number is 14 for Georgia. It gives Notre Dame just a 21 percent chance of winning against the Bulldogs on Sept. 21.

And a look at what Notre Dame lost, especially on the defensive side of the ball, might explain why Georgia might be a bad matchup for the Fighting Irish.

“Linebacker Te’Von Coney and lineman Jerry Tillery were also PFF All-Americans,” Connelly wrote. “They’re gone, potentially rendering a shaky run defense (relatively speaking, anyway) shakier.

“Now the Irish have to replace Tillery, Coney, and linebacker Drue Tranquill. You could make the case that four of last year’s five best defenders are gone.”

The Bulldogs meanwhile figure to have an excellent rushing attack. Georgia returns four of its starting offensive linemen from a season ago. There’s also D’Andre Swift, who ran for 1,049 yards last season. If Notre Dame can’t stop the run, it won’t matter how good its pass rush and secondary is.

Connelly’s numbers rate Georgia as the No. 2 overall team in the S&P+. His actual preview on Georgia will arrive later this summer.

Notre Dame isn’t the team that was crushed by Alabama back in the 2012-13 national championship game. And it’s worth pointing out that it lost by a smaller margin to Clemson last season than Alabama did.

But it’s also worth mentioning now that this game — which has and will be advertised as one of the best games of the season — may not end up living up to the hype. Given the talent gap, there’s a chance when these two teams meet this game is a blowout, and not a replay of the 20-19 thriller from 2017.

Major 5-star target Kendall Milton teases upcoming announcement

Georgia landed one of its top targets in the 2020 recruiting cycle on Monday when 4-star offensive tackle Tate Ratledge committed to the Bulldogs. The addition was met with a lot of fanfare. Shortly after Ratledge’s announcement, many wondered what would be next for the Bulldogs.

Well, it looks like we got an answer to that on Tuesday. Running back Kendall Milton, the nation’s No. 3 running back and arguably Georgia’s top 2020 target at the position, tweeted that he would be announcing his top schools this coming Friday. Look for the Bulldogs to be in that mix.

Milton, who is from Clovis, Calif., visited Georgia for G-Day. And he came away from the visit very impressed with what the Bulldogs have to offer.

“If we are specifically just talking about Georgia in this conversation, I think they did a good job,” Chris Milton, Kendall’s father, told DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell. “They [Georgia] did 100 percent a good job in displaying consistently but again so have other programs. I definitely don’t want to take away or discount anything any other program has done but speaking specifically about Georgia they absolutely did a great job.”

Georgia will need at least one running back in the 2020 class and probably two, given Georgia will definitely be losing Brian Herrien and possibly D’Andre Swift — eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft — as well.

Following Ratledge’s announcement on Monday, 5-star Georgia commit Mekhail Sherman wanted to make sure that Milton noticed the Bulldogs had two elite offensive tackle prospects.

Related: Mekhail Sherman pushing for other 5-star recruits to commit to UGA

On Tuesday, Ratledge followed up on Milton’s announcement making sure to let the 5-star running back know he is wanted by Georgia.

The Bulldogs currently have two 5-star commitments in Sherman and offensive tackle Broderick Jones. They will likely add a few more by the time the 2020 recruiting class is wrapped up. And there may not be a more wanted target than Milton, who rates as the No. 21 overall recruit in the 2020 recruiting cycle.

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  • The No. 14-ranked Georgia softball team hopes to heat up along with the weather in Minneapolis in NCAA regional action on Monday. The Bulldogs (41-18) are scheduled to resume play at 10 a.m. Monday batting in the top of the fifth inning with runners on first and second and one out leading Drake   4-2 in an elimination game. The game was suspended on Saturday night and rain on Sunday pushed back the resumption of play to Monday. If Georgia holds on to beat Drake (43-15), it advances to play host Minnesota at noon. The NCAA tournament No. 7-seed Golden Gophers beat the Bulldogs last Friday by a 2-1 count in eight innings, rallying from 1-0 down in the bottom of the seventh inning. RELATED: Minnesota cools off Georgia in extra innings The Bulldogs would have to beat the Golden Gophers twice on Monday to advance to Super Regional play, where they’d travel to play LSU. All 13 SEC softball teams made the NCAA tournament (Vanderbilt does not have a team). Six of those league teams have advanced to NCAA Super Regional play. Georgia is in the only regional where all four teams had 40 regular-season wins, and the Bulldogs have also been battling the elements. UGA opened the tournament last Thursday beating Drake 6-4 on Ciara Bryan’s walk-off home run. WATCH: Ciara Bryan lifts Georgia with a blast over the fence! Temperatures dropped int0 the 40s when UGA played Minnesota last Friday, adding to the Golden Gophers home field advantage. Temperatures on Monday are expected to rise from the 30s into the 60s.       The post Georgia softball aims to heat up in Minnesota, survive for Super Regionals appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Kentucky is taking aim at Georgia football this season with hopes of ending a streak of futility, according to a recent Lexington Herald Leader story. The Bulldogs have dominated the SEC East Division the past two seasons. None of the East teams have managed to stay within single digits on the scoreboard by the conclusion of games against UGA in 2017 or 2018. RELATED: Georgia’s march to SEC Championship Game goes through Kentucky The Wildcats, as noted by Lexington Herald Leader reporter Mark Story, have a nine-game losing streak to Georgia, which he refers to as UK’s ‘bogeyman’ Kentucky has recently broken notable losing streaks to Steve Spurrier-coached teams (17 games, 2010), Tennessee (26 games, 2011) and last season in Dan Mullen’s first season coaching Florida, the Gators (31 games). Last year’s Kentucky team was confident it would end the streak against Georgia. UK was practically celebrating before playing UGA, taking out an ad in Times Square while rejecting the underdog role. RELATED: Confident Kentucky ready for UGA challenge at Kroger Field “The days of us being an underdog team are over,” UK tailback Benny Snell had said in the days leading up to the game. Georgia, of course, won the game and the Wildcats’ reality has set in this offseason. Story writes: “Of all the good works Stoops has done at UK, the Kentucky head man is 0-6 against the Bulldogs. Other than a 27-24 loss to Georgia in Lexington in 2016 during Kirby Smart’s first season after replacing Mark Richt  as Bulldogs coach, none of the games have been close. Under Stoops, UK’s other five losing margins against Georgia have been 42, 32, 24, 29 and 17 points.” Of course, this is why reports that Smart had offered Eddie Gran the offensive coordinator position once Jim Chaney left for Tennessee this offseason were suspect. After all, Kentucky’s offense ranked 103rd in the nation in total offense — well behind Georgia (18th). DawgNation learned that while a position on the staff was discussed, it was not to become the offensive coordinator, and no job was offered. RELATED: UGA did not offer Gran coordinator or position coach duties Meanwhile, it only made sense Gran would leverage his interview with Smart for a pay raise at Kentucky. If his athletic director and fan base believed Smart would hire him to be Georgia’s OC, all the better for him. But Smart had worked hard to keep James Coley in the fold as assistant offensive coordinator the season before, paying him $850,000. RELATED: James Coley puts his spin on Georgia football offense Coley was quickly elevated to offensive coordinator the same week Chaney left for the Vols, getting a $100,000 salary bump to $950,000. Georgia plays host to Kentucky in Sanford Stadium on Oct. 19 this season. The Bulldogs bring a four-game win streak against South Carolina into this season, and a three-game win streak against Missouri.       The post Georgia football called ‘bogeyman,’ giving SEC East opponent case of the blues appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Tom Barlow scored his first MLS goal to help the short-handed New York Red Bulls beat Atlanta United 1-0 on Sunday night and snap Atlanta's MLS-record streak of five consecutive shutouts. Atlanta United (6-4-2), which had 66.9% possession and outshot the Red Bulls 12-6, conceded its first goal since a 2-1 loss to FC Dallas on April 20. New York (5-5-2) played a man down after Tim Parker was shown a red card for denial of a goal-scoring opportunity by Josef Martinez in the 35th minute and was without Bradley-Wright Phillips and Aaron Long. Wright-Phillips, the Red Bulls' goals leader in each of the last five seasons, missed his fifth consecutive game with groin injury and Long, the reigning MLS Defender of the Year, missed his second straight with a hamstring injury. Daniel Royer, on the right side, played a long arcing ball to the far post where Barlow, who made his second career appearance when he came on in the 55th minute, side-netted a rolling header to make it 1-0 in the 65th minute. Luis Robles had two saves in his second clean sheet of the season for the Red Bulls. His 65 career shutouts are eighth most in MLS history. New York has won four of its last five games. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Georgia’s women tennis team fell barely short in its bid to win a national championship. The Bulldogs advanced all the way the NCAA finals, but they were swept 4-0 by Stanford, the defending national champions. UGA finishes the year with a 28-2 record, with the other loss being to South Carolina during the regular season. Ironically, the Bulldogs defeated Stanford 4-3 this past February. Georgia and Stanford has now met four times to play for the NCAA championship, with each team winning twice. With no seniors on the roster, UGA will be heavily favored to return to the finals. The post UGA women’s tennis falls just short in bid to win national championship appeared first on DawgNation.