Notre Dame isn’t very good, so let’s not overreact to Georgia’s win over the Fighting Irish on Saturday.
It’s not quite time to put the Bulldogs into the conversation about the contenders to win a national title in head coach Kirby Smart’s second season.
That said, the win could be a big-time boost for Smart’s second team and Smart’s program in general. And that’s a big start.
Georgia won eight games in Smart’s debut season, but none of those games really counted as a marquee win. And while the Fighting Irish aren’t good this year — they won four games last year and had no business being ranked entering Saturday’s game against the Bulldogs — winning in South Bend, Indiana, is a good jumping off point for a program trying to get its footing.
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That’s exactly what Georgia enjoyed Saturday.
The defense was dominant, former Houston County quarterback Jake Fromm was solid in his first career Georgia start, and the Bulldogs made the plays they needed to make to win a showcase game on the road. It was the kind of game Georgia probably would have lost last year and maybe for a couple of years before that.
Remember the Tennessee and Vanderbilt games in 2016? Those were games in which Georgia needed to make one or two more plays to win, and the Bulldogs couldn’t quite get it done.
On Saturday, they got it done.
Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy came up with big play after big play and finally looked like the players Georgia fans have been waiting to see for years. Terry Godwin made an unbelievable highlight catch for a touchdown, and Fromm did the things he needed to do to win his first start, even at those times when he did look like a freshman.
Smart had to love every bit of it. There was a toughness to the win. A grit to the win. A determination to the win.
Those things have been missing from the Georgia program for years. That’s the kind of program all college football fans want to see their program become. Those are the kind of programs that win championships.
And Georgia took a nice step in that direction Saturday.