Bulldogs Beat

College GameDay is coming back to Athens. A brief look at previous matchups

ESPN’s “College GameDay” has become a staple of college football Saturdays across the country. Fans tune in every Saturday morning as they prepare to feast their eyes on a full afternoon of action.

This Saturday, GameDay comes to Athens for the fourth time as Georgia takes on Notre Dame.

“It’s definitely just going to add more attention to the game,” Bulldog offensive lineman Cade Mays said. “Everybody’s just going to look forward to it all day.”

The Bulldogs are 6-14 all time when College GameDay has been on site for a game. Looking specifically at regular season matchups, Georgia is 5-10. Here’s a look at how the previous contests have turned out:

Sept. 9, 1995 - UGA at No. 8 Tennessee, 30-27 L

On the road against Peyton Manning and the Volunteers, the unranked Bulldogs found themselves in a tie game at 27 in the fourth quarter. Kirby Smart picked off a pass in the closing minutes to set Georgia up, but a long field goal was missed by Dax Langley. Manning then drove the Volunteers down the field for an eventual game-winning field goal by Jeff Hall with 10 seconds left.

Oct. 10, 1998 - No. 7 UGA vs. No. 5 Tennessee, 22-3 L

GameDay’s first visit to Athens saw the crew set up on the roof of the Tate Student Center. The Bulldogs probably were ready to escape to the Student Center once the game got underway, as they were steamrolled by the Volunteers. Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin broke the game open with a pair of short touchdown passes early in the second half as the Volunteers made it eight in a row over the Bulldogs.

Oct. 30, 1999 - No. 10 UGA vs. No. 5 Florida, 30-14 L

Facing the higher-ranked Gators, Georgia found itself trailing just 16-14 about halfway through the fourth-quarter. But Florida scored a pair of touchdowns just 60 seconds apart in the final frame to pull away and secure its eighth victory in nine tries in the series.

Oct. 5, 2002 - No. 6 UGA at No. 22 Alabama, 27-25 W

Georgia entered this contest having never won in Tuscaloosa, and after blowing a 24-12 fourth quarter lead it looked like that might continue. But David Greene engineered a late drive that culminated in a Billy Bennett field goal, giving the Bulldogs a 5-0 start on their way to an SEC championship.

Nov. 2, 2002 - No. 5 UGA vs. No. 22 Florida, 20-13 L

The only loss in Georgia’s 13-1 2002 campaign came with GameDay in town. The Bulldogs failed to clinch its first SEC East title in a game where they went 0-for-13 on third downs. This loss ultimately kept Georgia from playing for the BCS national championship.

Sept. 20, 2003 - No. 7 UGA at No. 11 LSU, 17-10 L

In what turned out to be a preview of the year’s SEC championship game, Georgia tied the game in Baton Rouge on a 93-yard screen pass from Greene to Tyson Browning with 4:46 left to play. But the Tigers responded, with Matt Mauck connecting with Skyler Green for the winning 34-yard touchdown with 1:30 remaining.

Sept. 11, 2004 - No. 4 UGA at South Carolina, 20-16 W

Going on the road to start conference play, the favored Bulldogs trailed 16-6 at halftime. But a pair of second-half touchdowns from Greene, including the winner to Reggie Brown in the fourth quarter, lifted Georgia to the win.

Nov. 13, 2004 - No. 5 UGA at No. 3 Auburn, 24-6 L

Georgia’s hopes of a third-straight SEC title game appearance were dashed by a dominating performance turned in by the Tigers. Auburn led 17-0 at halftime and eventually stretched the lead to 24-0 before a late touchdown made the final score a tad more respectable.

Oct. 29, 2005 - No. 4 UGA vs. No. 16 Florida, 14-10 L

The Bulldogs entered this tilt undefeated, but also without starting quarterback D.J. Shockley due to injury. Just like in 2002 the defense kept the Bulldogs around, but the offense was ultimately unable to do enough for Georgia to pull out the victory in Jacksonville.

Sept. 22, 2007 - No. 22 UGA at No. 16 Alabama, 26-23 W (OT)

For the second time in a row, GameDay was on hand for Georgia’s road trip to Tuscaloosa. The Bulldogs led most of the way before a late Crimson Tide touchdown forced the game to overtime. After an Alabama field goal, Matthew Stafford found Mikey Henderson in the end zone on the first play of Georgia’s possession to steal a win for the Bulldogs.

Sept. 27, 2008 - No. 3 UGA vs. No. 8 Alabama, 41-30 L

In one of the series’ more iconic moments, Lee Corso picked Alabama on GameDay after looking at Uga and declaring in front of fans at Myers Quad, “That dog is ugly!” With a blackout in full effect in Sanford Stadium, Corso must have been saying the same thing about the Bulldogs’ play on the field. The Crimson Tide steamrolled to a 31-0 halftime lead before Georgia made the score a little nicer to look at with a second half rally.

Oct. 6, 2012 - No. 5 UGA at No. 6 South Carolina, 35-7 L

GameDay shied away from Georgia for just over four years after the Alabama debacle. After this night in Columbia, the crew probably wished they had continued to stay away. The Gamecocks stormed to a 21-0 first quarter lead, highlighted by a 70-yard punt return touchdown by Ace Sanders, and then cruised in the second half en route to the win.

Aug. 31, 2013 - No. 5 UGA at No. 8 Clemson, 38-35 L

In the first game following the stellar 2012 season, the Bulldogs fell victim to a young defense and the power of Death Valley. Clemson’s offense hummed throughout the game and eventually outdueled Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs in a game that featured over 1,000 combined yards of offense.

Sept. 28, 2013 - No. 9 UGA vs. No. 6 LSU, 44-41 W

In GameDay’s most recent visit to Athens, Corso played to the wishes of the crowd and picked LSU to win to avoid cursing Georgia. It worked, as the Bulldogs came out on top in one of the most exciting games Sanford Stadium has ever seen. In a game that featured five ties and four lead changes, Murray sent Bulldogs everywhere into hysterics with a game-winning 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 to go. The defense held off Zach Mettenberger and the Tigers on the ensuing drive to give Georgia the victory.

Oct. 27, 2018 - No. 7 UGA vs. No. 9 Florida, 36-17 W

The Bulldogs returned to GameDay’s regular season stage last season in Jacksonville, the fourth time the series has hosted the show. Georgia led 13-7 at halftime and then outscored the Gators 23-10 after halftime for their second consecutive win in the series.

Some things stand out from looking at these 15 contests. For one, the Bulldogs have lost six games as the higher-ranked team, the same situation they will be in against Notre Dame. Of the five wins in regular season Gameday matchups, four have come by four points or less.

These stats don’t really have any bearing on what will happen on Saturday night in Athens. But just like the mere presence of the show itself, they seem to indicate fans will be in store for a great matchup between the Bulldogs and Fighting Irish.

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