No. 3 Georgia got a scare in the final minutes, but its defense held on to preserve a 23-17 win over No. 7 Notre Dame on Saturday.
With the victory, the Bulldogs pick up a signature win that figures to go a long way in their pursuit of the College Football Playoff.
MORE: Watch Notre Dame vs. Georgia live on fuboTV
Georgia stymied a Notre Dame offense that entered the day averaging 50.5 points per game after big wins over Louisville and New Mexico. Ian Book was particularly pestered in the second half, recording two interceptions and causing the Irish to fall into a double-digit hole early in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 23-10 after a Georgia field goal, Book led Notre Dame downfield and into the end zone with just over three minutes to play to bring the Irish within one possession. Notre Dame prevented Georgia from running out the clock with a defensive stop, getting the ball back with two minutes to go.
Georgia’s defense contained the Notre Dame attack throughout the night and showed up in the clutch. Book was able to get the Irish into Georgia territory, but Notre Dame’s chances ended there. On 4th-and-long, the Bulldogs pressured Book into launching a pass that was batted down, putting the finishing touches on the win.
In front of the largest crowd in Sanford Stadium history, Notre Dame recorded 12 penalties and had trouble finding an offensive rhythm in the second half. Georgia’s complete effort against Notre Dame will help the Bulldogs carry momentum into SEC play.
Check out Sporting News’ key updates and highlights of Georgia’s win over Notre Dame:
Notre Dame vs. Georgia score
Notre Dame vs. Georgia updates, highlights
(All times Eastern)
Final: Georgia 23, Notre Dame 17
11:38 p.m.: Georgia wins 23-17.
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11:37 p.m.: On fourth down, Book scrambles and has to launch a pass deep downfield under pressure — it’s knocked away by the Georgia defense Georgia will win.
11:35 p.m.: Notre Dame is faced with a third-and-9 with 58 seconds remaining at the 38.
11:34 p.m.: Book moves the ball downfield with completions on sideline routes. The Irish are in Georgia territory.
11:32 p.m.: The Fighting Irish will get their chance; Fromm bobbles the snap but recovers and his deep attempt is knocked away, giving the ball back to Notre Dame with two minutes to go.
11:28 p.m.: Notre Dame chooses against an onside kick and instead boots it to Georgia in hopes of a defensive stop and change of possession.
11:24 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, NOTRE DAME. The Fighting Irish find their way into the end zone with 3:12 remaining. Book hits Chase Claypool on a four-yard curl route for the score. Georgia 23, Notre Dame 17.
11:20 p.m.: Book connects with Kmet in coverage for a 31-yard gain and Notre Dame is within the red zone with four and a half minutes to play.
11:11 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, GEORGIA. Fromm’s scramble on third down was just short of the sticks, but Blankenship’s 43-yard attempt is good, extending the Georgia lead. Georgia 23, Notre Dame 10.
11:01 p.m.: Notre Dame tries to fool the defense by going with the flea-flicker, but Book’s pass is intercepted down the sideline by J.R. Reed, his second pick of the day. Momentum is all in favor of Georgia with just over 11 minutes to go.
10:53 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, GEORGIA. Fromm’s lob in the end zone finds Cager, who’s able to get his foot in-bounds for the 15-yard touchdown grab. Cager had 61 receiving yards on the drive. Georgia 20, Notre Dame 10.
10:49 p.m.: Fromm hits Lawrence Cager on a 39-yard completion down the sideline and Georgia is again within striking distance.
Third quarter: Georgia 13, Notre Dame 10
10:37 p.m.: Notre Dame’s fifth false start penalty of the night forces a third-and-long, which the Irish fail to convert after calling a timeout.
10:28 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, GEORGIA. Blankenship puts a 31-yard field goal through the uprights to give Georgia its first lead of the night. Georgia 13, Notre Dame 10.
10:24 p.m.: Fromm has two nice completions downfield to get Georgia to the Notre Dame 20. Bulldogs operating in the hurry-up offense.
10:18 p.m.: Georgia shuts down Notre Dame on the following drive, forcing a three-and-out. Bulldogs will get the ball back with a chance to take the lead.
10:10 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, GEORGIA. The Bulldogs are unable to move the ball on their drive and have to settle for a Rodrigo Blankenship 40-yard field goal. Georgia 10, Notre Dame 10.
10:06 p.m.: Book’s pass goes through the hands of his target and is picked off by Divaad Wilson. He gathers the pick, spins free of the Notre Dame linemen and fumbles the ball out of bounds. Georgia sets up shop at the Notre Dame 22.
10:02 p.m.: The Bulldogs’ drive stalls and they punt it to Notre Dame for a touchback.
9:55 p.m.: Georgia takes the second-half kickoff and starts at its own 16-yard line trailing 10-7.
Halftime: Notre Dame 10, Georgia 7
First downs: Notre Dame 7, Georgia 7
Third downs: Georgia 3-5, Notre Dame 1-6
Passing: Notre Dame 146, Georgia 59
Rushing: Georgia 55, Notre Dame 17
Penalties: Georgia 4 for 23, Notre Dame 5 for 35
Turnovers: Notre Dame 0, Georgia 1
Possession: Georgia 16:01, Notre Dame 13:59
9:35 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, NOTRE DAME. Jonathan Doerer hits a 27-yard field goal as the clock hits zero in the first half. Notre Dame 10, Georgia 7.
9:32 p.m.: With 0:09 left, Notre Dame has the ball on the Georgia 9 and takes an end zone shot that falls incomplete. Kicking team will come on to try to take the lead before half.
9:26 p.m.: Book has a pair of pinpointed throws to get the Irish into the red zone with 0:50 remaining in the half.
9:19 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, GEORGIA. Fromm strings together a perfect 5-of-5 drive and D’Andre Swift punches it in for a 3-yard score. Georgia 7, Notre Dame 7.
9:04 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, NOTRE DAME. The Irish get into the end zone on 4th-and-goal from the half-yard line as Book rolls out and hits Cole Kmet for the score. Notre Dame 7, Georgia 0.
8:56 p.m.: Notre Dame punts it to Georgia but gets it back after Tyler Simmons muffs a fair catch inside the 10-yard line. Irish have first-and-goal.
First quarter: Georgia 0, Notre Dame 0
8:41 p.m.: Georgia moves the ball near midfield but the Irish again show pressure and disrupt Fromm, forcing a punt. Notre Dame will start its next drive at its own 14.
8:36 p.m.: The Irish line up to go for it on 4th-and-2 on the Georgia 32. Book mishandles the bad snap, retrieves the football and launches a pass that is nearly completed to Lawrence Keys III. Ball back to Georgia.
8:26 p.m.: The Fighting Irish pressure Fromm into dump-offs that don’t go anywhere. A poor punt gives Notre Dame the ball in Georgia territory.
8:20 p.m.: Notre Dame’s drive stalls after Georgia locks down on third-and-long. Bulldogs set up their first drive on their own 9-yard line.
7:48 p.m.: In case there were any doubts about the overall interest in Notre Dame-Georgia this weekend: