BGI Staff Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Georgia

September 8, 2017 Bryan Driskell, Football Analyst

We are just a day away from Notre Dame's huge matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs, a team many predict to win the SEC East this season.

It marks just the second time the two teams have met, with the last coming in the 1981 Sugar Bowl.

The Blue & Gold Illustrated staff has broken down the game and provided week-long content, but now it's time to make final predictions for the game.

Lou Somogyi, Senior Editor

My head has been telling me all week that we’ve seen this script before: a marquee game for Notre Dame, a chance to make a statement, lots of recruits at the game … and then the bed gets soiled. I did pick Georgia in the print publication prior to Jacob Eason’s injury. Who knows, that could galvanize Georgia even more. Georgia wants to win this game, but Notre Dame needs to. Have to go with my heart and the homer in me.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame 27, Georgia 24

Bryan Driskell, Football Analyst

I've really gone back and forth all week. There are times when I'm watching film of Georgia and I think, "Notre Dame is going to whip this team." Then there are other times I'm watching film - usually involving Nick Chubb or Sony Michel gashing a team on the ground, or the Georgia defense pushing back someone's offensive line - where I cringe and think, "Not sure Notre Dame can pull this one out."

It really boils down to whether or not Notre Dame has truly moved past last season. Will it be a team that has the physical toughness, mental fortitude and necessary attitude to go toe-to-toe with a team like Georgia? If it is, and if the Irish can play a relatively clean game, it will win.

If Georgia is the more physical team and plays a cleaner game, the Irish won't be able to pull this one off. Ultimately, I believe the Notre Dame defense is going to be able to make enough stops to give the offense a chance to win, and the Irish will wear Georgia down late to pull away.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame 26, Georgia 23

David McKinney, Recruiting Reporter

I torn on this. I’ve gone back and forth for weeks trying to decide who walks away from this game with a win. Even after it was announced that freshman quarterback Jake Fromm would start the game at quarterback. What it comes down to for me is the Notre Dame defensive line, specifically Daelin Hayes, and Brandon Wimbush. I think Hayes is going to lay an early hit on Fromm and set the tone for a defense that will be getting after the quarterback all day.

It’s going to be a close one, and I’m predicting this will be the first game where Wimbush is called upon to lead a game-winning drive. Can he do it? I believe so. With 2:30 to go, Notre Dame will get the ball back down 27-21. Irish win 28-27 in an instant classic.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame 28, Georgia 27

Corey Bodden, Recruiting Reporter

Notre Dame Stadium will be rocking Saturday night for this highly anticipated matchup between No. 15 Georgia and No. 24 Notre Dame. The Bulldogs will be throwing out freshman Jake Fromm, who is making his first career start after sophomore Jacob Eason went down with an injury against Appalachian State.

For the Irish, I think this game comes down to their ability to slow down Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. With a freshman quarterback, the Bulldogs may rely on their star tailbacks to carry the offense while Fromm gets settled into the game. It will be interesting how much Georgia head coach Kirby Smart opens up the playbook for the freshman. The Bulldogs could take some shots deep to prevent the Irish from loading the box.

If Notre Dame can strike early and put a little pressure on Georgia and force their hand on offense with Fromm, the Irish can pull out the big victory in front of a rowdy crowd and some top recruits.

PREDICTION: Notre Dame 34, Georgia 28

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