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#7 Irish Set For Top-10 Tilt at #3 Georgia

DateSaturday, September 21, 2019
Time8 p.m. ET
Site: Sanford Stadium
• Athens, GA
• Capacity 92,746 (Bermuda Grass)
TV:TV: CBS (national)
Brad Nessler (play-by-play)
Gary Danielson (analysis)
Jamie Erdahl (sideline)
Radio:Notre Dame Radio Network
Tickets: Notre Dame Ticket Exchange powered by
1Freshman Kyle Hamilton is the only true freshman in the country with an interception return for a touchdown. His 34-yard return was the first score for teh Irish against New Mexico.
2Notre Dame’s visit to No. 3/3 Georgia will mark just the second time the Irish will face a top-five SEC team on the opponent’s home field in school history. The No. 24 Irish fell 38-14 at No. 4 Tennessee in 1999.
3Notre Dame recorded at least 66 points in a game for just the third time since 1932 in tis 66-14 win over New Mexico. The other two occasions were a 69-13 win over Pittsburgh in 1965 and a 69-14 victory over Georgia Tech in 1977.
6Ian Book accounted for six touchdowns against New Mexico (five passing, one rush) to join four other players as the FBS single-game leaders for total touchdowns in a game this season.
7With ESPN’s College GameDay making an appearance in Athens this weekend, it will mark the 30th time the pregame show will appear before a game featuring the Irish and the 12th time in the Brian Kelly era. That is the seventh-most of any program in the nation. The College GameDay show started at Notre Dame, visiting campus for the 1993 Notre Dame-Florida State contest.
9Notre Dame is averaging 9.0 TFL per game this season, a number that ranks ninth nationally among all FBS teams. Daelin Hayes, who wears No. 9 on defense for the Irish, leads the team with three TFL.
10Brian Kelly continues his 10th season as the head coach at the University of Notre Dame, becoming just the fifth Irish coach to spend a decade or more at the school (Knute Rockne, 13; Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Lou Holtz 11).
12Notre Dame has won 12 consecutive games at Notre Dame Stadium, including a 6-0 clean slate last season. It is the third-longest winning streak at home for the Irish since Notre Dame Stadium opened in 1930.
19.07Ian Book leads all Power 5 quarterbacks in yards-per-completion with a 19.07 average (he ranks second among all FBS quarterbacks in that category).
20.2Notre Dame skill players have averaged 20.2 yards after the catch this season (31 receptions, 627 yards-after-catch) – the best among Power 5 teams.
30Notre Dame has held its opponents to 30 points or less in 16 consecutive games, matching Washington for the FBS lead in that category.
41.5Notre Dame leads all FBS teams for opponent completion percentage, as Irish opponents are 22-for-53 (41.5%) in the first two games.
90%In the Brian Kelly era, Notre Dame has played a game in nine of the top 10 media markets across the country and 13 of the top 20.
101Notre Dame has scored 101 points over its first two games (35 at Louisville; 66 vs. New Mexico) which is the highest two-game total for the team since 1932 (135 points, 73-0 vs. Haskell; 62-0 vs. Drake).
153.3Career passing efficiency rating for Ian Book. Saturday’s game features two quarterbacks ranked in the top 10 for career pass efficiency – Book (ninth) and Georgia’s Jake Fromm (second, 168.26).
268The Notre Dame Stadium sell-out streak stands at 268 consecutive games, the second-longest in NCAA history.
348^Games coached by Brian Kelly in his career, second among active coaches in the NCAA to Mack Brown (North Carolina).
1,041Notre Dame running backs have gone 1,041 carries without losing a fumble – dating back to Nov. 21, 2015. It is the second-longest active streak in FBS behind Northwestern’s 1,076-carry streak.
2,205Over the last eight games, Ian Book has thrown for 2,205 yards, the fifth-most among all active FBS quarterbacks.
Head CoachAt SchoolOverallvs. Opponent
Notre DameBrian Kelly83-35 (10th year)^254-92-2 (29th year)^0-1
GeorgiaKirby Smart35-10 (4th year)25-10 (4th year)1-0

ˆ Includes 20 regular-season wins and two postseason appearances vacated under discretionary NCAA penalty


  • Notre Dame will be playing a third-ranked (AP) opponent for the 21st time on Saturday evening, posting a 7-11-2 (.400) mark in the previous 20 match-ups against No. 3. The most recent victory over No. 3 came in 2005, when the Irish knocked off No. 3 Michigan 17-10 in Ann Arbor.
  • After a stretch of an 0-8-1 record against a number-three ranked team from 1956 through 1986, Notre Dame has won four of its last six meetings against No. 3.
  • The Irish are 39-60-5 (.399) all-time against top-five ranked opponents and are pursuing the first win over a top-five team under Brian Kelly (0-4) and the first for the program since the win at Michigan in 2005.
  • Notre Dame is 51-39-5 (.563) all-time in its 95 match-ups between two top-10 teams. Brian Kelly has two of those 51 wins – 2012 at Oklahoma (30-13) and last season in Notre Dame Stadium over No. 7 Stanford (38-17).
Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website


  • Notre Dame and Georgia will be meeting for the third time Saturday afternoon, with the Bulldogs claiming the first two meetings in the series – the 1980 Sugar Bowl and the first of a two-game home-and-home series at Notre Dame Stadium in 2017.


  • Before the BCS, before the College Football Playoff, even before conference bowl tie-ins, there was the amazingly complex and politically wrought college bowl system. Bowls competed for teams before the season ended, sometimes signing agreements for bowl match-ups before the schedule was even complete.
  • Notre Dame spent the 1980 season, Dan Devine’s final year, slowly climbing the national rankings to No. 1 in early November. A shocking tie suffered at Georgia Tech (3-3) pushed the Irish back down to No. 6 – but Notre Dame rallied the next week with a victory over No. 5 Alabama at Legion Field in Birmingham to set up a date in the Sugar Bowl with undefeated and top-ranked Georgia.
  • Notre Dame still had one game left to play, however, and a 20-3 setback at No. 17 Southern Cal meant that the highly anticipated No. 1 vs. No. 2 match in the Sugar Bowl would not take place, but the Bulldogs would still have a strong claim to the national title with a victory over No. 7 Notre Dame.
  • The 1981 Sugar Bowl numbers are baffling over 35 years later. Georgia completed just one pass in the game (it was a big one, a third and seven completion that allowed Georgia to run out the clock with just over two minutes left). Freshman Herschel Walker ran for 150 yards on 36 carries after separating his shoulder in the first half – while the rest of the team accounted for minus-30 yards.
  • Notre Dame missed a field goal, had a field goal blocked, muffed a kick return to gift Georgia the ball on the one-yard line and fumbled on its own 22-yard line. Georgia took advantage of those miscues to turn three of those turnovers into a 17-10 victory.


  • Georgia’s first trip north since a 1965 journey to Michigan proved to be a defensive battle, as the Bulldogs edged the Irish 20-19. Georgia claimed the lead on a field goal with 3:39 remaining, then forced a fumble with 1:27 left to secure the victory.
  • Tony Jones Jr. rushed one time and had one reception in the 2017 meeting, while Chris Finke ended the game with three catches for 36 yards.
  • Daelin Hayes had a fumble recovery on defense for the Irish, while Jordan Genmark Heath, Kurt Hinish, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and Jalen Elliott also saw action against the Bulldogs.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website


  • Junior quarterback Ian Book’s 406 yards of total offense against New Mexico was just the 11th time and Irish quarterback has compiled over 400 yards of total offense since 1996. It was the most since Book posted 399 at Northwestern last season, while DeShone Kizer’s 472 yards against Syracuse in 2016 marked the most recent game with a QB reaching over 400 yards of total offense. Six of the top 12 single-game yardage performance from a quarterback since 1996 have occurred during the Brian Kelly era.
  • Book is second in the country in yards per completion, rolling up 553 yards on 29 completions over the first two games of the season (UTEP’s Brandon Jones leads all FBS quarterbacks with a 20.6 average). Book leads all Power 5 quarterbacks in that category.
  • Book boasts solid numbers when the game is on the line. He is tied with three other Power 5 quarterbacks with six completions of 20-or-more yards in close and late-game situations over the past eight games.
  • Book has shown a penchant for solid second-half performances and the number back up that premise. Over the past eight games, Book leads all FBS quarterbacks in second-half passer rating.
  • Book also embraces the challenge in passing situations. Over the past four games, Book is second in the FBS in terms of yards per completion when the Irish face a down with seven or more yards to gain for a first down.


  • Notre Dame has held 16 consecutive opponents below 30 points entering the game at Georgia. The Irish are tied with Washington for the FBS lead in that category.
  • Notre Dame opponents have averaged 50.2 passing attempts per passing touchdown (452 attempts, 9 passing TD) over the past 12 games – the best in the FBS.


  • The 66 points scored by the Irish against New Mexico were the most for Notre Dame since they scored 69 points against Georgia Tech in Notre Dame Stadium on Nov. 5, 1977. It was only the third time Notre Dame has surpassed 66 since the 1932 season when the team scored 73 points against Haskell.
  • The Irish lead all Power 5 teams in yards after catch in 2019.
  • The Notre Dame wide receivers have averaged 23.4 yards from scrimmage per touch this season — the best among all Power 5 teams.
  • Notre Dame has completed passes for over 20 yards on 13 of its 46 attempts this season (28.3%) – the second-best rate in the FBS
  • Since the start of the 2018 season, the Notre Dame offensive line has allowed pressure on Ian Book in third and long situations just 13.8% of the time – the fifth-best rate in the Power 5.
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  • Chase Claypool has logged nine receptions for 20 or more yards over his past four games, which is the fifth-best among FBS WRs.
  • Kyle Hamilton scored the first touchdown of the victory over New Mexico last weekend on a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was the first touchdown of the true freshman’s career and was the first ‘pick six’ for a freshman since Robert Blanton’s against Purdue in 2008.
  • Hamilton’s score also marked the first time since 2002 that the first touchdown of the season in Notre Dame Stadium for the Irish was scored by the defense since a Gerome Sapp 54-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Purdue in 2002.
  • Finally, Hamilton’s interception return for a touchdown was the first in a home opener since Deveron Harper’s against Kansas for Notre Dame’s second touchdown in 1999.
  • First Touches – A number of Irish players have recorded touchdowns on either their first career touch, or the first touch of the season:
  • Sophomore Jahmir Smith scored on his first carry of the season, a three-yard plunge in the season opener at Louisville.
  • Sophomore Tommy Tremble’s first career reception ended up as a 26-yard touchdown catch against Louisville.
  • Junior Avery Davis, who switched from defensive back to running back due to injuries in the Irish offensive backfield, caught his first pass (a short shovel pass from Ian Book) and ran 59 yards untouched for a touchdown against New Mexico.
  • While not technically his first ‘touch’ as he recorded two pass break-ups in the opener at Louisville, freshman Kyle Hamilton scored on his first full touch against New Mexico — an interception return for a touchdown.
  • Do second touches count? Sophomore Braden Lenzy caught a 22-yard touchdown pass on his second reception of the season versus New Mexico while senior Javon McKinley’s second and third receptions of the season were both turned into scores against the Lobos.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website


  • Notre Dame leads all FBS teams in attendance-record-setting games, with another possible two record-setting games coming up this season (at Georgia, at Michigan).
  • Georgia is installing additional seating in Sanford Stadium this weekend and is expected to set a new attendance record of 93,246 Saturday evening – which will be the FBS-leading 10th college football stadium in which Notre Dame will have helped set an attendance record (and second this season after the visit to Louisville to start the year).


  • Noteworthy historical games/performances for Notre Dame football on and around September 21:
  • September 20, 1980 Harry Oliver kicks a 51-yard field goal as time expires to provide an improbably 29-27 victory over Michigan.
  • September 21, 1996 – In front of a then-record crowd of 83,312 at Texas Memorial Stadium, No. 9 Notre Dame rallies to upset No. 6 Texas 27-24 when freshman Jim Sanson kicked a 39-yard field goal as time expired.
  • September 22, 1956 – After rattling off 28 September games without a loss, SMU defeats the Irish 19-13 to deal the program its first-ever loss in the month of September (Notre dame was 25-0-3 before the trip to SMU).

Notre Dame vs. SEC

  • Notre Dame is 29-19 (.604) all-time against the SEC and 9-5 (.563) on the road against SEC opponents.
  • The most recent SEC opponent the Irish have faced came just last season when Notre Dame defeated Vanderbilt 22-17 at Notre Dame Stadium on September 15.
  • Notre Dame’s most recent visit to an SEC opponent occurred in 2004, when an unranked Irish team knocked off No. 9 Tennessee 17-13 in Nehland Stadium.
  • Notre Dame has faced a top-five ranked SEC opponent 10 times – posting a 5-5 record in those contests (wins vs. Alabama in 1973 Sugar and 1975 Orange Bowls, along with a win over the Crimson Tide in Birmingham in 1980; vs. Florida in the 1992 Sugar Bowl; vs. Texas A&M in the 1993 Cotton Bowl).
  • Saturday night’s game marks the first for Notre Dame against a top-five ranked SEC team on its home field since the Irish fell 38-14 at Tennessee in 1999.
  • Notre Dame has already announced future home-and-home series with SEC opponents:
    • Arkansas – Home 2020; Away 2025
    • Alabama – Home 2028; Away 2029
    • Texas A&M – Away, 2024; Home 2025


  • Three Notre Dame football alums have been named team captains for the 2019-20 NFL season. Jaylon Smith and Zack Martin were named captains for the Dallas Cowboys, while Kyle Rudolph was named a captain for the Minnesota Vikings.