Georgia to play Notre Dame in 2017, 2019

Georgia to play Notre Dame in 2017, 2019

June 26th, 2014 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia Bulldogs UGA logo

Georgia and Notre Dame cemented a two-game football series Wednesday, announcing mid-September matchups at South Bend in 2017 and in Athens in 2019.

"This series will generate an overwhelming level of excitement for our student-athletes and supporters," Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said in a release. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for Notre Dame and look forward to the start of this memorable experience."

The Bulldogs and Fighting Irish have never met in the regular season but collided in the Sugar Bowl after the 1980 season.

Georgia won 17-10 behind Herschel Walker's 150 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries to deliver the Bulldogs their only Associated Press national championship. The other 29 plays that Georgia used that afternoon netted minus-23 yards.

The Bulldogs would have met the Irish in the BCS championship game after the 2012 season in Miami, but Georgia came up 5 yards short in a 32-28 loss to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference title game.

"As our football schedules evolved with the start of our Atlantic Coast Conference competition in 2014, we had future games slated with top-drawer opponents in virtually all the major conferences," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a release. "One exception was the Southeastern Conference, so we are pleased now to be able to check that box. These will be two contests that will have great national appeal, in part because our only previous matchup came in a bowl game."

Georgia has played home-and-home series in the past decade with Colorado, Oklahoma State and Arizona State. The Bulldogs were scheduled to play Oregon in 2015-16 but had that series scratched in 2010, and they were scheduled to play Ohio State in 2020-21 but had that nixed in 2012.

"Playing Notre Dame will be an honor and a great challenge for us," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I have a lot of respect for the job Coach [Brian] Kelly is doing there, and I'm sure college football fans across the country will enjoy watching our two teams compete."

The Bulldogs have not played north of the Mason-Dixon line since 1965, when they upset Michigan in Vince Dooley's second season as coach.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.