Notre Dame, Georgia football to play in 2017, 2019
BY LAMOND POPE Sun-Times Media June 25, 2014 10:21PM
Georgia head coach Mark Richt points to the crowd after their 55-7 win over Idaho State in an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 in Athens, Ga. . (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Updated: July 27, 2014 8:24AM
Notre Dame hasn’t faced a Southeastern Conference team during the regular season since 2005.
That will change in 2017.
The Irish said Wednesday they will play a home-and-home series against Georgia. The teams will play Sept. 9, 2017, in South Bend, Indiana, and Sept. 21, 2019, in Athens, Georgia.
‘‘These are two very
attractive football games against a Georgia program that also has impressive history and tradition,’’ Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. ‘‘[Georgia coach] Mark Richt has done an excellent job keeping that program at the forefront, both in the SEC and nationally.’’
The 2017 game against the Bulldogs will be the Irish’s first in the regular season against an SEC team since they beat Tennessee on Nov. 5, 2005. Notre Dame’s most recent game against an SEC school was its loss to Alabama in the BCS title game Jan. 7, 2013.
‘‘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,’’ Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. ‘‘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 won the only meeting between the teams 17-10 in the 1981 Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans.
The schools have been discussing a series for several months.
‘‘Playing Notre Dame will be an honor and a great challenge for us,’’ Richt said in a statement. ‘‘I have a lot of respect for the job coach Kelly is doing there, and I’m sure college football fans across the country will
enjoy watching our two teams compete.’’