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Notre Dame Football: The Georgia Hangover

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Southern Comfort? More like hell in a hand basket.

Georgia v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

This week's hangover for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is drenched in red after losing to the Georgia Bulldogs 20-19 in Notre Dame Stadium.

PUTTING AN A.P.B. OUT ON DEXTER WILLIAMS

There's something a little comical about the complete lack of Dexter Williams in this offense. While we may only be laughing to keep from crying, the explanations are just too vague to comprehend.

FIND DEXTER WILLIAMS
Twitter @SamRoseWatson

Williams had 0 carries for 0 yards and 0 touchdowns against the Bulldogs. He also had 0 snaps on the offensive side of the ball despite playing on special teams.

An "explanation" was given at Brian Kelly's Sunday press conference:

Q. Can we expect to see Dexter Williams in action on Saturday after seeing no plays at all from him yesterday?

BRIAN KELLY: You know, it really depends. He's -- you know, a fine back, but we really have high regard for Josh Adams. Do you like Josh?

Q. I like Josh Adams, but it did seem unusual to see no plays at all from Dexter.

BRIAN KELLY: Well, I don't think it's very unusual to go with what you consider your top back. So we'll try to get him in. They're all really fine backs, but it's hard to get them all in the game. We love Dexter too. It's just really difficult to get them all in the game. Josh is a real fine pass blocker. They did a lot of confusing things with blitzes and stunts up front. So Josh is really good at that stuff.

It goes week to week, you know. We'll see what happens next week.

The irony of that answer is that in a lot of years, I think we would have wanted it that way instead of dividing the carries up each game. This year, however, it just seems like the wrong move. It gets worse when you look at the non-production of the plays Tony Jones is in for.

Against Georgia, perhaps it wouldn't have even mattered as Jones only got one carry. I'm just saying that this whole playing time issue with Dexter Williams is weird, and no one outside of the locker room understands why it is happening. Maybe some inside don't understand it either.

A RED SEA IS A DANGEROUS SEA

NCAA Football: Georgia at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

I don't think I'll ever be able to block the images from my mind. I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive the Notre Dame fans either.

Look, I get it... we are all capitalists, and in many ways the things that happened on Saturday were expected and somewhat accepted. Regardless of all of that, it was a bad look.

Long has Notre Dame had an issue with actually having any home field advantage, but what little advantage that was there — was there. Saturday, Georgia trotted out a true freshman quarterback that should have had communication issues all game long, but instead, he was able to operate with little resistance from the crowd.

Kirby Smart wasn't just giving a cheap pop or paying lip service in his post game press conference:

I'm proud of our fans. Proud of the fact that they came out. The video shots I saw from Chicago before the game and take-over when we got here, that played a role in this game. So we never felt like it was so much of a road game. I mean, there was times our quarterback was able to go for his own cadence, which you don't usually get to do on the road. You don't get to do it on the road in the SEC, the fan base don't let you do that. We were able to go with ours and I thought a lot of it had to do with the red and black.

Notre Dame fans should be embarrassed with that performance. They should also be humbled. Long have the Irish faithful turned their noses up at just about anything that has to do with the SEC, but the brutal truth is the brutal truth.

AT LEAST THE DEFENSE LOOKED BETTER

The Hangover

That's what a lot of us were thinking and saying out loud. It's true, the defense played its heart out and there were more than a handful of players that really stood out.

  • Nick Watkins had an impressive game with 7 tackles and 2 pass breakups. He also had 1 QB hurry.
  • Jay Hayes did a good job of setting the edge and had 7 tackles.
  • Nyles Morgan had 7 tackles and 1.5 TFL including a sack.
  • Jerry Tillery had 5 tackles and 2 QB hurries.

Collectively they didn't allow a 100-yard rusher and Jake Fromm only threw for 141 yards. Still, Georgia did get 189 yards total on the ground, and they made big plays when they absolutely had to. Sometimes that was aided by a penalty.

Georgia was just 4-17 on 3rd down, which meant that the Irish defense was getting off the field. They also forced 2 turnovers. But, it just wasn't enough. It was a game that Notre Dame needed the defense to win it for them, but just came up a bit shorter than what was required.

Still, they looked much better.

MOVING FORWARD

Quite simply, the Boston College Eagles are up next for Notre Dame's first road game of the season. It's a chance to get back on track as we all wait for another crack at a top team in the USC Trojans.