Georgia football coach Mark Richt will have Notre Dame on his schedule in 2017 and ‘19 after the schools agreed on a home-and-home series on Wednesday. (Herald file photo)
ATHENS — Georgia and Notre Dame, two of the college football programs richest in history and tradition, have agreed to a two-game series, UGA Director of Athletics Greg McGarity said on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs and Fighting Irish will play in South Bend, Ind., on Sept. 9, 2017, and in Athens on Sept. 21, 2019.
“This series will generate an overwhelming level of excitement for our student-athletes and supporters,” McGarity said. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for Notre Dame and look forward to the start of this memorable experience.”
The two teams have met only once before — in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, which was a 17-10 Georgia victory that capped an undefeated, untied season and secured a consensus national championship. Vince Dooley coached the Bulldogs while Dan Devine was head coach of the Fighting Irish.
“Playing Notre Dame will be an honor and a great challenge for us,” UGA head 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 story broke early Wednesday when Mike Cavan, a special assistant to McGarity and former college football coach, hinted of a “big scheduling announcement” from Georgia later in the week while appearing as a guest on “The Bulldog Roundtable” radio show. After the show, host Buck Belue tweeted that the opponent was Notre Dame.
McGarity had confirmed before that Georgia was in negotiations with Notre Dame — and other major football powers — to play future home-and-home series. Most recently, McGarity was asked about the prospect at the SEC Meetings in Destin last month.
“I think it’s an opponent we’ve played, what, one time 1980?” McGarity told reporters then. “For our fans to be able to go up to South Bend, and for our fans to see Notre Dame play between the hedges, I think from a national perspective it’d be off the charts, as far as interest, as far as intrigue. That would be something out of the ordinary that our fans would be very, very excited about.”