SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A series with Georgia would only be natural for Brian Kelly as he has seen Notre Dame win several important recruiting battles in the Peach State and knows the exposure in the region would only benefit his program.
"Well I know that there's been some talk. I’ve heard some rumblings about it," the Notre Dame coach said Wednesday of a potential home-and-home with the Bulldogs, which was reported on Tuesday. "All I know is that my talks with [athletic director] Jack [Swarbrick] is we’re looking for matchups down the road that geographically make sense to us. That Atlanta area, that SEC area in Atlanta is a big area. We’ve hit Dallas, obviously. We know that that’s a great area for us. We’re going to keep looking for geographical areas that make sense. We've got to look at geographical areas that we’re recruiting.
"Atlanta is one of those areas that we've got to keep getting in. We're going to play Georgia Tech. So by process of elimination, if we’re talking SEC and we’re talking Atlanta, the next team that would pop up, it would seem to be Georgia. But we haven’t talked any specifics about a contract, or years or anything like that. So I think everything that’s out there is really speculative right now. Nobody’s come to me and said, ‘Hey we’ve got a team, we’ve got a date.’ "
Notre Dame associate athletic director John Heisler said Tuesday that the school was exploring a series with Georgia, but that the dates were to be determined, this after CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler reported that both schools were working to finalize a home-and-home for 2018 and 2019.
Notre Dame will host Georgia Tech in 2015 and will likely head to Atlanta to face the Yellow Jackets sometime between 2017-19, based on the five-ACC-opponents-per-season deal that the Irish struck with the league for 2014 and beyond. They currently have a full schedule through 2016.
Notes: Steve Elmer missed Wednesday's practice with a stomach ailment, forcing Mark Harrell to first-team center, which forced Matt Hegarty to left guard. Kelly expects Elmer to play in Saturday's Blue-Gold Game. ... The spring game will feature two 12-minute quarters with normal stoppage time, then two 15-minute quarters on a running clock. Halftime will be 15 minutes. There will be no play clock, no overtime and no kickoffs. Quarterbacks will not be live, each possession will begin at the offense's 35-yard line and all punts will be fair caught, which prompted Kelly to quip: "I’m sure we’ll drop three of them, and the internet will blow up on the punt returns." The scoring system, meanwhile, will pit the offense vs. the defense. The offense can earn points via field goal (3), touchdown (6), extra point (1), two-point conversion (2), 20-plus-yard completions (2), 15-plus-yard runs (2) and two consecutive first downs (2). The defense earns points for stops before the 50 (4), stops after the 50 (2), turnovers forced before the 50 (7), turnovers forced after the 50 (3), forcing a field goal (1, make or miss) and three-and-outs (2).