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Georgia Football

ESPN's College Gameday Arrives for No. 1 UGA Football's Huge Game with No. 10 Ole Miss

November 9, 2023
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ATHENS - ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot travels to Athens, Ga., ahead of the top-10 SEC battle between No. 10 Ole Miss and No. 1 UGA Football on Saturday, Nov. 11.

The three-hour pregame show will be live from the Myers Quad on campus from 9 a.m. – noon ET on ESPN and ESPNU. During the Week 11 show, ESPN will recognize veterans and active members of the U.S. Armed Forces in honor of Veterans Day.

Host Rece Davis is joined at the desk by GameDay analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Pat McAfee with college football insider Pete Thamel, reporters Jen Lada and Jess Sims and college football betting analyst ‘Stanford Steve’ Coughlin.

College GameDay will make its ninth all-time visit to Athens and sixth trip since 2019, the most times hosting the show by any school during that span. The Dawgs are 6-2 in the previous eight times hosting the pregame show, winning the last six times they’ve hosted. Ole Miss will be making its fifth appearance on GameDay, going 3-1. Coach Corso enters the week with an 8-1 record with his legendary headgear selections, with his only loss coming at the Red River Rivalry.



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Following the show, Herbstreit will join Chris Fowler and Holly Rowe on the call of the Rebels/Bulldogs showdown at 7 p.m. on ESPN. ESPN Radio’s lead crew of Marc Kestecher, Kelly Stouffer and Ian Fitzsimmons will also be on the radio broadcast. 

Show Highlights & Guests

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart will join the GameDay desk live on Saturday ahead of the SEC showdown, while Penn State head coach James Franklin will join from the field in State College before the Nittany Lions take on Michigan. Oregon’s Dan Lanning will also provide exclusive access to his Ducks squad in preparation for their matchup against USC.

Guest Picker – Former Georgia linebacker and two-time CFP national champion Nolan Smith returns to Athens as the Week 11 guest picker. A first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Smith plays his next game with the Philadelphia Eagles against the Kansas City Chiefs on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on Nov. 20 (8:15 p.m., ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes).

Comedian, actress and host Heather McMahan will join the GameDay set as a Week 11 special guest. The Atlanta resident and Ole Miss alum will be making her first appearance on the show.

Pat McAfee’s Kicking Contest – GameDay will once again offer an exclusive contest during the live show, Pat McAfee’s Kicking Contest. One fan will be chosen from the ‘pit’ onsite with the opportunity to attempt a 33-yard field goal. If the contestant successfully completes the kick, he/she will be awarded $85,000 from McAfee. This week, former UGA and NFL kicker ‘Hot Rod’ Rodrigo Blankenship will join the show as a special guest for the kicking contest. 



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Features

The Invisible Hug – For 14 years, Miami super fan Shelton Douthett has worn a full Hurricanes uniform and pads to Miami football games. But behind the face mask and beneath the jersey is a deeper meaning, and a promise from one brother to another. Jen Lada reports.

Just Keep Kicking – After failing to make the roster as a kicker in his undergraduate years at the University of Virginia, Matt Ganyard joined the Marines, but never lost sight of his dream. While stationed all over the world for more than a decade, he kept on kicking, bringing a ball and a tee with him wherever he traveled. This year Ganyard returned to Charlottesville as a graduate student, and in August joined the Cavaliers' team, finally realizing his football dreams at the age of 34. Victoria Arlen reports, in collaboration with ACC Network.

McConkey for Christmas – Last Christmas, 10-year-old Georgia fan Hunter Swinney had one Christmas present on his list – a Ladd McConkey No. 84 Bulldogs jersey. The video of his happy-teared reaction quickly went viral, and when that video reached McConkey, the Georgia wide receiver became a Christmas giver. Kris Schwartz reports.

Veterans Day – No other sport is more intertwined with military service than college football. Saturday will see Army, Navy and Air Force all in action, while the Coast Guard and Merchant Marine Academies will square off as well. As we celebrate and honor all those who have served, Ryan McGee reflects on Veterans Day and its lasting connection to college football. 

ESPN’s Expanded Digital Coverage

ESPN’s social and digital pre-pregame show, Countdown to GameDay Presented by Dr Pepper, will be onsite in Athens for Week 11. Hosts Christine Williamson, Harry Douglas and Harry Lyles Jr., will discuss the top matchups of the week while Douglas and Lyles Jr., continue the weekly ‘One-Minute Drill’ segment teaming up with fans of each school to compete one-on-one.

The show is available across ESPN on YouTube, X/Twitter, Facebook and the ESPN App at 8:30 a.m. ET weekly.

Live From Athens

In addition to GameDay, The Pat McAfee Show will hit the road on Friday for a live show in Athens, open to fans from noon to 3ish p.m., at Myers Quad. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and former Dawgs linebacker Nolan Smith will join the show live. McAfee’s show airs from noon – 2 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN on YouTube from noon to approximately 3 p.m.

College Football Live will also originate from Georgia on Friday with Lada hosting alongside Howard, Coughlin and Thamel (5 p.m., ESPN2). Elle Duncan, a Georgia native and diehard Bulldogs football fan, will also host the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter live from Athens on Friday.



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