ESPN prepares for a wee-hour kickoff of Georgia Tech-BC from Dublin

Benetti provides some perspective on the scene in Dublin

Jason Benetti recaps his crew’s adventures thus far: “Wednesday night, we got to take in the international soccer match between Ireland and Oman. Robbie Keane, who’s played more than 140 matches for Ireland, ended his international career that night. Awesome crowd. Also, we got a tour of the Trinity College library. It’s got books from centuries ago preserved inside. It smells of leather and knowledge. Broadly, Dublin’s a great walking city. A wonderful place to people-watch.”

It’ll be “top of the (early) morning” to stateside college football fans Saturday when toe meets leather for ACC foes Boston College and Georgia Tech live from Avia Stadium in Dublin, Ireland at 7:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

The game will kick off the first college football Saturday of the season, one that is loaded with top matchups across the day including the return of College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (9 a.m.–noon, ESPN) from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc., and ABC Saturday Night Football featuring No. 20 USC vs. No. 1 Alabama at 8 p.m. from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Producing the first game of the day – across the ocean – for college football fans requires early planning and some Irish luck. According to producer Brian Boyle, key game equipment and cameras had to ship out more than a week ahead of time. Much of the staff arrived Monday or earlier to properly prepare, adjust to the time change and cover the week of festivities leading into the game.

The announce crew of Jason Benetti, Kelly Stouffer and Paul Carcaterra will make their debut having spent the week touring Dublin complete with a ‘The Full Irish’ breakfast at O’Neill’s Pub & Kitchen, observing the teams and speaking with the coaches.

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