ATLANTA — With 10:34 left in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday, D’Andre Swift put the proverbial nail in Auburn’s proverbial coffin. His first breakaway touchdown run of the season sealed the deal for Georgia in a 28-7 win.
As a kid from west Philadelphia born and raised … wait. Wrong guy.
But still a kid from Philly, Swift said this win was special. He said that winning an SEC championship doesn’t happen for every kid raised in Philadelphia.
“I need to check my phone because I am sure it is going crazy,” Swift said. “Being a kid from Philly, people don’t normally get this chance, so I’m just making the most of it right now.”
After the decisive blow — Swift’s 64-yard touchdown run that gave Georgia a 3-touchdown lead — fellow back Nick Chubb said that the run was a long time coming.
“We kind of give him a little trouble. We tell him he needs to break away,” Chubb said. “And he was picking his knees up, man. He was moving on that. We’re proud of him.”
Swift said Chubb and Sony Michel have been invaluable in his development throughout his freshman season. Swift said that the seniors’ leadership and work ethic have greatly impacted him and that without those two, he wouldn’t be where he is.
“If they weren’t here, I don’t know how I would go,” Swift said. “Just to have them as two big brother figures, I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s just different with us.”
Speaking of different, Swift and the rest of Georgia’s backs had a different game against Auburn this time around. In the teams’ first meeting three weeks ago, Georgia’s backs were held to 46 rushing yards. They surpassed that in the second quarter in the SEC Championship Game and the Bulldogs finished with 238 yards on the ground.
This was the running game that Georgia has been showing all season.
“We wanted to get the ball outside a little more,” Swift said. “We knew they were big up front and in the middle. So by switching up that part of the game plan, I think we were able to do a good job of doing that.”
On his 64-yard breakaway touchdown run, that is what Swift did: He bounced to the outside and found a hole.
It isn’t just Chubb who is aware of Swift’s presence on the field. The players on the other side of the ball know it, too.
As the media crowded around Swift in the locker room after the game, the freshman humbly gave credit to his offensive line and fellow backs for the improvements in the run game. That was before safety Dominick Sanders walked by.
Pushing his way in to stand next to Swift, Sanders gave the freshman the credit and confidently proclaimed, “He worked his ass off.”