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D’Andre Swift and his Georgia football teammates all recount his best run
INDIANAPOLIS — Think of your favorite D’Andre Swift highlight. There are quite a few to choose from. There’s touchdown run against Auburn to salt away the SEC championship game as a freshman. That was his first grand introduction to college football.
Or how about the time he put a Kentucky safety on his but with his patented dead leg move? That one got featured quite a bit on the video board at Sanford Stadium this past season.
There’s also the time he hurdled a Notre Dame safety like he was Mario jumping over a Goomba. Or the team he scored two touchdowns against Alabama in the 2018 SEC Championship game. Swift said that was his best game in a Georgia uniform.
It’s hard to choose just one of the many great moments Swift had in a Georgia uniform. But in talking with Swift and a couple of the guys who opened those holes for Swift over the past three seasons, there was a consensus in their eyes for Swift’s top runs.
It came in the 2018 Kentucky game. The Bulldogs were visiting the Wildcats and the winner of the game would be the representative of the SEC East in the SEC title game. Georgia was coming off an emotional win over rival Florida the week before. But the Bulldogs still had to finish the job.
And Swift’s favorite run of his Georgia career put the game on ice for the Bulldogs.
“I don’t know how I did what I did but it was amazing,” Swift said of the play.
*looks up the definition of swift* pic.twitter.com/HfiP5INqvK
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 3, 2018
The Bulldogs had gotten off to a strong start against the Wildcats, capitalizing on a couple of Kentucky turnovers and took a 14-3 lead into halftime.
Georgia scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the third quarter and then forced Kentucky into a three-and-out.
On the second play of the next Georgia drive, Swift showed why he is the complete package as a running back.
As Solomon Kindley and Andrew Thomas recounted, the Bulldogs ran an inside zone play on second down on their own 17-yard line. Kindley and Thomas executed a perfect double team to wall off the play-side defensive end and middle linebacker.
“Me and Sol (Kindley) we had a double block up to the Mike backer. We killed him against Kentucky,” Thomas said.
Trey Hill, filling in at center for an injured Lamont Gaillard, perfectly sealed off the backside defensive tackle to create a lane for Swift. Thanks to a timely block from Jeremiah Holloman, Swift was able to cut it to the outside with nothing but green grass in front of him.
“I know after he gets past me, I know it’s fitting to be a show,” Kindley said. “I’m ready for him to get past me.”
Swift couldn’t be caught on the play even as a number of Kentucky defenders gave chase. Kindley also revealed that the ever-energetic Kirby Smart gave chase as well. But even with what Kindley estimated as a 10-yard headstart, Swift was still able to blow past his head coach.
It was a perfectly executed play and Swift was able to use his cutting ability and breakaway speed to turn it into a back-breaking touchdown.
Before Swift even reached the endzone, his teammates were already celebrating.
“If you go back watch on the film you can see me and Sol chest bump in the middle of the play,” Thomas said. “It was pretty cool.”
The touchdown put Georgia ahead 28-3 in the game. The Bulldogs weren’t the Atlanta Falcons and the Wildcats definitely weren’t the New England Patriots that day as Georgia coasted to a 34-17 win.
It gave the Bulldogs their second straight SEC East title. But the win, punctuated by Swift’s sensational run, meant a lot more than just another division title.
Especially to a lot of the younger players on the team.
“It felt like all of our hard work had paid off again,” Isaiah Wilson said. “In 2017 everyone just thought it was because we had a bunch of seniors and had a lot of old talent.
“In 2018, we woke everybody up again and said we’re still here to fight.”
Swift finished that Kentucky game with a then-career-best 156 rushing yards. As a junior, he topped that with a 179-yard performance against the Wildcats. It’s probably not a surprise that after the 2019 game, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops publicly wished that Swift would declare early for the NFL draft.
The Georgia running back has now done that and figures to be tormenting NFL defenses like he did Stoops in the last two seasons.
Georgia football running back D’Andre Swift on what comes next
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