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D'Andre Swift has 7 rushing touchdowns on the season.

Georgia’s offense, and championship aspirations, will go as far as D’Andre Swift can go

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Georgia football will go as far D’Andre Swift can

D’Andre Swift does not care what you might think of Georgia’s offense.

“We’re going to do what we need to do to win games,” Swift told reporters after the win over Kentucky. “And if people don’t like what we’re doing, they shouldn’t come to the games.”

To Swift’s point, the Georgia offense did enough to win the game, largely because of the junior running back. He put up a season-best 179 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns. The effort earned him SEC Player of the Week honors and placed him at the top of the SEC rushing leaders list.

Swift didn’t care that the game was played in a constant downpour. Or that he was ripping off huge runs. He wanted Georgia and quarterback Jake Fromm to throw the ball.

“I was like, ‘Jake we’ve got a good opportunity, let’s throw the ball,” Swift said. “But then Jake said it was hard to throw the ball because it was wet.”

Last week, Swift made his thoughts on the issues with the Georgia offense perfectly clear. Georgia needed to get the ball to its playmakers down the field. And despite what some on Twitter might think, Swift still very much believes Fromm is the guy to do it.

In the past few weeks, as concerns about Georgia have risen, Swift has become more outspoken. He’s more confident in his own abilities and with the Georgia team floundering, Swift took it upon himself to try to provide a spark to the team during halftime of a 0-0 game.

Whatever Swift appeared to do the trick, as the Bulldogs final four offensive possessions ended touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, kneel down. Swift also broke the deadlock himself, by slicing through the Kentucky defense for a 39-yard touchdown.

While Kirby Smart said it was hard to take anything away from a game played in that much rain, one thing became crystal clear: If Georgia is going to accomplish its championship goals this season, Swift is going to be the biggest reason why.

Any time you have an opposing coach openly campaigning for you to go to the NFL like Kentucky’s Mark Stoops did, you’re a special a player. In three career games against Kentucky, Swift has 401 yards and 4 touchdowns. If they cared about football as much as they about basketball in Kentucky, Swift would be right up there with Christian Laettner as far as Kentucky killers.

But Georgia will play tougher teams than Kentucky in the coming weeks. Georgia’s schedule during October pales in comparison to the gambit it’s set to face in November. The Bulldogs open the month against the No. 7 ranked Florida Gators, host the 5-2 Missouri Tigers, visit No. 9 Auburn, host Texas A&M and close with a visit to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech.

Georgia’s offense is going to need to be much improved from what it was in the month of October if it’s to make it through that November stretch without a loss. But Georgia entered last November facing a similar stretch of games and desperation.  Georgia turned to Swift to help carry the Bulldogs to the SEC championship game.

Related: Georgia RB D’Andre Swift stands up for team, puts critics in their place

He ran for 104 yards and a touchdown against a Florida team that ended the season ranked in the top-10. He followed that up with a 156-yard performance against Kentucky, which won 10 games. Then against Auburn, he went off for a career-high 186 yards. Swift played his best football in November last year, and it coincided with Georgia playing its best football of the year.

He’s going to need to do that again in November and possibly in December and January. If Georgia is going to reemerge as one of the best teams in the country, it’s going to need to take up the mindset of Swift.

“He brings energy without making plays. He’s heart and soul.  A leader. He’s inspirational,” Smart said.” The runs kind of get the fans involved. Swift gets the team involved by all the things he does and says. He cares.”

A few teammates have already taken up Swift’s new mantra, as offensive lineman Ben Cleveland repeated Swift’s phrase of “Whoever counting us out, can’t count,” after Georgia’s win over Kentucky.

But those suspect of Georgia’s title chances will continue to mount as long as the passing offense continues to look like what it has the past two weeks. For as great as Swift is, most still believe you’ll need to create explosive plays in the passing game if you’re going to beat Clemson, Alabama, LSU or Ohio State. And right now, Georgia ranks 72nd in the country of completions of more than 15 yards down the field.

One member of the Georgia team still has confidence in what the Georgia offense is doing.

“I don’t doubt what they are doing, eventually it will work, they just kept leaning and pushing on those guys,” Linebacker Monty Rice said. “I don’t think anything is misfiring …  it looks fine to me, it looks like the same offense that we’ve always run here. We went to the national championship using the same offense, so I think it’s fine.”

That national championship run was led by Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, who both combined for over 2,500 yards that season. Against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff, the two ran for a combined 326 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Bulldogs are going to need efforts like Swift’s Kentucky display if they are to reach the highs of the 2017 season.

If Georgia is going to be “fine” as Rice indicates, it will be because of Swift literally carrying the Bulldogs offense there.

Georgia football running back D’Andre Swift speaks after Kentucky game

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