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‘RBU’: Former Georgia standouts show why running the football still matters

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A big weekend for Georgia football and RBU

In today’s day and age, much has been about the importance of quarterback play. Six of the eight NFL head coaches that were just hired worked as a quarterback coach. All three Heisman Trophy finalists were quarterbacks, and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence was the single biggest reason the Tigers were able to crush Alabama.

But this weekend showed that running the football is still very much a viable way to win big-time football games. And two former Bulldogs showed exactly why that is the case. Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams started things on Saturday, as he  rushed for 115 yards on 16 carries as the Rams beat the Cowboys 30-22.

Gurley had a blazing 35-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give the Rams a 20-7 lead. I imagine trying to tackle Gurley when he really gets going is like trying to tackle a train.

Then on Sunday, Sony Michel managed to one-up his former teammate. The rookie running back ran for 129 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Michel became the first player in the last 25 seasons to rush for 100 yards and three touchdowns in just the first half, as he was a major reason the Patriots jumped out to a 35-7 halftime lead, en-route to a 41-28 victory.

Of course Gurley and Chubb aren’t the only members of RBU in the NFL. While Nick Chubb and the Cleveland Browns didn’t make the playoffs, Chubb was a big reason the Browns went from 0-16 to 8-7-1. The rookie running back graded out of as Pro Football Focus’ highest rated running back in 2018, and also broke Jim Brown’s rookie rushing record for the franchise. Pretty impressive for a guy who didn’t become a starter until week 7.

Oh and incase you were wondering, Michel and Chubb are still #relationshipgoals, as Chubb was at the Patriots game on Sunday to cheer on Michel. The temperature high in Foxboro, Ma., on Sunday was 28.

Georgia has been one of the best teams in the country in both of the last two seasons. It’s probably not a coincidence that Georgia led the SEC in rushing in both of those years. For as maligned as Jim Chaney was as offensive coordinator was, the Georgia running game was consistently great. James Coley, Georgia’s new offensive coordinator, is going to have to keep the Bulldogs rush offense at that same standard.

Related: Georgia Bulldogs didn’t have to go far to find championship-caliber offensive coordinator

The Kansas City Chiefs, Rams, Patriots and New Orleans Saints all out-rushed their opponents by at least 80-yards. All four of those teams won over the weekend. Running the football, as shown over the weekend, can win you important games.

Over the weekend 5-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood made some comments about Georgia’s offense and why it played a big reason into him picking Oklahoma. We’ll address those separately, but he made a point to say that Georgia likes to run the football. It does. Georgia also likes to win a lot of football games. It does that, thanks to its running backs.

With D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien and Zamir White in the fold for next year, look for Georgia to do two things a lot: Run the football, and win games.

Jadon Haselwood releases a statement after controversial comments

Jadon Haselwood made some very strong comments regarding Georgia football that surfaced over the weekend.

Appearing on an episode of InkTalk, which you can see here, Haselwood answers a number of questions on his recruitment while he is getting a tattoo. He was asked why he initially ended up de-commiting from Georgia. He gave an answer that he’s been pretty consistent with. It was Georgia’s offense.

“Really just the type of offense they ran. They ran the ball a lot,” Haselwood said.  “They’re a good program and coach Smart turned the program around, but at the end of the day, I want to contribute too.”

Later in the video Haselwood is asked why he didn’t pick the Bulldogs, and the nation’s No. 1 wide receiver felt that Georgia’s staff wasn’t being totally honest with him.

“My last visit. They was trying to make me too happy and change things and I just know that’s not going to happen,” Haselwood said.

Haselwood added that Georgia coaches sat in Haselwood’s home and tried to explain how he was going to be used in now former offensive coordinator Jim Chaney’s offense. He then pointed out that Chaney has now moved on to another job, as he’s the offensive coordinator at Tennessee.

Haselwood’s mother then recalled that after Georgia completed an in-home visit with Haselwood, the wide receiver turned to his mother and said the coaches were fake.

On Sunday afternoon, Haselwood released a statement addressing the comments he made on the show:

“The context that is going around was taking out of proportion from people who didn’t actually watch the show. On the show i clearly stated that i felt UGA coaches tried to sell me a dream on how i would be used in the offense by a particular coach, and then the coach eventually left the school for another job. That was very fake to me and i said coaches are like used car salesman. In recruiting they demand loyalty from the players, but the coaches are not held to the same standard.”

Coaches moving on and changing jobs is nothing new. Oklahoma hired its defensive coordinator, Alex Grinch, after National Signing Day. Haselwood has a point that coaches are selling their program. It’s their job to tell prospects what they think the prospect wants to hear so that they sign with the school.

But players don’t always show that same loyalty to coaches, schools and teammates. They can transfer as well. And while in the past they’ve had to sit out a season, they might not be the case for much longer. Loyalty is a two-way street.

Georgia fans have to move on from criticizing Haselwood . He’s at Oklahoma. He was the No. 1 player in the state and wide receiver was a need. But instead of lamenting about not landing him, focus instead on how good 5-star wide receiver Dominick Blaylock is going to be.

To quote Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

Some might wonder about what kind of affect these comments might have on Georgia’s recruiting, but that’s not going to be an issue. Kirby Smart signed the No. 1 class last cycle. It currently has the No. 2 class. What happened at Georgia with Chaney is no different from something what happens at every other program.

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