ATHENS — Zamir White was excited to score his first touchdown, but D’Andre Swift had a message for him where that was concerned.
“Amazing, I was glad to see him get his first touchdown, he was happy, we were all happy for the young man,” Swift said. “I told him that’s one of many. He was like, ‘I scored!” I said, ‘I told you that you were going to score, there’s many more to come.’”
White took another big step in his comeback from the torn ACL he suffered in fall camp before the 2018 season in the No. 3-ranked Bulldogs’ 63-17 win over Murray State on Saturday.
It was White — not Swift — leading Georgia’s rushing attack with 72 yards on 8 carries including the 6-yard TD run in the second quarter that gave the Bulldogs a 42-7 halftime lead.
The numbers were impressive. But so was White’s churning and determined running style, as he continued to run through tackle attempts and with power and ideal forward lean.
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“We were running one play today, and I saw him run through the line and he trucked some DB, and we loved that, loved to see that,” UGA offensive lineman Cade Mays said. “He had a great game.
“We wanted to see it last year and obviously that didn’t work out. So he’s been busting his butt all offseason, working, and so to see him come out here and get what he deserves is great.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart obviously likes White’s running style. But the head coach was even more impressed with another facet of his game against Murray State in White’s first game action in Sanford Stadium.
“I was most proud with Zamir today that – and all you guys talk about his carries and yards – but he picked up a blitzing backer in the A gap and smacked him right in the jaw,” Smart said. “So go back and watch that one. That’s what being a running back is about. He’s playing with great physicality and protecting the quarterback, which is the thing he hasn’t had an opportunity to do.
“He didn’t get to do that often, in high school kids aren’t asked to do that. That’s where he’s going to earn more playing time is being able to protect the passer.”
White made his long-awaited return the previous Saturday in Nashville, carrying 5 times for 51 yards in a 30-6 win over Vanderbilt.
The Georgia fans, who took over the Vandy stadium, erupted with joy when White got his first carry.
There were more cheers on Saturday at Sanford Stadium, and more success.
D’Andre Swift on Zamir White