ATLANTA — At this point, we just have to say Sony Michel likes to do things quietly.
Almost without notice, the Georgia Bulldogs’ No. 2 tailback became the No. 3 rusher in program history. With at least two games left to play this season, Michel has 3,314 yards rushing in his career. He trails only Herschel Walker (5,259) and teammate Nick Chubb (4,522).
Michel did it while rushing for 85 yards in a 38-7 win against Georgia Tech. He got it on 13 carries. He remains just short of 1,000 yards for the season. He’ll enter the SEC Championship Game with 903.
As usual, Michel’s production came while sharing carries with his roommate Chubb and backfield mates D’Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien. Chubb had 53 yards on 12 carries. Michel, Chubb and Swift each ran for touchdowns.
“We talked about it during the walk-through,” Michel said of the running game playing a big part in the Saturday proceedings. “We knew what plays we were going to run. We said we wanted to stay in there and take this one.”
Since losing to Georgia Tech last year in Athens, Chubb has talked about how much he wanted to beat Georgia Tech. He actually mentioned it to coach Kirby Smart last December when explaining why he wanted to return for his senior season.
“He said he couldn’t sleep at night thinking about it,” Smart said. “We gave him an opportunity to go to sleep now.”
The Bulldogs outrushed Georgia Tech, which entered the game ranked fifth in the nation in rushing offense. The Yellow Jackets managed 188 yards on the ground, their fewest against Georgia under coach Paul Johnson.
The Bulldogs went for 247 yards on 43 carries.
“The last couple games have been going well for us and a lot of holes,” Chubb said. “The O-line’s been doing a great job up front, and the blocking on the perimeter, those guys are blocking their tails off. So there’s so many holes for us to hit.”
Johnson was impressed with what he saw.
“They’ve got good backs, and we missed a ton of tackles,” the Georgia Tech coach said. “There were times we were in position to make plays, and we didn’t make them. But you have to give them credit.”
Now the Bulldogs will have to face an Auburn team that limited them to 49 yards just a few weeks ago. They’re excited for the challenge.
“We’ve got a big task,” Michel said before knowing who they would play. “We’re going to be playing a great team. We’ve got a week of preparation ahead of us. I’m excited to see how that goes.”
Nobody will be surprised if Michel has another big day. They certainly weren’t Saturday.
“He plays well every game,” receiver Javon Wims said of Michel. “He does it in practice, too. I’m never surprised when he plays well.”