ATHENS — Kenny McIntosh’s “Blueprint” for future NFL success will go through Mobile, Ala., at the Senior Bowl this year.
The versatile Georgia tailback has carried the Bulldogs’ offense through much of the second half of the season in helping to lead his team to the CFP Championship Game.
Georgia will play TCU at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.
McIntosh went for more than 100 total yards from scrimmage (126) for the third time in the last four games despite suffering chills and flu-like symptoms less than 24 hours before the Bulldogs put their season on the line against the Buckeyes.
• vs. Ohio State, 10 touches, 126 yards, TD
• vs. LSU, 16 touches, 77 yards, 2 TDs
• vs. Georgia Tech, 14 touches, 182 yards, TD
• vs. Kentucky, 21 touches, 162 yards, TD
McIntosh allowed himself only a quick celebration after the win on Saturday night, however, displaying his leadership skills with his message for teammates and the media.
“The job isn’t done, I’m happy we came out victorious, but we didn’t play our best game,” McIntosh said. “We have to go to L.A. and start stronger, we have to work on the little things and get back to the drawing board. The job’s not done, that’s all.”
Georgia running back Kenny McIntosh (6) celebrates as he uses a media memberâ€™s camera after their 42-41 win against Ohio State in the Peach Bowl Playoff Semifinal, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Sat., Dec. 31, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)
McIntosh caught two passes on the game-winning drive, reminiscent of his three receptions in the Bulldogs’ last-minute win over Cincinnati in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl in this same building two years before.
“We’ve been through this moment before, we’ve been through adversity, and we fought back strong,” McIntosh said. “I’m proud to see our guys not giving up, cramping out there, some guys injured. It was next man up mentality.”
McIntosh did express some frustration with himself after his 52-yard run -- the longest by a UGA tailback this season -- as he burst up the middle and was out-racing the Ohio State defense to the end zone when he stumbled while looking over his shoulder.
“Sniper,” McIntosh joked.
It turned out not to matter, as Stetson Bennett ran the ball into the end zone from 3 yards out two plays later on a read-option that tied the game at 21-21.
“We haven’t got the job done yet,” McIntosh repeated during his interview, “so my mind is getting back to the drawing board as a team and as an individual.”
McIntosh’s 2022 season has surpassed those of Zamir White and James Cook, players he patiently played behind his first three seasons.
Here is how McIntosh’s season numbers look compared to recent standout seasons by other top UGA running backs:
2022 Kenny McIntosh
184 touches, 1,278 yards, 12 touchdowns
(42-505-2 receiving, 142-779-10 rushing)
2021 James Cook
140 touches, 1,012 yards, 11 touchdowns
(27-284-4 receiving, 113-728, 7 rushing)