ATHENS — Three weeks ago, Nick Chubb was back and everything was great. He ran for 222 yards, capping it off with a 55-yard touchdown run to clinch Georgia’s rousing win over North Carolina, then a ranked team.
That seems so long ago for Chubb and Georgia’s running game. In the two weeks since, Chubb has failed to reach even 100 yards. Faced with little help from his offensive line, the Heisman Trophy candidate has been held to 143 combined rushing yards against an FCS team and an unranked Missouri.
Chubb answered “no idea” when asked what the difference was. But he said his health isn’t the problem, nor does he have any less burst in his legs.
“It didn’t go away in two weeks,” Chubb said.
Georgia’s running game has gone from strength to weakness in a very brief amount of time, despite adding a healthy Sony Michel after he missed the North Carolina game. Chubb is averaging just 3.7 yards per carry the past two games, a startling stat in itself, and especially so considering the competition.
Chubb, to be fair, has had very little running room. The offensive line is getting little push, the outside blocking was awful against Nicholls State, and it was only slightly better at Missouri. But the Bulldogs have little option on the offensive line, and can just hope to get better.
“I just let them know that they’re doing the best they can, we have trust in them,” Chubb said. “I’ll never holler at them unless I need to. Those are my guys.”
Chubb, for what it’s worth, didn’t seem in a very happy mood, at least compared to his preseason and post-North Carolina media sessions. He wasn’t very eager to give long answers on what’s ailing the running game. It’s very understandable.
He was asked if he was happy with the way he was running the ball.
“I haven’t looked at the film much. But it is what it is,” Chubb said. “I don’t think about running, it just kind of happens. So I don’t regret anything.”
At least one major change the past two games – Jacob Eason being the starting quarterback – hasn’t been a detriment, according to Chubb. Maybe Georgia football has been known for running the ball, but passing it the way it did at Missouri works too.
“It’s amazing. Any way we can move the ball, I’m down with it,” Chubb said. “Eason did a great job, I thought, a young guy coming out on the road, a road game, playing calm. He looked calm the whole time. So as a running back there’s a lot of pressure taken off of you because he’s going to throw the ball.”