ATLANTA — Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Sony Michel and Nick Chubb.
The two Georgia running backs have been connected throughout their careers with the Bulldogs, and they went out together Monday night, wrapping up their UGA careers. The two standout running backs ended their careers with a heartbreaking 26-23 loss in overtime to Alabama in the National Championship Game.
“It means a lot. It’s been a long journey. It’s been an honor,” Michel said of his career. “University of Georgia just provided so much for us. [Coach Kirby] Smart as our head coach, he let the leaders lead. He let this be our team. Whatever we need, he provided. So I can’t really thank him so much. It’s been a great journey.”
Chubb also talked about his career.
“It’s just a blessing to be able to play for the University of Georgia,” he said. “So many great people we’ve met through the past four years and great teammates like Sony and great coaching staff and [former Coach Mark] Richt, Coach Smart, and those guys. It’s great to play for good coaches and meet amazing new people. It’s something I know we’ll never forget.”
Michel had 14 carries for 98 yards Monday, including a long of 26 yards.
“It was just execution. We had times where we were executing well, and we had times where we wasn’t,” Michel said. “In the second half, we had a lot of times where we wasn’t. I think that’s what really hurt us.”
Chubb finished with just 25 yards on 18 carries as Georgia had 133 yards on 45 rushes.
“We didn’t do a good job of finishing,” Chubb said. “We had some drives and were out of momentum, and we ended up punting the ball. That hurts us, the momentum. That was a great defense we went up against. A lot of respect for what they do. A lot of big bodies up front, makes it hard to run. But at the end of the day, it just comes down to us not executing well.”
Both running backs think the Bulldogs are just getting started. After all, Georgia finished 13-2 and reached the playoff and the championship game in Smart’s second season.