Bulldogs’ backs running wild vs. South Carolina

Georgia's tailbacks, including leading rusher Sony Michel, found much more running room Sunday against South Carolina.

COLUMBIA — UGA’s sports communications department was somewhat relieved Brian Herrien didn’t gain 18 more yards rushing. Not that they’re not for all the yards Georgia’s backs can muster. They just weren’t prepared to answer the questions they were already getting about it: When was the last time the Bulldogs had three 100-yard rushers in the same game?

Alas, Herrien finished with 82 yards on nine carries, leaving Nick Chubb (124) and Sony Michel (133) as Georgia’s only 100-yard runners for the day.

As it was, the 326 yards was the most rushing by the Bulldogs in a game since 2014 when they had 367 against Troy. That was also the same season UGA last produced two 100-yard rushers in  the same game when Chubb (144) and Todd Gurley (138) both blew past that mark in Gurley’s last game with the Bulldogs.

Chubb, coming off an ankle injury, finished Sunday with 124 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. Michel had 133 on 21 carries.

“It started with our preparation,” Michel said. “We had a physical week of practice. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days we really grind it with full pads and that’s what we did. Team run is one thing that we focused on. We wanted to be physical up front and pound the football.”

Georgia knew it would have an opportunity to have a productive day running the football. South Carolina came into the game allowing 202 yards rushing a game, which was 13th among SEC teams. The Bulldogs averaged 6.5 yards per carry.

“That’s how we feel about every game,” Chubb said. “I think we’re starting to figure out who we are here at Georgia. We changed some personnel up andn it’s working out for us.”

Chubb did not play at all in the fourth quarter. But the junior tailback said that was not because of his left ankle or any other injuries.

“I wasn’t needed,” he said. “We have other great backs here and we were playing well up front. I just wasn’t able to get in.”

Chubb played only one play against Tennessee the previous week.

“I always want to play, but it was a coaches’ decision,” Chubb said. “I’m there whenever they need me. I’m ready to go.”

Both Michel and Chubb, and head coach Kirby Smart, made it clear that it was Georgia’s offensive line that made the day possible. It was them that should get the credit.

“As offensive linemen, we could care less about media coverage or glory,” senior Greg Pyke said. “It’s not about all that stuff. If our running backs or quarterbacks get all the glory, I love that.”

 

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