Georgia’s running backs chowed down for 246 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-20 victory over South Carolina on Saturday in Athens.
Led by Nick Chubb’s two touchdowns and 159 yards, what would be a season-high in a game for most teams was just the second-best mark for Georgia this season, sandwiched between the 281 in last week’s win at Vanderbilt and the 243 in the season-opening win against Louisiana-Monroe.
“Here at Georgia you should be able to get 100 yards every game,” Chubb said. “They are going to feed the running backs.”
It was the most rushing yards and points given up by South Carolina this season and tied the mark for the most points scored by the Bulldogs in the series.
Chubb’s power in averaging 7.6 yards per carry was complemented by the speed of Sony Michel, who added three touchdowns, including a career-high two scoring receptions.
Michel, a sophomore from Plantation, Fla., finished with 51 rushing yards, including a 21-yard touchdown, on eight carries, and 32 yards receiving on three catches, including two 11-yard touchdowns.
“I love the balance of everyone in that (running backs) room,” Michel said. “Anyone can line up in the slot or run a route. We just haven’t done it with Nick yet.”
With Chubb softening up the middle with bludgeoning runs, Michel took advantage of the softer zones on the sidelines for two of his big plays.
Michel entered the game as Georgia’s most dangerous receiver with four receptions for a team-high 109 yards and a touchdown. He also led the team with an average of 54.5 receiving yards per game. Most of that (79 yards and a touchdown) came in the season-opening win against Louisiana-Monroe.
Michel moved into the slot on his first touchdown reception. Greyson Lambert threw the easy pass to Michel, who never moved at the snap, and he raced toward the sideline with South Carolina’s Bryson Allen-Williams in pursuit. As Michel neared the sideline he stopped and cut inside his flailing pursuer before finishing in the end zone.
Michel came out of the backfield for his next touchdown reception. Michel caught the ball near the right sideline, cut inside T.J. Gurley and ran into the end zone and through Gurley’s attempt to tackle him by the ankles.
Michel’s 21-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter may have been easier his receiving touchdowns. Lined up as the back in the I-formation, Michel ran up the middle, cut left and found a clear path to the end zone for his second rushing touchdown this season.
With 468 rushing yards this season, Chubb will surely eclipse the 500-yard mark for the season against Southern University next week.
“Our goal is to win and in this league you have to run the ball,” offensive tackle John Theus said. “We want to put up those types of numbers but it’s not really something that we are focusing on. If we do our job, our backs make us look awesome.”