ATHENS — Georgia tailback Brian Herrien doesn’t apologize for his no-frills running style. He embraces it, and he emphasizes it.
“My running style, I kind of like to bruise,” Herrien explained during his media session this week. “I kind of just want to hit the defense as much as I can so then as the game goes on, the defense isn’t going to want to come back making the same tackles.
“They’ll kind of get to the side, hesitate a little bit and at that point, I can just run by them.”
That’s what happened in the No. 3-ranked Bulldogs’ 43-14 win over Tennessee, Herrien hammering the Big Orange front to a pulp en route to a game-high and career-high 88 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Herrien is not the biggest back, listed at 6-foot and 210 pounds, but his power and determination are obvious.
“He runs really hard, I mean, he runs physical and explosive,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “To be honest with you, he practices that way. So, when he goes out to practice, he doesn’t treat practice different than a game.
“I think those practice habits have allowed him to be successful in games. It’s just you guys are getting able to see it now.”
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No doubt, Herrien had a team-high 75 total yards and a TD in the G-Day Game, knocking NFL-caliber teammate J.R. Reed to the ground with a stiff arm.
Herrien, who along with Swift shares the team lead with four rushing touchdowns, says he brings a different mindset into short-yardage situations.
“It’s just my attitude, once I’m on the field, I like to think to myself that I don’t think anybody can stop me,” Herrien said. “A lot of people like to wait and hesitate, so I’m just going to go ahead and go in and get those yards early and fast.
“I like to keep my feet moving …. I know if I keep my feet moving and stay low enough that I’ll probably get the yards.”
Smart, who named Herrien and QB Jake Fromm the offensive players of the week for their performances against the Vols, isn’t surprised by Herrien’s success.
“The Brian that I’m seeing now is the Brian I’ve always seen,” Smart said. “The difference is you guys are seeing him. You say, why didn’t he play? The guys that are in the NFL is the reason he didn’t play.
“Brian has been perfectly capable. And when he got that opportunity, he seizes his opportunity the times he got in the past.”