posting now before anyone reads it. want the page views. ha.
By DANIEL SHIRLEY
Nick Chubb is a really good college football running back.
And it looks like he could be a great one before he wraps up his career at Georgia. He is just a freshman, after all, and he is doing things that most freshmen simply can’t do.
But he’s not Todd Gurley -- not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Chubb has been terrific in Gurley’s absence, carrying the load for the Georgia offense and helping lead the Bulldogs to wins over Missouri and Arkansas, admittedly two mediocre teams. He had 68 carries for 345 yards in those games and was the kind of featured back fans love to see their team have.
He ran hard and ran a lot -- 38 carries against Missouri and 30 more against Arkansas is a ton of carries for any back -- and he was productive with three touchdowns. His play, along with improved performances from quarterback Hutson Mason and the Bulldogs’ defense, led to two easy wins over the Tigers and Razorbacks.
But once Gurley returns from his suspension -- there’s still no news on when that will happen -- he should jump right back into the starting lineup, and that’s a good thing for a Georgia team that has lofty goals and a tougher schedule coming up.
After this week’s bye, Georgia has its annual rivalry game with Florida. Even though the Gators have been bad this season, especially on offense, they can be dangerous, simply because it is a rivalry game, and they have a strong defense. After that game comes a trip to Kentucky and then probably Georgia’s game of the year against Auburn, which offers the Bulldogs a chance to beat a top-notch team and really help their chances for something beyond the regular season.
The regular season then wraps up with home games against Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech, two games that look like wins -- sorry Yellow Jackets fans. What happens after that -- the SEC championship game and a possible College Football Playoff berth -- depends on a lot of other factors but mostly on Gurley.
If and when he returns, the coaches will have to handle the delicate balance of team and chemistry in getting him back into the mix while not diminishing what Chubb has meant to the team. Because Chubb has been that good. Georgia proved the past two weeks that it is not a one-man team with the defense forcing turnovers, Mason stepping up his game and the offensive line controlling play. And, of course, Chubb stepped right into the spotlight.
The Bulldogs need those things to continue with Gurley’s return, and if they do, they can finish off a special season.
Even when the Bulldogs’ star returns, Chubb will play an important role in the rest of the season. But Gurley will play the most important role.
Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org