NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One by one, reporters came up to running back Nick Chubb. Their questions were all the same.
“Nick, what does it feel like to go over 4,000 yards in your career?”
Stop me if you didn’t predict his answer.
“It doesn’t matter, it’s a team game,” Chubb said. “We want touchdowns. It doesn’t matter who gets them. I was able to get two, so I was fortunate enough for that.”
For those wondering, Chubb became just the eighth player in SEC history to reach the 4,000 yard plateau Saturday, moving into seventh place ahead of LSU's Charles Alexander with 4,042 yard.
Still, one of the greatest running backs in the history of Georgia won’t boast, he won’t brag, he won’t even offer a hint of a suggestion that he’s a pretty big deal.
When Nick Chubb leaves the University of Georgia after this season, somebody needs to build a statue. Not just for what he’s done on the field, but for the man he is off it.
To come back from what he went through after being helped off the turf at Tennessee two years ago is in a word – incredible.
Saturday’s 138-yard effort in Saturday’s 45-14 rout of Vanderbilt was just another example. His career Bulldog bio has highlights like this:
• Twenty-one career games with 100-plus yards rushing.
• With 37 rushing touchdowns, Chubb is second on Georgia’s all-time list. Some guy named Herschel Walker holds the Bulldog mark with 49.
• Chubb now has 626 rushing attempts. Walker holds the mark at 994.
• With 4,042 career rushing yards, Chubb only trails Walker on Georgia's all-time list. Walker leads with 5,259.
"That's pretty special, when you talk about the company he's keeping. Somebody said he's second in career touchdowns now to Herschel, and I guess second in career rushing attempts as well. It says a lot about his personality and his determination to bounce back from the injury he had and still set some of those milestones,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “I think Nick will be the first to tell you that he gives credit to that offensive line for what they did today."
That’s exactly what he did.
Treasure Nick Chubb, good people. He’s a good-un. In more ways than one.
Offensive line getting it done
Georgia’s offensive line received the game ball from Smart after Saturday’s big win. When you rush for 423 yards, that’s easy to understand.
Got to hand it to Sam Pittman’s crew.
The Bulldogs’ offensive line has taken its share of shots by fans and media alike, but with the season now officially at the halfway point, this group is starting to gel – in a big way.
No, Vanderbilt’s defensive line isn’t at the same level as last year, but take absolutely nothing away from Georgia’s starting five of Isaiah Wynn, Kendall Baker, Lamont Gaillard, Solomon Kindley and Andrew Thomas.
These young men are getting it done. The Commodores weren’t the first opposing defensive line to receive their come-uppance this year.
Even Smart admits the group has been playing with a chip on their collective shoulder.
“I think they’ve gotten better,” Smart said. “I think you guys have done a good job of motivating them and they keep getting better.”
However, that’s where Smart’s compliments end.
“Look, guys, we’re going to play better teams than that. That’s what concerns me. That’s why I feel like we’ve got to develop an ability to throw the ball to beat the people we’ve got to beat,” Smart said. “Some games you don’t get an opportunity to do that. Then it’s hard as a coach to make decisions whether you want to keep doing that because you’ve got to respect the people on the other side of the sideline. That makes it tough.”
The Bulldogs’ front line was also determined to make amends for last year’s loss to Vandy, a game that saw Georgia rush for only 76 yards in a 17-16 setback in Athens.
“I think that was their motivation. I don’t think that game last year drove really anybody else to play a certain way, but I think the offensive line we challenged them on Monday that I think last year they had 76 yards rushing. I think that was it,” Smart said. “That’s embarrassing and they don’t like that. You get some fire under Isaiah and those guys and they tend to play well.”
They certainly did, and that’s a good sign for the rest of the season.
Quarterback controversy my foot
Say it after me – there is no quarterback controversy at the University of Georgia. There’s not.
Nor should there be.
Let me preface it by saying this – this has absolutely nothing to do with what Jacob Eason has or hasn’t done – nothing whatsoever.
This is all about Jake Fromm and the fact the Bulldogs are 6-0 in games that he’s played, 5-0 in which he has started.
That’s 5-0, people. Georgia is beating the bejesus out of teams playing just the way they are – old-school, smash-mouth football with a dominating run game.
Yes, there will come a time this year when the Bulldogs will have to throw more to win. Games against Florida and Auburn jump immediately to mind.
There’s no reason to think Fromm can’t, and until that day comes, there’s no reason for him to come out. In other words, no controversy.
However, you can’t help but feel for Eason.
He didn’t wind up as the backup quarterback due to anything he did on the field. It was due to an injury after a spring and a summer in which he did absolutely everything that was asked of him to do to win the job.
Eason also deserves better than what he’s getting from some Bulldog fans.
Sure, everyone has their favorites and it’s obviously fine to discuss the merits of each. But to see personal attacks and other derogatory comments made about Eason as a means to support one’s own agenda regarding the quarterbacks at Georgia is repugnant and embarrassing.
Nobody’s “checked out” either, as I’ve seen some suggest.
Eason running 10 yards to dive after a fumble in a 45-14 game isn’t somebody who’s “checked out” or doesn’t care about doing what he can to help his team win.
Georgia has two quarterbacks that most teams would kill to have. It’s time to embrace them both. Coach Smart and the Bulldogs have. Fans should do the same.
Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at AnthonyDasher1.