Post-game notebook: Chubb not worried about return to Knoxville

Anthony Dasher, Editor
GA Varsity

Radi Nabulsi

Saturday night’s victory wasn’t even 15 minutes old when the following question was posed to running back Nick Chubb: "What about Tennessee?"

It was two years ago in Knoxville that the Bulldog senior tore up his knee, costing him the final seven games of the 2015 campaign, before coming back to full health.

Saturday afternoon’s game in Knoxville (3:30 p.m., CBS) will be his first game back at Neyland Stadium since the injury took place.

“I’m not worried about it (going back). I’m not going to be thinking about it,” Chubb said. “It’s a blessing. The last time I went up there, all that happened. It’s a blessing for me to be able to go up there and be able to run like I’ve always been. I’m looking forward to it.”

Chubb had another solid game against Mississippi State.

The senior led Georgia in rushing with 15 carries for 81 yards and two scores, including a 28-yard run when he took a direct snap out of the Wild Dawg formation.

Chubb now has 39 career touchdowns, which is third in Georgia history, and is fourth with 35 career rushing touchdowns.

Eason dresses but doesn’t play

Quarterback Jacob Eason dressed out for the first time since spraining his left knee in the first quarter against Appalachian State.

However, he did not play.

Smart said after the game that the sophomore was not cleared to play and would not speculate on his availability for Saturday’s game at Tennessee.

…Cornerback Malkom Parrish also returned, coming on Georgia's second defensive series and getting sporadic reps throughout the game.

The senior hadn’t yet played this year after breaking a bone in his foot three weeks before the season opener.

Kindley injury downer

As excited as Georgia was with its win over Mississippi State, losing starting left guard Solomon Kindley to an injury early in the fourth quarter was a definite downer.

The redshirt freshman had to be helped off the field by trainers after crumpling to the ground in a heap unable to put much weight on his right leg.

Kindley was taken to the locker room for further examination.

“It’s the same ankle, same way it was,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “X-rays are negative but we’re not sure when he will be back." He was replaced in the lineup by senior Dyshon Sims.

Swift keeps impressing

If D’Andre Swift keeps this up, he’s going to earn a new nickname. “Spinner,” anyone?

For the second time in as many games, Swift’s signature spin move was put on display, helping the freshman cap a big 20-yard run in the third quarter.

Last week, Swift’s spin move at the 5-yard line preceded his first career touchdown, in the game against Samford.

“You can just tell by how he plays, that he’s playing with a lot of confidence,” Chubb said. “It’s fun to see him do what he’s doing.”

Swift finished the game with 69 yards on 10 carries.

This and that

…Senior safety Dominick Sanders went airborne to catch his first interception of the year after J.R. Reed tipped an MSU pass. Sanders now has 13 interceptions in his career, tying him for the top spot on the NCAA active list. As far as the school record books, the 13 picks are tied with Smart and three others for fifth all time. Sanders returned the pick 15 yards. He now stands No. 2 on the school’s all-time list with 311 return yards behind Hall of Famer Jake Scott (315).

The Bulldogs have benefitted from their kickoffs and punts through four games this season. On Saturday night, redshirt sophomore placekicker Rodrigo Blankenship extended his streak to 14 straight touchbacks on kickoffs dating back to his final kick of the Notre Dame victory. Opponents have just 99 kickoff return yards on five returns through a total of 22 kickoffs this season.

… Graduate transfer punter Cameron Nizialek launched his first punt 46 yards and, with the help of Sony Michel and Mecole Hardman’s coverage, MSU called for a fair catch at its own 10-yard line. Nizialek had a 44-yard punt on his second try and MSU fair caught that one, as well, at its 40-yard line. He had a game-long punt of 53 yards in the fourth quarter and MSU called for a fair catch. Opponents still have just four punt returns for minus-4 yards in 2017.

…Georgia is minus-1 in Turnover Margin this season. Opponents have forced six turnovers and turned them into 17 points while the Bulldogs have forced five turnovers resulting in 14 points.

… For the first time in the series, both teams entered the game ranked in the top 25, and it was No. 11 Georgia with a 31-3 victory over No. 17 MSU. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 18-6 including capturing 10 in a row in Athens. Tonight's game had the biggest margin of victory over MSU since a 47-0 shutout here in 1997.

…Among the former Bulldogs attending Saturday’s game were Champ Bailey, Boss Bailey, Marcus Stroud and Richard Seymour.

Lorenzo Carter, Terry Godwin, and Christian Payne served as the team captains.

Next Up:

Georgia travels to Tennessee for a 3:30 contest against the Volunteers. The game will be televised on CBS.

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