As it pertains to running the football this fall, head coach Kirby Smart wants to see his offense become a little more diversified than it was last year.
There’s a couple of reasons why.
Despite some of the league's best backs, Georgia ranked only ninth in the 14-team SEC in rushing offense, averaging 191 yards on the ground per game. Also, with so many of what he considers great defenses in the SEC, lining up and running straight at the middle of the line may not be the best strategy to employ.
“You know, I think in the SEC when you talk about running the ball successfully, it comes in different form and fashion,” Smart said. “You’ve got to find creative ways to run the ball.”
With a deep bevy of backs and some versatile receivers, options should not be a problem.
Although Nick Chubb and Sony Michel can be expected to do the bulk of the ball carrying, finding ways to get Georgia’s best players the ball in space will be one of the biggest challenges for offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.
“To sit there and say you’re going to play the top four defenses in the SEC and pound it down their throat, it doesn’t exist. I think you watch LSU historically and they’re traditionally one of the most physically dominant football teams and sometimes they struggle,” Smart said. “You’ve got to find creative ways to run it. We’ve got to find creative ways to run it.”
So, what are Georgia’s options?
We’ve already mentioned Chubb and Michel, but sophomores Brian Herrien and Elijah Holyfield, along with freshman D’Andre Swift will also need to be utilized effectively and efficiently.
Michel said he’s more than happy to share the wealth.
“I would like to get wins. Whatever it takes to win some football games, that will be ideal,” he said. “If I get fewer carries and fewer carries I’ll be happy if we’re winning games and winning some championships. That’s the reason I came back. If we win championships great things will happen for individual players.”
Of course, the Bulldogs will also need to show improvement from the offensive line.
Although three players return with extensive game experience on the offensive line (Isaiah Wynn, Lamont Gaillard and Dyshon Sims), only Wynn will be playing the position (left tackle) he did a season ago.
Smart says he’s optimistic, although time will certainly tell.
“Do I feel much better about that? Yes, I feel better about that. We’ve still got three guys who started on the offensive line. Are we going to be better on the offensive line?” Smart said. “I think we’ve got good players, we’ve got good competition, we’ve certainly got bigger people, but those questions will be answered in fall practice and in those first games.”