Last week’s ankle injury to Sony Michel opened the door for Georgia’s younger running backs Saturday night against Samford.
They didn’t disappoint.
“The coaches tell us to be ready. They tell us to be ready every game,” said Herrien, who rushed for 45 yards on nine attempts. “All of us are good backs, so whenever we get in we just try to be as good as we can.”
Swift enjoyed another solid game.
The true freshman rushed nine times for 54 yards, scoring his first touchdown on an 11-yard run. But it wasn’t your run-of-the-mill score.
After breaking through the line of scrimmage, a linebacker was in position to make the tackle only to have the back put on a 360 spin to waltz into the end zone.
“The thing about that is he did that Tuesday in practice,” said senior Nick Chubb, who led all rushers with 16 carries for 131 yards and two touchdowns. “I’ve seen it before but it’s still impressive.”
As for Michel, head coach Kirby Smart said the decision to hold him out was a precautionary move and he’s expected to be back for this Saturday’s SEC opener against Mississippi State.
“Sony was dinged up all week. We didn’t know if he was going to be able to go or not. We wanted to see if he was able to go,” Smart said. “Obviously, that’s one of our deepest positions, so if we could hold him we wanted to be able to hold him. Those other guys came in and did a good job. D’Andre Swift’s a good back, Brian Herrien ran hard, Holyfield ran hard. Nick gave us the same work he does all the time. We’re very fortunate to have the guys we do at that position to be able to do that.”
While he relished the opportunity, Herrien said he and the other backs know they might not get the reps when Michel comes back.
He’s not complaining.
“We know we’ve got to be patient and wait our turn,” Herrien said. “Nick and Sony have been here for three years, plus it’s their senior year. They want to get the job done and see if they can get to the league. That’s their goal.”
Just like Georgia’s is to be strong on the ground.
“It’s kind of our identity,” Herrien added. “We want to run the ball.”