If you’re a Georgia fan, say it with me: “In Nick Chubb We Trust”
Close your eyes and flashback to last season for a minute. Are you there? Good. Do you remember Nick Chubb’s first touchdown for UGA – a 47-yard score against Clemson with one shoe? How about his first start after Todd Gurley’s suspension against Missouri – a 38-carry, 143 yard performance that showcased his durability and strength? Then, there was that ridiculous Belk Bowl performance where he put up 266 yards against the vaunted Louisville defense. His 2014 campaign was – to put it modestly – impressive. 219 carries, 1,547 yards and 14 TDs with 7.1 yards per carry. In Nick Chubb We Trust.
This season, the Georgia Bulldogs need to live by the “In Nick Chubb We Trust” motto. He is their most indispensable player on the roster – hands down. That is not a knock on the plethora of running back talent Georgia has with Keith Marshall, Sony Michel, A.J. Turman or Brendan Douglas. It’s just an incontrovertible fact – Chubb is THAT good. In his final 8 games last season, he did not rush for fewer than 113 yards in any of those games. That performance was against Charleston Southern, and he only had nine carries. If you were convinced at the beginning of last season that Todd Gurley was a legitimate Heisman Trophy-contender, there should be even more hype on Chubb this season. He is a game changer and a unique talent who – wait for it – works extremely hard to get even better and is incredibly humble. He spent his Spring Break working out in his hometown. That can’t be good news for the rest of the SEC. Or the entire FBS. With the quarterback situation still up in the air, new UGA offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer could not be more lucky to have a workhorse running back waiting in the wings to dominate the opposition. In Nick Chubb We Trust.
Take a look at some projections: assume Chubb averages approximately 24 carries per game (which is what he averaged in the eight games he started last year). Say he plays in 14 games next season (let’s assume UGA makes the SEC Championship Game – just for good measure, and a bowl game). If he rushes for 6.0 yards per carry – which is more than a full yard fewer than last season – he would have 2,016 rushing yards at the end of the year. 2,016. If he rushes for 7.0 yards per carry, that number balloons to 2,352 yards. Now, it may be a stretch to say Chubb gets 336 carries over a 14 game span, but it is not unheard of in the NCAA. Melvin Gordon, the 15th pick in this season’s NFL Draft and former Wisconsin running back, ran the ball 343 times last season in 14 games. It is also not a stretch to say that Chubb can match – or even exceed – his 7.1 yards per carry from last season. The ceiling is very high for #27. In Nick Chubb We Trust.
Still not sold? Take it from one of the best players to ever don the Red and Black – Herschel Walker. He said, about Chubb, “When I played, they didn’t have guys 6-5, 300 pounds that can run a (4.5-second 40-yard dash). You’ve got a bunch of them out there that can do that now. So he’s playing in a totally different era. He can make his own way right now. The guy is an incredible, incredible football player.” In Nick Chubb We Trust.
There are a ton of question marks heading into the summer – Who’s going to play quarterback? Who’s going to play center? Will there be a go-to receiver threat? Can the offense fully adjust and embrace the offensive scheme of Schottenheimer? All of those questions will be answered as we approach kick off on September 5. But there is one thing that is a certainty for UGA, and that is: In Nick Chubb We Trust.
Main Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)