Last Updated: 2017-12-30
As great as the running backs are slated to be in the College Football Playoff, there aren’t an abundance of otherworldly performances this season. For example, the Georgia Bulldogs are the only team with a 1,000-yard rusher this season. Meaning, the Clemson Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners and Alabama Crimson Tide are still searching for a premiere running back when it comes to stats. However, most of the College Football Playoff teams have a lot in common in their respective backfields.
Each backfield has been dynamic in their own right. However, the College Football Playoff won’t feature a running back higher than No. 30 in rushing yards. That distinction belongs to Nick Chubb. Interestingly enough, he might not be the biggest factor in the game. Moreover, there’s a chance that three backup running backs might have more of a presence in the semifinals than the starters. That’s how diverse each ground attack can be on a given night.
Now, let’s break down the Georgia Bulldogs’ backfield.
Georgia Bulldogs Running Backs– Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, De’Andre Swift
If the Oklahoma Sooners have any chance of slowing down the Georgia Bulldogs’ offense, these three running backs are the key on every play. First and foremost, the Bulldogs use the running backs to get the offense rolling. Then, they may use the play action game off of the successful ground attack.
As previously stated, Chubb leads the Bulldogs with 1,175 rushing yards. He’s tied with Michel for the team-lead with 13 offensive touchdowns. Chubb averages 6.2 yards per carry and hasn’t been used much in the passing game with three receptions. However, the Bulldogs may have some wrinkles for the running backs in the passing game. The wild card is Swift. The freshman running back leads all three backs with 8.2 yards per rush attempt. He may be used to get on the edge with jet sweeps and reverses. The Sooners must prepare to see Swift in the game with Chubb or Michel. Speaking of Michel, he is a gamebreaker from anywhere on the field. With 948 rushing yards, Michel could surpass the 1,000 yard mark in the first quarter.
In all, Chubb, Michel and Swift have combined for 2,720 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. They all provide different elements to the Georgia run game. Therefore, the Sooners must prepare for different schemes depending on who is in the game. The Bulldogs average 263 rushing yards per game on 45.7 rushing attempts. That number displays just how much they depend on the ground attack. In fact, the Bulldogs only throw the ball 18.9 times per game.
Everybody knows they want to run. Therefore, don’t be surprised if the Bulldogs come out throwing. They’ve had weeks to come up with a game plan for Monday night. Still, the Bulldogs don’t want to get too out of character. Why? Because Oklahoma gives up 144 rushing yards per game and four yards per carry.
The Bulldogs have an extremely deep pool of running backs on the roster. Brian Herrien carried the ball 61 times for 265 yards and one touchdown. Elijah Holyfield earned 50 rushing attempts for 293 yards and two touchdowns. That means the Bulldogs aren’t concerned if they have to go deep down the depth chart. They may need to use them all to outlast the Sooners in the Rose Bowl.
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