Chubb, McKenzie, among factors in Georgia’s favor vs. Georgia Tech

Georgia tailback Nick Chubb has been one of the bright spots for the Bulldogs down the stretch this season and scored two touchdowns against Louisiana-LaFayette. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Georgia tailback Nick Chubb has been one of the bright spots for the Bulldogs down the stretch this season and scored two touchdowns against Louisiana-LaFayette. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

ATHENS — Georgia won its third straight game Saturday, a relatively easy 35-21 win over Louisiana-Lafayette in a game that saw the overmatched visitors score two late touchdowns for window dressing.

“Did not enjoy the way the game ended,” coach Kirby Smart said.

No, but Smart is much happier than he was a few weeks ago, after losses to Vanderbilt and Florida left the Bulldogs reeling at 4-4 overall and 2-4 in the SEC. For my full column on the game, click here.

It’s difficult to project what Georgia’s recent run — wins over Kentucky, Auburn and ULL — will mean going into the game against Tech, for a couple of reasons: 1) The Yellow Jackets also have rebounded, going 4-1 since a three-game losing streak; 2) Strange things often happen in rivalry games (Paul Johnson teams have won twice in Athens, in 2008 and 2014) and this has been an illogical college season on many levels.

But there are a few things worth noting from a Georgia perspective going into the game:

• Running back Nick Chubb: He rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown and scored another TD on a checkdown pass over the middle that turned into a 49-yarder. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in consecutive weeks, which had not happened since before his mid-season knee injury last year. He seems to be running with confidence again.

Smart’s semi-rebuttal: “I never saw him not confident. Maybe y’all did. Everybody talks about production. I don’t think that production is based on Nick. I think that production is based on a whole lot of other things: a new quarterback, the offensive line. You can point to me. Nick Chubb has been everything I anticipated him being.”

• Georgia’s defensive front: The front seven has been strong of late, notwithstanding that Louisiana-Lafayette rushed for 276 yards. Two young linemen, sophomore Jonathan Ledbetter and freshman Julian Rochester, have stood out on the line. The Dogs also have played well despite missing linebacker Natrez Patrick, who has been out with a shoulder injury. His status for the Tech game is uncertain.

Smart was asked if the Rajin’ Cajuns’ running game could be applicable for the defense’s game plan against Tech, which runs the option. “There’s nothing applicable to what we’re going to see next week unfortunately,” he said. “We have a hard time simulating it. I would venture to say coach (Paul) Johnson is not going to watch one game of who we’ve played. Maybe he will. But if he does, I’ll be shocked, because you tend to play a distinctly different style of football, and he knows that. Not that they don’t have perimeter runners. They have lots of them. But that’s just a different style.”

• Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason: He made some poor throws Saturday but he completed 13 of 19 for 165 yards and two touchdowns. He showed great pocket awareness on his touchdown pass to Chubb, buying time against the rush after failing to find an open target on his primary and secondary receivers, then scrambling and spotting a wide open Chubb over the middle. That’s progress.

• Isaiah McKenzie: Special teams could be key next week and I’m not sure Tech has an answer for McKenzie, who had his career fifth career punt return for a touchdown (82 yards) and also ran 55 yards for a score on a toss on the game’s first play.

So there are a few factors weighing in Georgia’s favor next week.

Subscribe for free to the, “We Never Played The Game” podcast with Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein on iTunes. All episodes can be downloaded and heard on iTunes or here via WSBRadio.com. New episodes every Monday and Thursday.

Recent ramblings

Reader Comments 0

247 comments
John1993
John1993

Jeff, don't expect logic to explain this year's edition of GT vs UGA. But, I'd like to see who they will have that can contain a healthy Justin Thomas, Marcus Marshall and Dedrick Mills?  Don't bother, it will be an interesting chess match, but when Tech unleashes that vaunted running attack, I suspect they will give UGA all they can handle. So, for the record they're not worried about who they face, they just run that option to perfection and let the chips fall where they may.  Look for a great matchup, but most of us expect GT to prevail. Go Jackets!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@John1993

If they "run that option to perfection," how did they lose four games this year and nine games a year ago?

DUH!

TOJacket
TOJacket

Just looking at the 142 different degrees you can attain at UGA....Art, Music, Non-profit organization?....lol...joke.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@TOJacket What major was Reggie Ball in?  We know it wasn't math related.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Off to the Left Coast


No SEC! SEC! Network, Alternative or otherwise. 


Happy Thanksgiving, dogs. 


Go Tech! 

TOJacket
TOJacket

My sons out there making a lot of $$$$. See how many dawg fans you see. Just count teeth.

mgunter
mgunter

I fear that my Dawgs might be in for a long afternoon in Athens. Tech is well coached and motivated. Might not go so well. Say 28-27 Tech...... hope I'm wrong

Big Wally
Big Wally

@mgunter Yep, same fear here.  Either way I'm predicting it comes down the last play or last two minutes.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO A whole lot of coverage for what is likely to be a snoozefest of a game.Thank God for the 12 noon start.The two most overrated teams in the top 4. Too bad both may be out of the top 4 on December 4th.

GTBob
GTBob

Time for the annual dog and pony show. Once again, UGA is so poorly coached that GT actually has a chance.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob

Once again?

Why haven't you taken advantage of all those chances?

GTBob
GTBob

@DawgNole Having a chance doesn't mean that you win every time.

OldBlindDawg
OldBlindDawg

I get it - I finally get it. After reading about how bad Bradley and Schultz are it occurred to me - both of them write to their audience. An audience that simply repeats the same drivel over and over - NEVER adding anything of substance. 


There are a few participants here that actually contribute to meaningful discussion then we have the rest - you know who you are. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

Yea Wally, Dawgphlem, Mrs. Landers, 12/13 TideDetergentDawg...if Tech can pull off a victory Saturday we won't hear much from them after Saturday.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Congrats to Blowhio State for that tremendous 1 pt. victory over a 3 and 8 team.  I'm surprised that the playoff committee hasn't just gone ahead and awarded them the National Championship with that stellar win.

TOJacket
TOJacket

They were ranked #1 for 4-5 weeks dummy...and their QB is lighting up the NFL, what has Stafford won sport...we are 3of 4 against the SEC in the last 2 years...run along boy.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@Big Wally That's the way it was done back in the old days. They didn't have to play for a NC.....they got voted in.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@Big Wally  How in the world does Michigan lose to mediocre Iowa and stay at #3 as if it never even happened?  The media is so far up the Little 10's arse this year it is unreal.  Can't wait for these phony sissy posers to get exposed in the post-season, just like always.  Little 10=JOKE. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

@dawg fan @Big Wally The fix is in.  Evidently if you beat Rutgers and Maryland that qualifies you as being in the top 5.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@Big Wally Michigan is a very average team that has feasted on cupcakes all year.  I've seen them play.  They are the most overrated phony poser of a team in a long long time.  Ohio State at least has some talent.  Any team in the Top 5 would take Michigan to the freaking woodshed.  The media's love affair with Coach Khaki pants is nauseating. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO @Big Wally Be careful.  If you are inferring a team like Mississippi State should be FCS you are going to hurt you other half TO's feelings.  He is still living in 2014 when Tech beat MSU.  If you are going to talk bad about them, he might start crying.

TOJacket
TOJacket

The way Bama got theirs too huh? Good grief!

Big Wally
Big Wally

@TOJacket Your TOHIO is the one saying some SEC schools should be FCS not me.  Comprehension just isn't your cup of tea is it?

Big Wally
Big Wally

@TOJacket Ummm Tech beat Vandy so you keep reminding us.  You have acted like that was winning a National Championship, now you are going trash them.  Split personality much?


By the way, SC is bowl eligible and Vandy has a shot.  Rutgers, not even close, and wait for it, Maryland will get a bowl bid only because........................they play Rutgers this week.


Go back to kids table junior, once again, you have proved you are not worthy.

dawg fan
dawg fan

Well well well nerds.  Here we are again.  Put up or shut up time.  You know you want to cancel this series so you can run your fat mouths about us with impunity.  I'm sorry but that's just not going to happen.  You've done an awful lot of jaw flapping about UGA this year, even more so than usual.  Time to pay the piper nerds.  Good luck. 

GeorgePBurdell49
GeorgePBurdell49

Since GT left the SEC, how many times has there not been a few factors in UGAs favor over GT?  Really?  This was worth publishing?  Come on, now.  We all know that UGA always has an edge; a top 10 recruiting class, bigger budget, more facilities, better athletes, and coaches.  UGA is always a favorite to win the SEC East and hopes for the SEC title and National Championships!  


As a GT fan, I know the odds are stacked against us and we seldom have success against UGA, but there IS a chance and every time we win it is fun.  Like they say, every dog has his day and maybe this coming Saturday the underdog will overcome the dawgs! 


Go Jackets!      


dawg fan
dawg fan

@GeorgePBurdell49  That was very touching. Please allow me to translate for those who are not fluent in bull****:  Georgia Tech is more than likely going to lose and instead of handling it with class I'm going to try to make everyone feel sorry for us with a bunch of crybaby sore loser excuses about budgets, recruiting, facilities and having better athletes.  You know, because that should be everyone else's problem instead of ours.  Georgia Tech=freaking JOKE.   

dawg fan
dawg fan

@OH:IO Go loser nerds who pose as Ohio State fans because their real team is a complete and utter embarrassment!!  Georgia Tech=JOKE. 

GTBob
GTBob

@dawg fan What exactly would be the definition of handling it with class? Pretending there is no reason that we lost? You make no sense.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob

How 'bout you lost because you have a football program that's inferior to UGA's year in and year out?

At least that would be an honest admission--as opposed to whining because you can't recruit as well.

TOJacket
TOJacket

God, Mrs. Landers you're stupid.

GTBob
GTBob

@DawgNole You do realize that the key reason for having an inferior program is the inability to recruit as well, don't you?