Nick Chubb and Georgia’s offense remain a work in progress

Georgia running back Nick Chubb runs against Notre Dame during the first half in South Bend, Ind., last Saturday. (AP photo)

ATHENS – There was the old Nick Chubb, for about three or four seconds. He took a handoff on a power sweep, ran around left end and jetted down the sideline. He looked ahead and saw only green. He was thinking touchdown.

“I should’ve taken it in,” he said Tuesday.

That didn’t happen. Notre Dame safety Nick Coleman got an angle on Chubb and lunged at the legs of the Georgia running back, tripping him up at midfield and limiting the gain to 30 yards. The Bulldogs later settled for a field goal. Chubb settled for his lone individual highlight on his first carry of the night.

It’s early in the 2017 season, and nobody is quite sure what to think of Georgia yet. If the performance in South Bend is any indication, the defense might meet or exceed all expectations. They had three sacks, forced three fumbles (recovered two) and nine tackles for loss, and locked down a road victory in a distant stadium against a Top 25 opponent. That could be positive foreshadowing for the SEC season.

But what should anybody expect of Chubb? He returned for his senior season because, he said, “It just didn’t feel right to leave” and, “I wanted to win more games.”

Maybe. But had Chubb been projected to go higher than in the middle rounds of the NFL draft, he might’ve said, “Leaving just felt right.” His NFL stock dropped because he wasn’t the same back in the 2016 season, his first following a major knee injury in 2015. Chubb required reconstructive surgery when he tore three knee ligaments at Tennessee. 

Chubb acknowledges now what he wouldn’t last season, but is common following a significant knee surgery: It took a full year before he started to feel like his old self.

“Just having that year to get things back … now I feel a lot better,” he said.

But it’s not certain he is the same player, with the same burst and ability to cut and power over defenders . In 2015, before the injury, Chubb has 92 carries for 747 yards, setting a school record of 8.1 yards per carry. That average dropped to 5.0 per carry in 2016. He is at 5.7 so far this season after games against Appalachian State and Notre Dame. Some would lay the blame on Georgia’s offensive line. But the truth is the line wasn’t very good in 2015, either.

Chubb had 13 carries against Notre Dame. But after the 30-yarder, he totaled only 33 yards on 12 attempts (2.75 per). Seven of his 13 runs went for 1, 0 or minus-1 yard. It’s one thing for the blocking not to be there. It’s another not to get past the first guy.

This week, Georgia has an empty-the-bench kind of home game against Samford. They should win easily. The SEC schedule that follows will reveal far more about what’s left in Chubb’s legs, and what direction Georgia’s offense is headed, and maybe how far this team can go.

The three may be connected.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney looks like they’re still trying to figure it out. The offense used 18 formations/personnel groupings against Notre Dame, via a film review by DawgNation’s Seth Emerson.

Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm lined up in the shotgun or pistol formation more than 80 percent of the offensive snaps. That could have been just to give Fromm more time in his first start, or in hopes of spreading out Notre Dame defenders. But this isn’t the time to guess what Georgia’s offensive identity will be moving forward.

With uncertainty at quarterback – Fromm is a freshman, and Jacob Eason likely will miss at least a few more games with a sprained knee – a strong running game is essential. If the Dogs can run and defend, they can win a lot of games, and certainly win the SEC East.

But how is Chubb viewed by coaches? He had two carries for nine yards to open the third quarter, then didn’t touch the ball again until the fourth (four possessions later). He and Sony Michel had the same number of touches in the Notre Dame game (13 carries, one reception). Freshman D’Andre Swift had only two carries, but one of those went for 40 yards on a jet sweep.

This is what Smart said of Swift in the days leading to the game: “He’s a talented player. He’s very smart, very mature.”

This is what Smart said of Swift after the game: “(We have) got to find ways to get No. 7 the ball, and I’m not talking about Lorenzo Carter either.”

So one thing seems clear: Smart likes Swift.

“I guess it is a challenge to get everybody enough carries and enough touches,” Chubb said.

Are there specific situations when he’s likely to get the ball?

“Not really. We kind of all do everything.”

There was a time when we knew Chubb was the man in the Georgia backfield. That time might come again, and if it does then the outlook for the Dogs’ is bright. Until then, we can’t be certain of anything this season.

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Reader Comments 0

107 comments
loxize
loxize

I like that game...

Look for South Florida to cover, and then some...you see more.....☞☞☞☞☞☞☞☞www.4smartway.com

TideDawg
TideDawg

Get the rocket arm back at the helm. Fromm is good but there's no substitute for experience.

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Look how upset the little cry baby gets when his team is exposed for the crap they are in 2017!

#snoopthinksusuck

Bawahwahwahwah

Big Wally
Big Wally

It's almost Friday night.  That means it is almost time for Big 10 football.  This week we get to see mighty Illinois who has thrilling victories over Ball St. and Western Kentucky this season.  Unfortunately, Las Vegas isn't too thrilled with Illinois as they are 17 pt. underdogs to American Athletic Conference member, South Florida.


Shame on South Florida for scheduling Little 10 cupcakes like this.


bwhahahahahah

Grant1296
Grant1296

I like that game...

Look for South Florida to cover, and then some...

Big Wally
Big Wally

@Grant1296 Says a lot when AAC teams are scheduling Big 10 teams to pad their stats on.  I guess Illinois (from the Big 10) is a lot like Samford.  Collect a check and a butt whopping at the same time.


Yea, Big 10.  Proud moment.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Big Wally

I see that oh:io's vanished again in the face of the onslaught from fellow posters who've tired of his lying-hypocrite ways.

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

What he does best. Cry and disappear and it makes me laugh hysterically.

#flagplanted

OH:IO
OH:IO

@twelveofthirteen


Who's crying? Your program is the one that hasn't won a title since 1980. We've had TWO in the CURRENT decade. Cry on that. 


Stephen A and Snoop. Throw in a bone and you've got a party. 

Grant1296
Grant1296

Didn't look all that great in the win...

Grant1296
Grant1296

We've???

Thought you said you didn't play..

Probably should try out for starting QB...

Couldn't be any worse than what they have now..

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO". . . TWO in the CURRENT decade."

____________

The current decade???

That's IN THE PAST, lying hypocrite.

Remember when you used to abuse anyone on here who referenced anything IN THE PAST that was negative about your team or positive about UGA?!

Remember???

Remember how you berated anyone on here whose team played on Thursday nights?!

Remember???

Sure you do, lying hypocrite. 

Waller in that bed you've made for yourself, pig.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Grant1296

He DID say he didn't play. But remember, he's the AJC blogs' resident lying hypocrite--and that's just what lying hypocrites do.

Spinoza
Spinoza

@OH:IO @twelveofthirteen Not the current decade but in this century after not winning one since 1968.  Georgia is 1-0 v Ohio State, Tennessee as well, LSU and Florida beat Ohio State this century and Alabama is 3-1 against them.  Overall record v. SEC ten losses and two wins and Ohio State looks lousy this year. 

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

It is obvious that Smart likes Swift, he was recruited by Kirby. The issues with the UGa running attack is not so much Who carries the Ball?, but who on the Offensive line can execute their blocks? This in my opinion will determine the success of the UGa offense not whether Chubb or Swift becomes the go to running back.

Grant1296
Grant1296

Is UNLV really a FBS school...

DawginLex
DawginLex

Raise your hand if your team has never lost to 0HI0(31-0) State or Notre Dame


IN

Grant1296
Grant1296

Effin ???

Go text somebody Techeye...

Grant1296
Grant1296

Or did 1990 put something in your pin head, and you just can't get it out???

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Grant1296



Didn't Tech beat Nebraska for the NC in 1990?? Long after thedogs last on their only?

Grant1296
Grant1296

I think they did...

Of course you missed my point...

1990 was the poster on the last blog you disparaged for using the term Eff..

Go text someone Techeye...

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

The "message" is that of a cowardly lying hypocrite. Proud of it, too--aren't you?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

1980???

Still living in the past, lying hypocrite?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

"thedogs last"???

STILL waiting, lying hypocrite.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Grant1296

Don't forget that he also spent years on here disparaging posters whose teams played on Thursday nights.

That's our lying hypocrite for you.

Grant1296
Grant1296

He's losing it...

Kinda comical.

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Big Wally
Big Wally

Funny how 31-TO-0hio forgets that Tech just played Jacksonville State, who is also an FCS team.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO @Big Wally Is that the point, or is the point that they also have a FCS school on the schedule that you conveniently forget about.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

Did your team win last week, lying hypocrite?

Did it win in that clearly undeserved playoff berth vs Clemson?

Has it ever beaten UGA or FSU?

Does it have a disgraceful record vs the SEC in bowl games?

Did your school of overrated blowhards lose to FSU 37-6--in baseball (Bwahahahahah)!?

Answer the questions, lying hypocrite--then run your yap.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Those Ohio State fans set a speed record for getting out of that stadium so fast last saturday night.


If only their defense could move that fast.


bwhahahahahahha

juwesagob
juwesagob

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DawginLex
DawginLex

"I should have gone to a school with an offense that won't get me beat to death."


J T Barrett

DawgNole
DawgNole

@DawginLex

Kinda reminds me of the osu qb who declared he wasn't there to learn--just to play football.

FlatTire
FlatTire

This just in from our favorite fan Ohio. UNLV is an FBS school !!



twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Empty with 11 minutes to go. Maybe OSU fans are better judges of quality football than we gave them credit for after all!

Bawahwahwahwah

Dawgproud
Dawgproud

Chubb will be fine. If you ask the other players and coaches they will tell you he is better than ever. Go back and look at the game and see how many times he is hit before he nears the line of scrimmage. His nice runs are on stretch plays yet we continue to try to run off tackle.


twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Agreed. He will break some off soon. Already has 25 yard plus runs that have been nice. We are just spoiled from seeing those go to the house in the past.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Has TENN fixed The Turf?

Grant1296
Grant1296

Did OSU fix that hole in the middle of their logo?

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Waaaah! They will get him once he reaches the NFL though!

Bawahwahwahwah

TideDawg
TideDawg

@OH:IO  OSU has to quit trying to play teams out of their intramural league.