Georgia coach Mark Richt got this question on his weekly media teleconference Sunday night: Top to bottom, is his current group of running backs the most talented he has had in his 14 years at UGA?
“It probably is,” Richt said. “I mean, I shouldn’t … make a statement like that because you think you’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings. But this bunch is pretty good.
“Now we had a time where we had Danny Ware, (Kregg) Lumpkin and Thomas Brown – all NFL players – and Knowshon Moreno as a freshman. … That was a pretty good bunch as well.”
In Georgia’s season-opening 45-21 win over Clemson on Saturday, freshmen Nick Chubb and Sony Michel made their college debuts and combined for 103 rushing yards. Chubb had four carries for 70 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown. Michel had six carries for 33 yards.
Of course, those numbers were overshadowed by starting tailback Todd Gurley’s 198 rushing yards on 15 carries. Gurley scored three rushing touchdowns and another TD on a 100-yard kickoff return.
Keith Marshall, who rushed for 759 yards in 2012 and 246 last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury on Oct. 5, returned to action Saturday. He had six carries for eight yards and didn’t play after Georgia’s next-to-last possession of the third quarter.
Richt said Marshall’s knee was checked out afterward.
“He’s fine,” Richt said. “Coming off an injury like that, if there’s any little thing that gets tweaked, sometimes you wonder if something is going on in there. And we had a couple of tests to reassure that he’s fine. And so he’s good and we’re good in that regard.”
Georgia had 328 yards rushing against Clemson — 117 in the first three quarters and 211 in the fourth quarter.