Something very predictable happened on the first play after Todd Gurley left the game with an injured knee: Nick Chubb scored a touchdown.
So it went for Georgia’s football team Saturday night, when the Bulldogs had too many tailbacks for Auburn to answer.
By the end, Gurley had run for 138 yards on 29 carries and Chubb for 144 yards on 19 carries in Georgia’s 34-7 victory over the Tigers.
“It was awesome,” Chubb said of the Bulldogs’ 1-2 punch at tailback. “Man, I’m playing with Todd Gurley. That’s crazy. Last year I was in a high school game. … And now I’m here, playing Auburn. Time flies.”
The tailbacks’ dual performances excited the Sanford Stadium crowd — until Gurley’s knee injury quieted the place with 5:21 remaining in the fourth quarter. (After the game, Georgia coach Mark Richt said he didn’t yet know the specifics of the injury.) After Gurley limped off the field, Chubb re-entered the game. On the very next play, he rebuffed several Auburn tacklers to score on a forceful 11-yard run.
The game marked Gurley’s return to action after a four-game suspension for selling autographs in violation of NCAA rules. While Gurley showed Georgia fans what they missed, the freshman backup who filled in so well during the suspension reminded everyone he’s still around, too.
“I’m just ready any opportunity they give me,” Chubb said. “I just run hard. Our offensive line did good.
“I think things are starting to slow down for me. I’m starting to see things. I’m getting more comfortable.”
Chubb, from Cedartown, was asked if his performance provides the team comfort that its running game is in good shape even if Gurley’s injury proves serious.
“I’d rather have Todd,” Chubb said. “He’s a game-changer. He’s a great player. Todd has made things a lot easier. He’s able to break one any moment.”
Chubb said he shook Gurley’s hand after the injury, but didn’t ask any questions about its severity.
“Todd is a tough dude,” Chubb said. “He has faced a lot of adversity.”
Chubb had averaged 168 rushing yards per game during Gurley’s suspension. In addition to Chubb’s 144 rushing yards Saturday, he caught two passes for 48 yards.
The game marked the first time two Georgia players surpassed 100 yards rushing in the same game since Gurley (116) and Keith Marshall (105) did it against Auburn in 2012.
“Those two guys running the ball for you, it’s very tough to defend,” Richt said of the Gurley-Chubb show, “especially with the way we were blocking and the way coach (Will) Friend and coach (Mike) Bobo were scheming it up.”
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