UGA’s Sony Michel happy to be back on field

Georgia’s Sony Michel said being sidelined for the last six weeks wasn’t as frustrating as it was in an exercise in patience.

The freshman from Plantation, Fla., played his first game since suffering a broken shoulder blade against Tennessee on Sept. 27. It looked like he hadn’t missed a beat as he finished with 84 yards on 16 carries and scored on a 23-yard touchdown run in the Bulldogs’ 63-31 win over Kentucky.

“We were just making sure my shoulder was ready, making sure it was the right time,” Michel said. “I wasn’t sure. Nobody was sure what game I was going to get back. Today was the game.”

Georgia wasted little time getting Michel back into action. He came in on the sixth play of the Bulldogs’ first offensive series in relief of starter Nick Chubb. He had three quick carries in a row — for two, six and seven yards — before coming back out at the end of the touchdown drive.

That was how the rotation went most of the game, with each back taking alternating after four or five plays apiece. Brendan Douglas also had seven carries for 31 yards. It proved a lethal combination for Kentucky, which saw the three backs combine for 285 yards rushing and two TDs.

“The biggest difference is having some guys who can give whoever’s in there some rest,” quarterback Hutson Mason said. “Having Sony in there really helps Chubb get some good rest. When they’re both healthy you have so many guys in there you always have fresh legs. It helps a lot.”

Now comes the complicated part. Todd Gurley, who was a Heisman Trophy front-runner when he was benched for NCAA rules violations four games ago, returns to the rotation.

“Just another piece to the puzzle,” Michel said. “The team is like a puzzle and if you have the right pieces you can win the game. We’re getting the pieces together to win games. It’ll be great to have everybody back as one unit.”

As for how the hierarchy might look and the carries might be distributed, Michel said, “It doesn’t really matter.

“The Ws are what matter at this point. We’re not focused on carries or how many we got. If I have to go in there and just block, I’m OK with that.”