Chubb for Heisman
As has been well documented here at BIG HAIRY BLAWG, Nick Chubb led the nation in yards per carry last year at over eight before badly busting up his leg at Tennessee, setting the University of Georgia mark broken in 2014 by both he as a true freshman and Todd Gurley. They both went over seven that year. Chubb’s Gurley-fill-in 2014 season was actually the second greatest individual player’s total rushing year at Georgia and fourth best overall, his 1,547 yards trailing only the three years that Herschel ran so well so much.
While Leonard Fournette was actually the first SEC running back in many years to lead the nation in rushing yards per game last year. Yet, big Derrick Henry at Alabama won it. He obviously played in more games than Chubb and also had one more regular season game than Fournette plus another extra game by virtue of the College Football Playoff first round as compared to just a one-round bowl game (where Fournette totally went off). Henry got two extra games and was the third best running back in the SEC (by per play and per game standards). By playing a whole year, an elongated national championship year, and in so many games where Bama had a big lead and faced softened up opponents, he eventually set the SEC yardage mark and won the trophy. His defense probably won him that trophy.
Chubb’s running style contains much less of the sheer athletic artistry and acrobatics of a leaping Herschel Walker or Knowshon Moreno:
(painting by: Kari Waltz ~ www.kariwaltz.com)
Nick’s subtle effective style reminds me most of Emmitt Smith, actually, that always chugging forward powerful machine, always getting extra yardage, stiff arming his way down the field. Patiently waiting for blocks to develop and finding small creases with excellent vision and feet always moving. Smith (I know, he’s a hated Gator) was good in the SEC and is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Could Chubb get the hardware before bolting for the NFL as a junior? Maybe so.
Remember what happened. He got the nod at Mizzou and gashed them for huge yardage. Then he outran the whole deep and talented Hogs backfield in Little Rock. At Jacksonville facing a tough Florida D, he went for 100 yards…in the first quarter. Then, the ghosts of Georgia’s and Mark Richt’s past came out to play. We lost that game badly. This is more of a mature Nick Chubb we are seeing at The Zou tonight. He has been through the highs of 1,500 yards and the lows of bad defeats and horrific injury. He’s a man in full now.
He popped old UNC for 222 then scratched out just 80 last week in the Classic City. 302 by two is 150+ a game. Average 150 on a winning team, and the Heisman is a very real possibility.
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