Don’t snicker, campers. With the announcement that Richard Samuel is moving to linebacker this season, it’s a legitimate question. If you breakdown Ealey’s and King’s 2009 stats, it’s not that farfetched, provided the injury bug doesn’t derail either’s season.
Take out the mid-season stretch when King’s play was limited as a result of the busted jaw he received in the LSU game, and you’re left with a seven-game body of work in which he carried the ball 96 times for 554 yards, for a 5.77 ypc average. That pace over thirteen games translates into almost 14 carries a game and a 79.14 ypg average, resulting in a total of 1029 yards.
If you pick up with Ealey at the Tennessee game, when he seriously became a part of the mix at tailback, you get these numbers over the last eight games of the season: 113 carries, 684 yards, a 5.85 ypc average. For a thirteen-game season, that pace works out to about 14 carries a game, an 85.5 yards per game tally and a total of 1111 yards.
Yes, I know all the standard disclaimers about past performance and future results apply, and, again, Georgia will have to stay injury-free, not just with the backs, but also with the line, to have a legitimate shot at this, but given the likelihood that the playcalling will be structured to protect a rookie quarterback, I tend to think there’s a decent chance of accomplishing this. And if you’re a believer in running the ball and stopping the run as two big components in playing successful football, that’s a good start. It’ll be up to Coach Grantham and his charges to do something about improving that 36th ranking in rushing defense to deliver on the other part.