Your daily dose of Chubb

CBSSport’s Robby Kalland speculates that even if/when Nick Chubb is fully healthy, it’s likely that he won’t put up the kind of eye-popping stats we been used to seeing.  Why?

It’s all about the offensive coordinator.

The issue for Chubb in being a Heisman contender this season won’t a scheme fit but rather usage. Chubb could see some of his workload go to Sony Michel, who had a big year in Chubb’s absence, rushing for over 1,100 yards and is a good pass catching option out of the backfield — 26 catches for 270 yards in 2015. Chaney has shown in the past that when he has two quality backs, he will split touches pretty evenly. Examples include Jonathan Williams at Alex Collins at Arkansas (nearly identical touches and numbers) and Raijon Neal and Marlon Lane Jr. at Tennessee. Simply put, Chubb may not get a workhorse share.

In the first five games of the 2015 season, Chubb had 91 carries for 745 yards and 7 touchdowns. Those are video game numbers. Extrapolated over a season — even accounting for an increase in competition level in the SEC schedule — Chubb was on pace for a season close to on par with Derrick Henry. In those same first five games, Michel had only 41 carries before taking on the heavy workload after Chubb’s injury.

That means Chubb had 69 percent of the carries between the two to start the season, which is a healthy majority of the workload. If that had dipped to a 60-40 split, Chubb would have lost 12 carries and 97 yards (based on his 8.1 yard per carry average) in those first five games. Over the course of the season, that would cost him more than 200 yards and likely a few touchdowns. That could put a significant gap between him and other candidates at the position, like Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Royce Freeman and Dalvin Cook.

Schematically, Chaney and Pittman’s arrival in Athens should be a good thing for Chubb. In the long run, the reduction in carries that would be a good thing for Chubb as he would avoid taking as much punishment as he looks forward to the NFL (and it would generally help him work back from his injury), but it could be a hit to his Heisman chances.

The only reason I ever care about a Georgia player’s Heisman chances is because the better those are, the more likely it is that the team is doing well, so in the vast scheme of things, I can’t say this is of much concern.

My one counter to this is the play of the offensive line.  Georgia’s three best backs of the Richt era – Moreno, Gurley and Chubb – all had the ability to make something out of less than good run blocking support from their offensive lines.  If in 2016 that isn’t where Pittman wants it, don’t be surprised if Chubb’s carries reflect that.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

21 responses to “Your daily dose of Chubb

  1. Your sentiments on the Heisman are exactly how I feel as well. The only reason it matters is as an indication of how well the team is performing and, therefore, how much the WWL talks about your candidate.

    There’s a reason it’s the most overhyped award in sports.

  2. frowertr

    Chubb is also much better than those four players that got split carries.

    I do think staff will be cautious with him and he won’t be getting 30 touches a game.

    • Jared S.

      I could be wrong, but so far through his first two seasons I thought Chubb had averaged fewer than 20 carries a game.

  3. JN

    Dear Robby,
    Jonathan, Alex, Rajon, and Marlon ain’t Nick Chubb.

  4. His future in the NFL is more important than any award..

    • Absolutely … I want us to be successful and him to minimize the wear and tear on his wheels. NFL running backs have a limited shelf life, so he needs to get paid while the window is open.

  5. Walt

    Also, LSU will probably run the hell out of Leonard Fournette.

  6. Cojones

    Warms the heart to see the concerns are for Chubb’s healthy future. He already is a Dawg for the ages no matter what happens in his future at UGA.

    • Macallanlover

      True, I will always consider him one of best running backs if he never plays another down. I don’t judge them by just the stats, or the titles. Nick Chubb is a special person in more ways than just his God-given talent. I do hope he can accomplish his goals at UGA, and I don’t think he will judge it by the Heisman committee’s vote. His work ethic and character are admirable, and it seems to run in his family’s DNA. I also hope he gets rewarded by the NFL but believe he will succeed in life regardless.

  7. RugbyDawg79

    I could give a rats ass about the heisman –beat florida and make sure Nick gets paid —I read earlier that he is front Squatting 375 Lbs

  8. My theory remains that Chubb & Eason get only a few Reps against UNC.
    These 2 get a lot more Reps In the second game ( Getting ready for the SEC).
    Game # 3 they become Starters for the rest of the season.
    Chubb will be the one that carries the Dawgs all season long. Go Dawgs.

    • Otto

      I can see that with Eason. We saw a lot of shotgun formations during the G day game. If we do run mostly shotgun with use of TEs and slot WRs, Sony creates options. Chubb is a better back out of the I, Sony is likely a better receiver. So, Chubb may see fewer carries. I am very interested to see what direction they go. I also hope it stays quiet until after the UNC game.

      • merk

        If I recall, Chubb caught the ball pretty well out of the back field too. There really is no reason not to have both him and Michel on the field together several times a game.

        • Otto

          Agreed, but the statement was more that Sony would be more natural moving between RB and WR in a shotgun scenario. Sure Chubb can catch the ball. I just think Sony likely does a better job getting open at receiver which gives the OC/QB the ability to read the defensive package in the game and move Sony between the 2 going up to the line. Yes you could also do something similar but with the ability of 2 RBs in the game.

  9. Mayor

    Isn’t how much to use a back really a HC decision, not an OC decision? Wasn’t Dooley the guy who decided to run the ball with Herschel 40 times a game?This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    • Jared S.

      I’d say it’s more likely a HC decision if the HC is a former OC…. But CKS is not and one reason why he brought on OC, presumably, is because he knew he wouldn’t have to micro-manage Chaney’s offensive decisions.