Run the damned ball, somebody.

If we’re starting to get some kind of idea about where the coaches are going with the quarterbacks, I can’t say I have the same amount of confidence in knowing which of the running backs are going to get significant carries against North Carolina.  Yesterday, we learned that Elijah Holyfield’s ankle injury isn’t particularly serious.

Smart said Monday night on 960 The Ref that “it’s not a major ankle (injury), it’s not a high ankle. It’s not as bad as (tight end) Charlie Woerner’s was. We think he’ll be back by the end of the week. He’s out there pushing on it right now. It’s not a major deal.”

Buuuut… Smart also had this to say.

Later he said Holyfield is doing well in camp but is not expected to get a lot of carries in the opening game.

Hmmm.  I don’t know if that’s because the injury set him back, because Smart doesn’t trust true freshmen running backs, or something else.  But when you add in Michel’s status,

Smart on Monday night gave the Athens Touchdown Club an update on Michel’s status:

“Sony’s doing all he can,” he said. “There’s only so much that Sony can do himself. The bone’s got to heal. The doctor’s have got to feel comfortable that he’s safe to put himself out there and be able to play with that injury that’s recovered. …It’s more about putting pressure on that arm and that’s just going to be a matter of time.”

Smart said he didn’t know if Michel will be available for the opener against North Carolina on Sept. 3.

… you have to wonder if Chubb will be getting a lot more carries than anyone anticipated.  Could be interesting…

42 Comments

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42 responses to “Run the damned ball, somebody.

  1. Juan

    You might be the last person on earth that thinks Chubb’s carries will be limited.

    • LMAO. Three months ago, most people didn’t think he’d even be ready to play.

    • dawgtired

      His carries could still be ‘limited’ before the game is over. He hasn’t played a full game with an opposing team taking shots at his knee every chance they get. Plus, why wear him out in the first game if we have another back capable?

      • Exactly. It’s one thing to expect Chubb to lead the backs in carries. It’s another to expect him to tote the rock more than 20 times in the opener.

        • tbia

          If UNC can not stop the run any better than last season, and Chubb has 20-25 carries, he will be in the early Heisman discussion.

          • Argondawg

            How was Baylor able to hang so many rushing yards on UNC in the bowl game. I know Briles is creative but 600+ rushing yards in a game is insane. I never watched that game.

  2. 92 grad

    I hate “if” statements. IF the qb can get the D to defend the field, Douglas ought to be a capable option IF the O line can block nicely. Nothing at all wrong with 3.3 yard per carry all day long.

  3. Bulldawg Bill

    And if your grandmother’d had balls…

  4. Uglydawg

    Ah, Kirby is holding his cards close to his vest…that’s Smart. A coach can even use injury updates to his advantage if he’s Smart. What possible advantage could he gain by telling who’s healthy and playing and who isn’t?
    I suspect they will all play (Chubb, Sony and Holyfield ). .if only as a decoy in Sony’s case if his arm isn’t quite ready to cradle the ball and take thus hits.

    • RandallPinkFloyd

      FWIW. I’ve heard from 2 people in the athletic department that Sony is ready to play. They’re being conservative at this point with his own team hitting him, but they said they’d be shocked if he doesn’t play in the dome. Hope they’re right.

      Typing this out felt like the scene in Pulp Fiction when Uma and Travolta are talking about all of the rumors swirling around:
      Uma:”They certainly talk a lot, don’t they?”
      Travolta:”They certainly do. They certainly do.”

  5. sUGArdaddy

    And, I’ll be shocked if Holyfiled doesn’t get some carries. But Kirby is probably being accurate — 5-6 carries. He probably sees Nick getting 20-25. If Sony is healthy, maybe 7-10. I’d bet we see a few carries from Joystick and Godwin. Douglas maybe gets 4-5, depending on if we’re up big.

    If Nick totes it 30 times for 180…look out New York. I don’t say that facetiously. With all due respect to Mr. Fournette and Mr. Henry, the first 5 games of the season the best RB in the nation was #27. He was on pace for nearly 2,000 yds. If he’s tanned, rested and ready…we’re going to be tough to handle and carries will be hard to come by for anyone not named Nicholas Jamaal Chubb.

  6. The other Doug

    I’m starting to wonder if Smart likes to keep things vague and let the fans read whatever they want from his statements.

  7. HVL Dawg

    Quarterback runs. 😀

  8. Fellas,
    Why would Smart say that he doesn’t expect Holyfield to get many carries?
    This kid has had an excellent camp, and shown he can protect the ball, move the chains and hit the home run when presented with the opportunity.
    Not many carries? With this being Chubb’s first game back since the cow pasture calamity? With others like Douglas, Crowder, and Herrien…all very capable of toting the rock a few times to give Nick a blow periodically?
    I do not believe CKS will risk over usage of his star player, especially when it isn’t necessary. You don’t red-line a Lamborghini unnecessarily…ever.
    Once they’re down, you rest Chubb for next week and let the backups stomp on their neck to finish them off.
    We are going to need both Nick and Sony to stay as fresh and healthy as possible because our schedule is going to get tougher later on, and much more important to our season.
    Go Dawgs!

    • My Opinion Is, If the Dawgs had to depend Only On Holyfield. Herrien, &
      Crowder (The Young Dawgs) They would still be In good shape as far as
      having SEC Caliber Running Backs to “Run The Damn Ball”.

  9. Skeptic Dawg

    I believe the only think that we can say for certain is that Chubb will be limited in his carries…15-20. Other than that, we know zero about the status of our RB’s. And I am shocked that Chubb is even playing in this game. I did not expect him back for a few weeks. One more area I feel confident in…we will miss at least one FG and possibly more. A strong over/under on UGA missed FG’s vs UNC would be 1.5. The over looks like a good bet.

    • HVL Dawg

      I was pretty surprised to see that Chubb was getting tackled to the ground in a rainstorm scrimmage. With all that we have riding on him, I don’t think I’d let him even take cuts on a wet field. All those scrimmage YPC won’t matter when we face Tennessee.

  10. Jared S.

    Good grief. The prospect of them running Chubb too much seems all too real, what with the RB injuries and our QB situation. I hope they ease him into the season with an eye to cut him loose in week three (Mizzou) or four (Ole Miss).

  11. Macallanlover

    Feel we will see Chubb (15+ carries), Michel on no between the tackle plays, but perhaps a sweep or swing pass play or two, Douglas on 5-10 carries and in for pass blocking some, an Holyfield for a handful of runs or play action. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Herrien get a few chances depending on how the game is going. I don’t see risking Sony and setting him back another 8 weeks so by playing him in full action before Mizzou, just some light work. Maybe a few plays where he makes the LBs
    conscious of defending outside areas and opening up the middle for Chubb.

    Everyone has their opinions and guesses, mine are no better/worse than others but we have some guys that can contribute and have earned some reps for what they have done in practice…..and they are talented. We also have some guys that are banged up so why not share the load? I don’t see any advantage to redshirting any of these guys so let it rip and find out what we have. Based on our history, we may need all of them before the season is over, it wasn’t long ago that we were down to starting 2 RBs that were 7th and 8th on our depth chart late in the season.

  12. AusDawg85

    Do we have a fullback, or are we going with a 2 TE H-back formation given all the talent at that position?

  13. Cojones

    Herrien is getting the same press and more accolades than Holyfield. How did we first learn that Chubb was the heir apparent to Gurley and that Gurley was first defined as a good runner? Both from practice, just as Holyfield and Herrien are now appearing. Smart has had praise for both and that’s not to mention Douglas and others.

    If the O-Line can make holes, we have the runners to go through.

    • Skeptic Dawg

      We rarely have seen eye to eye in the past, and by rarely I mean never, but today pigs are flying. You nailed it with this one…”If the O-Line can make holes, we have the runners to go through.” GATA!

  14. Austen

    So long as two out of the three RBs in Chubb, Michel, and Holyfield can play, I’ll be at ease with the running game. That’s not to say Douglas and Herrien can’t seal the deal with Chubb as well – I’ll just be a little more uneasy.

  15. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I think y’all are dissing Brendan a little more than he deserves. I know he is not Chubb or Sony, in the sense that he won’t make any one miss, and likely will get caught from behind if he gets to the second level, but he can get 3-4 yards when you need him to, he can block, and he can catch. I’d like to see him play some because the more backs you can play, the more they can stay fresh, the more you can wear a D out over the course of a game.

    • Mayor

      ^This. Brenden would start for a lot of P-5 teams. Instead he got on a team that had Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

      • Otto

        Brendan is underrated but the truth is he is behind some very good backs. I’d like to see him used in combination with Sony, Chubb etc as a blocking back, who can still slip out for a pass, and still gets a few rushes. I am very interested to see what Chaney calls and what formations he runs most often.

    • Last year he rarely got the 3-4 yards in a pinch. I recall multiple times on short yardage last year where he flat got stoned at or behind the line of scrimmage.

      • That’s because every team we played put 8-9 guys in the box to try and stop our running game because they all knew Lambert wasn’t going to hurt them throwing it deep downfield. BD is a tough runner and if the line does their job, he can move the chains. I think they should let him play some fullback because he is an excellent blocker and reliable receiver out of the backfield. Come to think of it, if Tae Crowder wants to get on the field more, maybe he should consider FB as an option.
        That position is manned mostly by walk-ons anyway, so what has he got to lose by giving it a shot at playing there as well. He’s a big, athletic kid with good hands. Hell, I’d be in Coach McGee’s ear at every opportunity. Surely it would be better than sitting and hoping for some carries in mop-up duty.
        Just a thought…

        • Otto

          But Lambert is so great with the ball, how many attempts does he go between INTs?

        • Otto

          If I were Douglas, I would be asking if Chaney could use him more like Malzahn used Lutzenkirchin (sp?) TE, H back etc. He would spend most of his time blocking and then slip out past the LBs trying to get past his block for a critical pass. Under Malzahn roughly 1 in 3 receptions was a TD.

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      Brendan Douglas’s first 21 yard run against South Carolina in 2013 is still a sweet memory. Ran over 2 people. Fired EVERYBODY up.