Georgia Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb will be running for history this Saturday when his team takes on the Alabama Crimson Tide at home.
Chubb has rushed for more than 100 yards in 12 consecutive games, and another triple-digit performance on the ground would give him the school record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games, breaking the current tie with the legendary Herschel Walker.
But Chubb, a Heisman candidate, couldn’t have asked for a tougher matchup to go for the record.
As inconsistent as Alabama has been at certain positions this season, the Crimson Tide defensive front has been nothing short of dominant, especially when it has come to stuffing the run.
The numbers say it all. Through four games, Alabama has surrendered only 227 rushing yards on 115 attempts, ranking as the No. 4 rushing defense in the nation and tops in the SEC. For those who don’t want to do the math, that’s an average of 1.97 yards per carry for the opposition.
Yes, two of those games were against Middle Tennessee and Louisiana-Monroe. But the other two opponents were traditional power-football teams in Wisconsin and Ole Miss. The Alabama rush defense was just as effective in those two games, holding the Badgers and Rebels to 40 and 76 yards on the ground respectively. Alabama has not allowed any one team to rush for over 100 yards this year, much less one player.
However, with all due to respect to Corey Clement and Jaylen Walton, Chubb is lightyears better than any other back Alabama has faced this season, and Nick Saban apparently agrees.
“Nick Chubb is very strong, physical, fast, explosive,” Saban said, per 247 Sports’ Charlie Potter. “He’s got power. He is a complete back in every sense of the word. He’s effective in their screen game so you can’t discount him as a receiver in any way, shape or form either. This guy is by far the best back we’ve played against all year long.”
Chubb vs. Alabama’s front seven is about as textbook of a case of “strength vs. strength” as you’ll find in any college football game this season.
In Georgia’s contests so far, defenses have tried to stack defenders in the box in an effort to focus in on Chubb and force first-year star Grayson Lambert to make plays with his arm. Up until now, defenses loading the box hasn’t mattered much, but just as Alabama’s defensive front hasn’t faced a running back like Chubb, the reverse of that statement is also true.
Georgia has faced two SEC-foes this year in Vanderbilt and South Carolina, and neither one of those defenses can even come close to matching the talent, athleticism and depth that Chubb will be up against on Saturday afternoon. Just like the Bulldogs prior opponents, the Crimson Tide will likely also sell-out to stop the running game until Lambert forces them to do otherwise.
Similar to the praise Saban had for the Heisman contender, Chubb is just as complimentary of Saban’s defensive front.
“They’re very good up front,” Chubb said, according to 247 Sports’ Jake Rowe. “The best seven in America. They haven’t allowed anyone to rush for 100 yards on them this year. We’ve had over 200 yards in the past couple games and we’re doing a great job of running the ball and throwing the ball. I think it’ll be a great challenge for us.”
If Chubb does manage to rush for over 100 yards Saturday to break Walker’s record, there’s no doubt he will have earned it.