Nick Chubb once again stood front and center for the Bulldogs as they opened the Kirby Smart era with a 33-24 over North Carolina. Chubb was magnificent carrying the ball 32 times for 222 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His 55-yard scamper late in the fourth sealed the victory.
Nick Chubb: "There were a lot of other players out there who allowed for this kind of performance."— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) September 4, 2016
Georgia played without Sony Michel who was dressed and on the field during warm ups but did not play in the game. The Bulldogs did get a contribution from freshman running back Brian Herrien who put the Bulldogs up 14-7 with a 19-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Herrien finished with seven carries for 59 yards including that one score.
Kirby on Herrien: "Tears almost came to my eyes when he scored that touchdown."— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) September 4, 2016
Georgia didn’t get a lot from the passing game but they got enough when it counted. Jacob Eason made his debut for the Bulldogs in the second quarter and helped rally them from a 10-point deficit in the second half. Eason finished 8 of 12 for 131 yards and a touchdown. He hooked up with Isaiah McKenzie for a 51-yard completion in the fourth to set up a go-ahead field goal.
Grayson Lambert got the start and finished 5 for 8 for 54 yards. However, Smart gave no indication on what the plan for next week would be at the quarterback position.
“There is no plan right now,” Smart said. “Right now we’ll assess the tape. We’ll make another decision. I’m sure all you guys will want to know who will start the next game, and we’ll start it all over again. Maybe you’ll know by Thursday, maybe you’ll know by Wednesday, who knows. We’ve got to figure all that out. I don’t want to jump to any conclusion.”
Maurice Smith played a big part for Georgia in the secondary and came up with some key tackles and had one very athletic pass breakup where he jumped and reached back over his head to deflect the ball away from the would be receiver at the last moment.
Kirby says Maurice Smith earned the start tonight because of how he's practiced this preseason.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) September 4, 2016
The biggest defensive play of the game came on Roquan Smith’s third quarter safety on North Carolina running back Elijah Hood. Kirby Smart told reporters after the game that it was the loudest he had ever heard the Georgia Dome.