The Tigers this time around won’t see Nick Chubb lined up in the Bulldogs’ backfield after he was lost for the season with a knee injury Saturday against Tennessee.
“Now they go to the next step,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said at a news conference Monday. “They’ve got some other good running backs. They’ve recruited well there.”
The next step as the featured back is Sony Michel, who rushed for 145 yards on 22 carries against the Volunteers in the 38-31 loss.
“Sony Michel is a starting running back on any team in the SEC and he played like it,” wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell said.
Of course, Chubb was ahead of Michel for a reason. He rushed for 1,547 yards last season and tied Herschel Walker’s Georgia record streak of 100-yard rushing yard games at 13 before his injury.
“I’m not going to say they’re not going to miss a beat,” Pinkel said. “They’ve lost a great player, but they’ve got some good people in there.”
Keith Marshall and Brendan Douglas are next behind Michel.
“We definitely need more than one back to carry the ball during ballgames,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “I’m sure Keith will get opportunities. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brendan Douglas get more opportunities now as well. We have to keep a close eye on our lead back, who in this case now is Sony. We’ll try to keep him as fresh as possible throughout a ballgame.”