PASADENA, Calif. — When it was over, when it was finally over, Todd Gurley made his way down to the Georgia locker room from the suite where he witnessed the Bulldogs’ star running backs shine brightly.
“Straight beasts, man,” said the Los Angeles Rams running back and former first-round pick out of Georgia who wore a red cap with a Georgia “G” on it. “Every time Oklahoma did something, they responded back from it. That shows you what kind of dudes they are. And they’re first-round running backs, man.”
Sony Michel and Nick Chubb accounted for six of Georgia’s seven touchdowns in its 54-48 double-overtime national semifinal Rose Bowl win Monday.
“We always come in here prepared to run the ball – me and Sony and also the other guys,” Chubb said. “This is a regular day for us. Things started opening up a little more and that’s what we hope for every game.”
In a game with 102 points, Michel scored the final six on a play he said is called “Susan,” that he thought he had run once before against Missouri.
He took a direct snap 27 yards to end it.
“Once I broke through the line, there was really nobody in the secondary, it was time to put it in the end zone,” said Michel, who rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries and scored on a touchdown reception, giving him a Georgia bowl record for points (24) and touchdowns (four). He also set a Georgia bowl record with a 75-yard touchdown run.
“He’s got much success coming his way,” defensive tackle Jonathan Ledbetter said, “and I know he’s going to eat in this national championship game. No question.”
Chubb was told that he was announced as the Rose Bowl offensive player of the game, but that they made a late change for Michel after his game-winner.
“He should have been there,” Chubb said. “He made plays all game.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart lauded both Michel and Chubb.
Chubb is second in SEC history with 4,744 career rushing yards after rushing for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries, while Michel now has 3,540 yards, good for third in program history.
“Look, 27 and 1, they put this team on their shoulders, and all they do is do it right,” Smart said. “To see them racing down the field, I mean, it really embodies what this team is about.”
“We’ve been together for a long time, so we feed off each other,” Chubb said. “He scored the first two touchdowns, and in my mind I was like, ‘I’m competing with you. I’ve got to get it in.’ I ended up scoring and he obviously ended up scoring again. It goes back and forth. It’s a friendly competition.”