Auburn 'looking forward' to challenge of facing talented UGA backfield
Auburn’s defensive front seven has enjoyed a lot of success against opposing running backs in 2016.
The Tigers rank 28th nationally against the run, surrendering 125.78 yards per game. Their four touchdowns allowed on the ground is tied for the second-least in college football. They held the SEC’s second-leading rusher Arkansas’ Rawleigh Williams III to 22 yards on 13 carries a few weeks back and Vanderbilt’s standout running back Ralph Webb (No. 3 in the conference) to 46 over the weekend.
Even LSU pride and joy Leonard Fournette was limited to 101 yards and no touchdowns when the two collided earlier this year.
Auburn will get another opportunity to shut down a talented backfield when travels to Athens to play Georgia for the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry this Saturday. It’s looking forward to the challenge.
“Definitely looking forward it,” Auburn linebacker Darrell Williams said, according to the Ledger-Enquirer. “This year has been a pleasure. Being in high school, and seeing all these running backs like Leonard Fournette, Nick Chubb, and guys like that. Just facing them and applying technique. I respect them. You’ve got to respect your opponent’s game. This is going to be a joy.”
Georgia (5-4, 3-4) has struggled in a transition year under first-time head coach Kirby Smart, but that’s not a reflection of its loaded backfield. Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and Brian Herrien enter Week 11 with 1,525 yards (5.2 ypc) — the Dawgs rank 8th in the SEC with 178.3 per game — and 10 touchdowns but are fully capable of a breakout performance at any moment.
“He’s got the ability to make any kind of run,” Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said of Chubb. “He can make the inside run behind his pads. He can run through tackles. He’s able to run through arm tackling. He can make you miss. He can bounce the edge and go the distance. He’s the complete package.
“They have two running backs that are very good at what they do,” Steele said. “I think I’ve heard the term thunder and lightning. They’re both thunder and they’re both lightning when I watch them.”
Auburn and Georgia will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET in Sanford Stadium this Saturday.