Who has the edge? Sony Michel vs. Kelvin Taylor
The SEC’s game of the week features No. 11 Florida taking on a Georgia team that is trying to carry on despite losing RB Nick Chubb to a season-ending knee injury.
Chubb was injured on his first carry against Tennessee.
Since then, Georgia has rushed for 285 yards in two games, well short of the team’s average of 215.6 rushing yards per game, but still more than the 184 yards Florida has rushed for during that span.
Both teams have quarterback questions, which puts even more focus on the starting running backs, who could be the difference Saturday.
Florida junior RB Kelvin Taylor certainly was the difference last season, playing on the field his father starred on with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Kelvin Taylor ran for a career-high 197 yards and scored two touchdowns as Florida manhandled Georgia 38-20. (The Gators benched Jeff Driskel and started Harris, but only asked him to throw 6 passes, as feeding Taylor and Matt Jones proved nearly unstoppable.)
Taylor ran for 284 yards during a recent three-week stretch but was limited to 25 yards on 15 carries in LSU’s narrow win over the Gators on Oct. 17.
Now with an extra week to watch film and correct mistakes, look for Florida to try to get Taylor back on track against a stingy Georgia defense.
On the other hand, Sony Michel may have inherited the hardest job in college sports as he replaced Chubb, one of the great workhorse backs in Georgia history.
Michel was spectacular in relief of Chubb against Tennessee, running 22 times for 145 yards. He returned to Earth somewhat Oct. 17 against Missouri, gaining 87 yards on 26 carries.
At 5-foot-11, 212-pounds, the Bulldogs can’t hope to use Michel the same way they did Chubb, but with the SEC East wide open, Georgia simply doesn’t have a better option. In an all-or-nothing game for Georgia, expect Michel to get a full workload.
Kelvin Taylor dominated Georgia last season. Think of what he could do as the focal point of the offense.
Taylor: 25 rushes for 121 yards and a touchdown
Michel: 22 rushes for 91 yards.