Debate: Which team has the best RB tandem: Alabama or Georgia?
Alabama and Georgia collide for a huge matchup in Athens. Both teams will need to bring a pair, literally and figuratively. The good news for the Tide and the Bulldogs is that we know they have some in the literal sense.
We chose five guys to debate which school’s set is the best.
WHAT’S THE BETTER RB TANDEM: DERRICK HENRY/KENYAN DRAKE OR NICK CHUBB/SONY MICHEL?
Brad Crawford (@BCrawfordSDS): Chubb/Michel
I’d go with Georgia’s duo here and you can throw in Keith Marshall for good measure. Chubb’s taken a backseat in September to Heisman front-runner Leonard Fournette, but the standout sophomore has just 32 fewer yards rushing (599) on two less carries (71). He’s been unstoppable. As for Sony Michel, he’s likely the SEC’s best in the screen game at his position. He’s averaging 18.5 yards per reception and three of his eight total catches have resulted in touchdowns. Henry’s been better than advertised for the Crimson Tide during his first season as Alabama’s primary rushing option, but Drake hasn’t gotten enough touches offensively (only 11 per game) to show off his play-making potential. What happened to Lane Kiffin’s promise of making Drake a featured threat this fall?
Jon Cooper (@JonSDS): Chubb/Michel
Everyone knew Nick Chubb would have a big season, but Sony Michel has turned just as many heads through four weeks. Chubb and Michel aren’t all that different like Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake, but it looks like Drake just isn’t going to have the season we all thought. Chubb and Michel will only get better when Keith Marshall can get carries to help keep the duo fresh throughout the season.
Christopher Smith (@csmithsds): Henry/Drake
Tough question, and I don’t know that there’s a correct answer.
You have to go with Chubb and Michel whether your answer is based on their production or potential because keep in mind the two are only sophomores. Michel is maybe the most underrated offensive player in the SEC. It’s easy to get lost among all the great backs in the SEC — one of the very best being on your team — but Michel has scored in five consecutive games, totaling eight TDs (five rushing, three receiving) dating back to last year’s Belk Bowl win over Louisville. That’s just one fewer than Chubb over that span. SEC Network’s sideline reporter Laura Rutledge had pointed out that the two were exchanging in competitive talk about who would have more touchdowns while the defense was on the field in last week’s win over Southern. While Leonard Fournette is the front-runner for the Heisman, there is a very realistic way for Chubb to win the award this season. If he remains as consistent as he’s been, rushing for 100 yards in every start of his career to this point, the voters may take note and bestow the honor on the tortoise and not the hare. Of course, that’s only if Fournette has some pebbles in his cleats in the form of mediocre games.
Nick Cole (@NickColeSports): Chubb/Michel
Give me the Georgia duo, and here’s why: Versatility. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel can do anything on the field at any time. Alabama’s Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake have a little bit of yin and yang thing going on, creating a nice complementary situation for the Crimson Tide. But Chubb is the best running back in the country without “Fournette” on the back of his jersey, and I’ll let Alabama coach Nick Saban tell you why: “Nick Chubb is very strong, physical, fast, explosive and he’s got power. He’s a complete back in every sense of the word.” Michel brings many of those qualities to the table as well, along with a penchant for making big plays in both the running game and as a receiver out of the backfield, where he has scored three of his seven touchdowns this season.
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