ATHENS, Ga. -- There may never be a greater running back in Georgia history than Herschel Walker. But Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart thinks Nick Chubb comes pretty darn close.
Chubb had two touchdowns in the Bulldogs' win over the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday at Sanford Stadium, his final game at home. One of them was a 55-yard dash that helped him surpass 1,000 rushing yards this season, the third time he's done that in his collegiate career. The only other running back at Georgia to do that was Walker.
Smart said after the game he believes Chubb is underappreciated for all he's accomplished, and he's willing to state his belief that it was harder for Chubb to do it than it was for Walker.
"I appreciate what he’s done in an era where rushing the ball is really hard. It’s gotten harder and harder," Smart said. "I would venture to say when Herschel ran for his, he ran in an era where...people were rushing the ball. It is hard in the SEC."
Walker had 5,259 rushing yards in three seasons with the Bulldogs, and all three of his 1,000-yard seasons were well over 1,500 yards and all the way up to almost 1,900. Walker won a national championship in 1980 and the Heisman Trophy in 1982.
"Just to be in the same company has [Walker], he was probably the number one legend coming out of Georgia," Chubb said." So being in the same sentence as him is certainly a great accomplishment."
Smart believes Chubb deserves more respect. Chubb has 4,469 career rushing yards and 351 receiving yards. He has 44 total touchdowns in his career, eight shy of Walker's total.
"I'm not diminishing what Herschel did, I'm just enlightening you to the fact that Nick Chubb has rushed for three 1,000 yard seasons in the SEC which is the toughest conference to run the ball. That’s pretty remarkable, and did it alongside another back that’s nearly just as talented as he is."
Chubb's touchdowns also allowed him to pass Todd Gurley for the most career touchdowns by a running back at Georgia. The only one ahead of him is Walker.
Smart also gave credit to his team for sweeping the SEC East, and believes that, too, was harder than most believe.
"It’s the first time it’s happened. It’s something those guys will be remembered by. Something they can hold on to and say for the rest of my life, they were the first team that did that," Smart said. "And say what you want about the East, but they did it. It was a great team accomplishment."