The Georgia Bulldogs have been known to have a great committee of backs over the years. For the last couple of years, we have seen the dynamic duo that was Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. With those two guys moved on to the NFL, the Bulldogs turned a page and now feature a talented backfield with fresh new faces to the NCAA.
It comes as no surprise that the Bulldogs continue to run with their heavy rotation of backs in 2018. The three-headed monster includes names like D’Andre Swift, Brian Herrien, and Elijah Holyfield, who happens to be the son of the legendary boxer, Evander Holyfield.
Similar to his father, Elijah plays a very gritty, and hard-hitting game. It doesn’t take much to notice that Holyfield stands out as a power back. While a lot of college running backs issue more of a hybrid skillset nowadays, Holyfield runs with a chip on his shoulder and changes the pace of the game with his smash-mouth approach while hitting the hole.
Many Georgia fans wonder why Holyfield hasn’t gotten more than 16 carries in a single game when he is averaging 7.9 yards-per-carry on 65 total rushes. And the answer is simple. Georgia’s head coach Kirby Smart simply wants to avoid building wear-and-tear on his Junior running back.
Will That Change?
If Holyfield intends on going into the NFL Draft soon, then he probably recognized the Bulldogs approach to keeping him healthy as a positive. However, nobody wanted to hear why he didn’t receive more carries last week against LSU when Holyfield was averaging 8 YPC, and they struggled to move the ball down the field.
Maybe that will change this week as the Bulldogs take on the Florida Gators for what will end up being the most intriguing game of the afternoon. In order to avoid a scoring slump like last week against the Tigers, Georgia is going to need to find a balance in the passing and the run game. And we can expect Holyfield to get a nice chunk of the carries.
Don’t expect everything to turn into the Elijah Holyfield show, though. Despite getting criticized for shying away from the power back last week, Kirby Smart is staying true to his game plan that requires an even distribution for everybody that’s earned it.
“We try to get three or four carries for a guy. A lot of times they get winded. And we don’t have a lot of times they get three or four carries in one drive. … You want fresh backs in there. If you feel like those guys are equipped to run the ball, they all are going to read the same things, you want those guys in the game and you want to get those guys touches.” Smart told the media earlier in the week, according to Bulldogs reporter, Chip Towers.
Source: Heavy Sports