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Georgia junior tailback Nick Chubb has rushed for 606 yards this season, with more than a third of that coming in the opener against North Carolina.

SEC players of the week

OFFENSIVE — Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway, who rushed for a career-high 236 yards in the 40-29 win at Ole Miss and leads the SEC with 933 yards in six games.

DEFENSIVE — South Carolina cornerback Jamarcus King, who was in ono five tackles and intercepted two Josh Dobbs passes during the 24-21 upset triumph over Tennessee.

SPECIAL TEAMS — Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson, who went 4-for-4 on field-goal attempts, including a long of 47 yards, to improve his season tally to 17-of-18 (94.4 percent).

FRESHMAN — Kentucky tailback Benjamin Snell, who rushed 38 times for 192 yards and two scores in a 35-21 win at Missouri. His yardage set a Kentucky freshman record.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN — Florida left guard Martez Ivey, who is the most inexplicable pick this year given that the Gators averaged 2.1 yards a carry and had just 231 yards.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN — Kentucky defensive tackle Adrian Middleton, who had four tackles and a tackle for loss on a defense that held Missouri to 4-of-15 on third down.

— David Paschall

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ATHENS, Ga. — After rushing for 20 of Georgia's 21 measly yards in Saturday's 24-10 loss to Florida in Jacksonville, junior tailback Nick Chubb was repeating himself when asked if everything was fine from a health standpoint.

"I'm good. I'm good," Chubb said.

Asked if he was the same Nick Chubb as last season before he tore three ligaments at Tennessee, Chubb quietly said, "Yeah."

Before that injury in Knoxville, Chubb had assembled 13 consecutive 100-yard games, equaling a school mark set by the legendary Herschel Walker. In the first eight games this season, Chubb has just two 100-yard performances and is coming off a two-game stretch in which he's rushed 25 times for 60 yards, or 2.4 yards a carry.

Chubb averaged 8.1 yards per carry a year ago, setting a single-season school mark, so is he the same player?

"That's a hard question, because I don't know him from last year," Bulldogs first-year coach Kirby Smart said. "I know he's disappointed with where his statistics are, and it would be a lie to say that he's not, but health-wise I can't say that anything is wrong with Nick. He does everything. He had a really good off week of practice — sprinting, cutting, running all the way to the end zone.

"He gives really good effort and energy in practice and practices with toughness. He's a good leader for us, but we just haven't been productive, and that's on us as coaches."

Chubb's recovery during the offseason was well-documented, and there was no shortage of teammates marveling at his dedication and determination. That made for a crowning storyline on Sept. 3, when the 5-foot-10, 228-pounder from Cedartown shredded North Carolina for 222 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries in a 33-24 victory.

His comeback quickly stalled, however, when he was held to 80 yards by Nicholls State and 63 yards by Missouri before a sprained ankle sidelined him for the second half of the 45-14 loss at Ole Miss. Chubb tried to return the next week against Tennessee, rushing once for 3 yards, and then had his second big showing with 16 carries for 121 yards and two scores in the 28-14 win at South Carolina on Oct. 9.

A 40-yard run against the Gamecocks early in the third quarter displayed the vintage Chubb who amassed 1,323 yards in the final eight games of the 2014 season and 745 yards in the first five games last season, but Georgia's past two games have been filled with struggles throughout the running game.

"Nick is still motivated, coming in for treatment and finishing all his plays," sophomore receiver Michael Chigbu said. "Stuff happens to people and stuff happens to the team. We're not having the year we want, and he's not having the year he wants, but the only way to get over it is through hard work and dedication."

Said senior linebacker Chuks Amaechi: "Nick is the same player. He's always a quiet kid and leads with his pads. He's not really one to talk, but he's the same in week nine as he was in week one. He's just as hard to bring down in practice, and he doesn't take a step back for anybody."

Chubb seemed a cinch for a 1,000-yard season after the UNC opener, but that one game has comprised 36.6 percent of his 606 yards. He will try to get back on track Saturday night at Kentucky, a team he torched for 170 yards on 13 carries two years ago in Lexington.

"I can't say anything is wrong from a health standpoint," Smart said, "because he's done everything we've asked and looks good doing it to me."

Third-quarter woes

Georgia has been outscored 209-186 through eight games this season, with its worst deficit (66-46) occurring in the third quarter.

"The biggest thing we need to do is come out of the half and play better," Smart said. "The fourth quarter had been better for us earlier in the season, but it hasn't been lately."

The Bulldogs have not been outscored throughout an entire season since 1996.

Odds and ends

A Kentucky victory Saturday night would assure the Wildcats of their first winning season in league play since 1977.... Georgia holds a commanding 55-12-2 series lead against the Wildcats.... Smart said junior safety Dominick Sanders and freshman receiver Riley Ridley should be fine this week after having to leave the game in Jacksonville but that sophomore defensive end DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle is "day-to-day" with the ankle injury he sustained against the Gators.... CBS has elected to use a six-day option for the Nov. 12 television schedule, which includes a CBS doubleheader at noon and 3:30. Georgia hosts Auburn next week.... Sophomore Michael Barnett was back at defensive end in Monday's practice after getting a two-week look on the offensive line.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

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