NASHVILLE — Georgia senior tailback Nick Chubb will finish out his college career in some very rare air.
By rushing for 138 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in Saturday's 45-14 drubbing of Vanderbilt, Chubb became just the eighth player in Southeastern Conference history to rush for 4,000 yards in his career. He surpassed that milestone with his 106-yard performance in the first half, and he moved into seventh all-time past LSU's Charles Alexander in the second half to raise his total to 4,042 yards.
Chubb passed Florida's Emmitt Smith (3,928) and Mississippi State's Anthony Dixon (3,994) during the first half.
"I think it's pretty special when you talk about the company he's keeping," Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. "It says a lot about his personality and his determination to bounce back from the injury he had (torn knee ligaments at Tennessee in 2015) and still set some of these milestones."
The 5-foot-10, 225-pounder from Cedartown, Ga. knew 4,000 yards was in reach before adding "it wasn't my sole purpose for coming out here."
Chubb set the tone for Saturday's slaughter with a 4-yard carry and a 13-yard carry on Georgia's first two plays from scrimmage. The Bulldogs took their opening possession 83 yards on seven plays and never had to pass, with Chubb rushing five times for 69 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown.
"That's fun, and it's who we want to be," Chubb said. "We want to be physical and tough up front, and that's what we did. Everyone was having great success, and it starts with our O-line. Those guys did a great job of pushing and opening up big holes for us.
"We have a lot of great running backs, and we just hit the hole and do what we do after that."
The Bulldogs amassed 423 rushing yards, the sixth-most in program history.
Smart also appreciated the opening drive, saying, "I think that's the mentality of this team. It's really not a scoreboard deal. We really want to see if we can make the other team quit."
Next in line on the SEC's career rushing chart for Chubb to pass is LSU's Dalton Hilliard (4,050), and after that would be Florida's Errict Rhett (4,163) and Auburn's Bo Jackson (4,303). The top three rushers in league history are Georgia's Herschel Walker (5,259), Arkansas' Darren McFadden (4,590) and LSU's Kevin Faulk (4,557).
"To do this means a lot, and I'm just fortunate to be in the situation that I am," Chubb said. "I'm taking full advantage of it, but anytime we can excel as a team, it means way more than what I do on my own."
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org. or 423-757-6524.