If it wasn't obvious that the rushing torch had been passed at Georgia from Todd Gurley to Nick Chubb, Chubb made sure everyone knew Tuesday night. And he made sure in a big way.
Chubb, a true freshman, ran for a career-high 269 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries as the Bulldogs (10-3) ripped Louisville (9-4) 37-14 in the Belk Bowl. His performance gave him 1,550 yards this season, 165 more than Gurley gained in his most productive season. The only players with more rushing yards in a season in Georgia history? Herschel Walker and Garrison Hearst.
Coincidentally, Gurley's best season came in 2012, when he was a true freshman. Because of injuries and a suspension, he didn't crack the 1,000-yard barrier as a sophomore last season or as a junior this season. Still, he is a coveted prospect, and is one of two running backs (Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon is the other) who is considered a potential first-round pick in the 2015 draft.
But the future looks bright with Chubb. Monday's performance came against what had been the nation's No. 2 rushing defense. It was his eighth consecutive 100-yard game and his second 200-yard outing of the season.
Chubb's first TD covered 31 yards and gave the Bulldogs a 17-7 lead in the second quarter; they maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way. His biggest run was an 82-yarder in the third period to set up a short TD run by fellow freshman Sony Michel; that TD gave Georgia a 27-7 lead and the Bulldogs cruised from there.
Chubb is 5-foot-10 and 228 pounds, and is built somewhat like Gurley (6-1, 226). And like Gurley, he is both strong and fast. While he is not yet the receiver or blocker Gurley is, he has a few years to improve in those areas.
Georgia's win spoiled a solid final-game performance for Louisville's DeVante Parker, who is in the mix to be the first senior wide receiver taken in the draft. Parker (6-3, 202) had eight receptions for 120 yards. He missed the first seven games of the season with a foot injury but had 100 receiving yards in five of the six games he played. He made a phenomenal touchdown catch in the second quarter, but it was called back because he had stepped out of bounds on his route.
Louisville free safety Gerod Holliman came into the game with 14 interceptions and needed one more to set the NCAA single-season mark; he didn't get it.