University of Georgia Bulldogs @ University of South Carolina Gamecocks
Sunday, October 9, 2016
Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina
Score: Georgia (28), South Carolina (14)
Notable Prospects Entering the Contest
Nick Chubb, RB, Junior, #27: This was Chubb’s truest return to form since the season opener against North Carolina. The fact that Chubb is in this position after the injury suffered last year is incredible to begin with; but there are increasing flashes of dominance. Chubb had two signature runs: a 15 yard rumble for a touchdown in the first quarter and a big gain in the early portion of the 3rd quarter that flipped the field position. Each run showed leg drive that makes him a nightmare for second level tacklers. There was a spring to Chubb’s cuts that looked as though there was no injury at all in his recent history. Chubb continues to look like another generational talent at the position thanks to his blend of explosiveness, size and agility. If his medicals come back clean, this is definitely a 1st RD value prospect.
Sony Michel, RB, Junior, #1: Michel has come on strong the past few weeks himself. I don’t think he’s anywhere near the caliber back of Chubb at this point but he’s a nice boundary runner. Michel doesn’t run with the same leverage or drive in the lower body; he’s much more of a true speed runner in spite of being listed comparably to Chubb. His size (if true) and speed combination is a special blend but Michel’s running style strikes me similarly to Melvin Gordon coming out of Wisconsin. Michel gouged the Gamecocks outside the tackles and continues to show NFL game breaking speed. He strikes me as a viable back but he’s not the special blend that his teammate is (at this point).
Greg Pyke, OL, RS Senior, #73: Pyke, in my opinion, continues to play out of position in 2016. I liked his film much better in 2015 as a Right Guard as compared to what I’ve seen from him at RT this season. Pyke doesn’t have a tackle skillset from a movement skills standpoint; he’s more boxy than lengthy and fails to show polish in his feet to handle speed on the boundary. In order to sustain edge integrity Pyke has to bail out of his kick slide and leaves himself open to speed to power conversion rushes. As a Guard, Pyke plays much more efficiently with his angles and shows nice hand work to uproot and work defensive linemen out of their gaps. Pyke is a name to watch due to strong 2015 flashes down the stretch but he’s not going to inspire if he keeps playing at Tackle for the remainder of the season.
Brandon Kublanow, C, RS Senior, #54: Kublanow is a long entrenched starter along the line for the Bulldogs; he’s nearing 40 consecutive starts at Center. His expertise was evident in this contest, he was very effective combo blocking to clear large running lanes up the middle, active and efficient in pulling to get out in front of boundary runs in space and anchored a strong effort on the interior in pass protection. Kublanow would have had a quiet game if you weren’t looking for him, which is a nice role for an interior offensive lineman to have. Kublanow looks to have baseline levels of functional athleticism and strength to transition at the next level and should challenge to be a draft selection at one of the lesser coveted positions in terms of draft investment.
South Carolina Offense
Hayden Hurst, TE, Sophomore, #81: Hurst spent two years in the minor league system of the Pittsburgh Pirates before walking on to the SC football program in 2015. Played in 12 games and started one as a true freshman. Now 23, Hurst garners some attention with his versatility vs. Georgia. He played from the flex position, made a strong effort with a leaping grab and was called upon for punt return duties. He did misplay a punt inside the 25 that cost the Gamecocks about 20 yards of field position but Hurst has now logged at least 5 receptions and at least 80 yards in three consecutive games now. The offense in Columbia is lacking in talent (minus Deebo Samuel, who had a very strong performance) and Hurst is a name to watch who may continue to blossom.
Best Players on the Field:
Nick Chubb, RB; Deebo Samuel, WR (Sophomore, SC)
Perry Orth, QB (Senior, SC); AJ Turner, RB (RS Freshman, SC)