After today's performance, I'll go ahead and say it: Georgia Bulldogs, 2015 national champions.
OK, we're jumping the gun, but Week 1 is for overreacting, and No. 9 Georgia did look very good in its 51-14 victory over Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday.
The best player in the game was, you guessed it, Georgia's Heisman hopeful Nick Chubb. The nation's best tailback did what we've come from to expect from him, namely running over and around defenders in the process of putting six on the board. Chubb rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries for an average of 7.5 yards per carry. It was the sophomore's ninth consecutive 100-yard rushing game and 10th consecutive game he's scored a rushing touchdown.
The Bulldogs got on the board early with a touchdown from Chubb. After a partially blocked punt by Lorenzo Carter gave Georgia possession in the ULM red zone, Chubb took a run up the middle through a hole the size of the Grand Canyon, opened by fullback Quayvon Hicks, 14 yards for Georgia's first touchdown of the season.
Oh when Chubb do that voodoo that he do. #GoDawgs- VineyardDawg (@vineyarddawg) September 5, 2015
And the Dawgs weren't done yet. An Aaron Davis interception coming on the first play of ULM's next possession gave Georgia tremendous field position once again. But instead of relying on Chubb, new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer (apologies to Jets fans who have an adverse reaction to that name) drew up a pass play, and Virginia transfer Greyson Lambert, in his first Georgia start, threw a low pass that tight end Jeb Blazevich was able to scoop before it hit the ground for a touchdown.
One of Georgia's biggest questions heading into this season was the situation at quarterback. Mark Richt named Lambert the starter last week, which raised many eyebrows around Athens. I mean, who would trust a quarterback who couldn't even start at Virginia. Virginia. But Lambert was steady and strong, throwing for 141 yards and two touchdowns on 8-of-12 passing.
Lambert's best pass of the day came in the third quarter when he hit Malcolm Mitchell with a perfectly placed toss to Mitchell's back shoulder at the front of the end zone that was brought down for six. Georgia got its third touchdown of the day two minutes into the second quarter via tailback Keith Marshall, the forgotten half of Georgia's "Gurshall" combo with Todd Gurley. Marshall, who's suffered multiple injury setback in his career, got a big ovation from the Sanford Stadium crowd after his score.
soooooo much applause any time Keith Marshall touches the ball and my ears kinda hurt.- Dijana Kunovac (@dijana_kunovac) September 5, 2015
Chubb's second touchdown was more of what we've come to expect from him. The tailback wove in and out of the defense, slipping past one defender attempting a shoestring tackle and powering past another who stood between him and the goal line.
Another Georgia sophomore tailback, Sony Michel, got plenty of action, but his contributions came through the air. Michel had two receptions for 79 yards in the first half. The first was a 48-yard catch delivered by Lambert, and the second was a 31-yard touchdown on a screen from Brice Ramsey.
The game also brought some off-field excitement for Georgia fans as it was the debut of Que, the front-runner for position of Uga X. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but people in Georgia love these dogs more than they love their families. I once saw an old man cry outside a Georgia game just from looking at Uga.
Georgia fans are pretty indifferent to Russ, the current Uga, who is no doubt a very good dog. But just look at Que. Don't you just wanna smush his little doggy face? Just look at the little guy.
Georgia's mascot for the opener, Que, making himself at home. UGA will name a new mascot (Uga X) during the season. pic.twitter.com/9QJZvHEF3S- ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) September 5, 2015
Also featured in Georgia' blowout was a lightning delay, which forced the teams off the field for an hour and 16 minutes. Most of Sanford Stadium emptied, as well, but a few diehards stuck around to wait it out in the rain.
And remember how I said that Georgia fans are crazy about that dog? Well, some unlucky soul was forced to sit with Que inside Uga's doghouse to comfort the dog while he waited out the storm.
College football is great.
Another lightning delay occurred with a 9:54 left in the game, but Que didn't have to stay in his doghouse for this one. Both coaches decided to call the game and award Georgia the 51-14 victory.
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Cy Brown writes about soccer and other stuff for Sports on Earth. Follow him on Twitter @CEPBrown.