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UGA Football Coach Kirby Smart Gives Update On Running Backs

September 13, 2023
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ATHENS - If there’s still a big question mark for Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs offensively, it’s at running back.

The Bulldogs aren’t as crisp in the running game as they’ve been in recent years, and there’s a lot of reasons why. Between injuries and the lack of explosiveness in the running back room, we haven’t seen one particular back dominate a game yet. Now, there have only been two games, but eventually, Georgia will need more out of their run game.

Kendall Milton is getting healthier, and so is Daijun Edwards who should see his first action of the season this weekend against the Gamecocks. Cash Jones has played some, Andrew Paul is still coming back from an injury, and of course, we’ve seen Dillon Bell carry the ball now.

True freshman back Roderick Robinson is off to a hot start, and head coach Kirby Smart spoke about Robinson’s play this week along with an update on other running backs. 

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“He’s (Robinson) had the spring ball to learn, figure some things out”, Smart said about his freshman running back. “We've caught speed and he's had an opportunity. We've had some injured backs, and he's been healthy. I've seen him mature. He's very bright. I think he has good vision. He continues to improve in picking up his pass-pro. He should be a weapon at doing that because he's big and physical, so he should be able to do that. That's something that all freshmen go through in which they have to learn that. They have to get comfortable picking up blitzing backers at our level. It's not something that they do at their level. He continues to improve and I'm proud of the work he's done." 

One of the backs coming off an injury is Andrew Paul. Another bigger, bruising back, Paul has dealt with injuries for most of his early Bulldog career, with an ACL injury before the 2022 season setting him back.

“He's continuing to make his way back”, Smart said about Paul. “He's feeling his way through it. I think we would tell you that he is feeling his way through contact and trying to get used to it. He hasn't really had a lot of opportunities. He's had a few, but with Kendall [Milton] coming back, it's been a little more limited. I think he is a young back that is still getting his confidence back. He's flashed and had some really good runs in camp, and I'm hoping that we get to see more of him so he gets to do that."

With the running back room still banged up, the Georgia staff called on receiver Dillon Bell to help out and carry the ball some against Ball State. The versatile playmaker answered the ball, carrying the ball three times for 28 yards and a touchdown.

Will we see Bell carrying the ball more this weekend?

"We'll always have the element whether it's he or [Mekhi] Mews”, Smart said. “Guys that can line up in the backfield and do it. That's always going to be there. We have backs capable of doing that too when they are 100-percent healthy. So, I don't know if I can answer that. Will we keep it there? Probably depends on how many wideouts are healthy. What we have week to week - what the game plan is. But I'd certainly like to.”

 

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