With Missouri's defense wearing down in the second half, it became a perfect time to get D’Andre Swift heavily involved.
Only totaling three carries through the middle of the third quarter, Swift had fresh legs and was geared up to go. He took a handoff from the Georgia 18-yard line, burst through the line of scrimmage through a huge hole on the left side and took off running.
Swift cut back against a defender near midfield and was eventually caught from behind at the Missouri 11-yard line. In total, it was a 71-yard run for Swift that soon set up a 16-yard touchdown run from Sony Michel.
Swift ended the game with 94 yards on six carries thanks to the 71-yarder. But he would have gone well over 100 yards if not for a pre-snap illegal motion penalty late in the third quarter.
Swift was again given a handoff and found a wide-open lane to run through. Cutting the run to his left, Swift then saw a would-be tackler approaching him. Letting instincts take over, Swift became the third Georgia offensive player to leap over a Missouri defender (the others being running back Nick Chubb and tight end Charlie Woerner). The play would have been a 36-yard gain if not for the penalty.
Swift has been quite the compliment for Georgia’s rushing attack, which already boasts a two-headed monster of Chubb and Michel.
“He continues to be a great change-up asset to our offense, from catching the ball out of the backfield and running the ball,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “He’s a hard worker. I thought he did a better job (Saturday) in picking up pressure on third down.”
Swift has totaled 42 carries for 358 rushing yards and a touchdown this season, giving the young runner an average of 8.5 yards per carry. Early in the season, Smart said he wanted to find more ways to get Swift the ball. Even with Chubb and Michel headlining the rushing attack, Smart and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney have not been shy about getting Swift the ball.
Having Swift has allowed Georgia’s coaching staff to preserve Chubb and Michel’s workload to where they figure to be fresher later in the season than they normally would be. Chubb has yet to total 20 carries in a game this season, which is something he regularly did as a freshman.
As Georgia’s third running back, Swift has provided a valuable role to the offense.
“I’m proud of D’Andre,” Georgia receiver Mecole Hardman said. “He came in eager to learn, eager to work. We can’t ask for more out of him. He’s a great running back. He’s doing what he’s supposed to do. When he gets a hole he hits it. He’s making defenders miss. That’s what we expect him to do.”