Georgia's running duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel returned for their senior season.

Oklahoma aware of challenge Georgia’s running backs pose

Georgia’s battle with Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day is being billed as strength vs strength: the Sooners’ offense vs. the Bulldogs’ defense.

But there’s another side to the battle for all the Roses.

Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops acknowledged that Wednesday, commenting on the challenge that Georgia’s running backs will provide.

The duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel rushed for a combined 2,120 yards and 26 touchdowns this season, and they represent the best running back duo the Sooners have faced in quite some time.

The Bulldogs also have freshman D’Andre Swift as their No. 3 running back. Swift rushed for 597 yards on a team-best 8.2 yards per carry. Swift is also the primary receiving threat out of the backfield, catching 15 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown. Chubb and Michel had just three catches each in 2017.

Oklahoma kept Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway — who rushed for 1,224 yards in 2016 — in check in last season’s Sugar Bowl, but Stoops conceded this will be a different challenge.

Kickoff from the Rose Bowl is slated for 5 p.m. New Year’s Day from Pasadena, Calif.

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