Kevin Butler, former University of Georgia legendary kicker and a member of the Georgia radio broadcast team, will each week during the 2017 football season select his offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week for Bulldawg Illustrated. Here are Butler’s selections and reasons why for the Bulldogs’ 38-7 win over Georgia Tech Saturday in Atlanta.
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Senior tailback Sony Michel, who ran for 85 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries as the Bulldogs rushed for 247 yards against the Tech defense. Michel moved up to third on the school’s all-time career rushing list behind only Herschel Walker and teammate Nick Chubb.
“In the finale of a fantastic season, Sony Michel led the offense with a performance for the ages,” said Butler. “His speed, strength and athleticism are a combination that we will miss next year but it is the combination that put him No. 3 in rushing for the University of Georgia all-time behind Herschel Walker and his teammate Nick Chubb. His 85 yards on 13 carries for a 6.5 average per carry is unstoppable and must be part of the equation to figuring out Auburn in the SEC Championship. To have two running backs on the same team in the same time frame and in the same backfield and rack up that many yards is incredible to say the least.”
Junior outside linebacker D’Andre Walker, who recorded six solo tackles including two tackles-for-loss as the Bulldogs’ defense limited Tech’s triple-option attack to just 188 yards rushing and 38 passing.
“In a year that I have awarded linebacker after linebacker, I have a new outside linebacker to award in D’Andre Walker,” said Butler. “The junior played the most sound game in his career. His contribution on defense against Tech was an impressive performance at a well-needed time. Tech’s only hope was to establish the run and D’Andre Walker helped bring that hope to just a dream quickly. He had 6 tackles and 2 for loss and we need him to play at that level again next Saturday in the MBS.”
Senior fullback Christian Payne, who again made big plays on Georgia’s kick coverage teams while also blocking well for the Bulldog tailbacks on Saturday.
“His relentless coverage is the key to the success of the special teams this year,” said Butler. “His speed on the opening kickoff against Tech made the day a tough one for the refs. His tackle at the goal-line should have been a safety but the REFS got it wrong. No one fair catches a kickoff at the one. Christian has been a great addition to the offense but I think his play on special teams goes much further to the success of this team than people know.”
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