UGA’s two freshman tailbacks top 100 yards: ‘They’re probably thinking their plan is going pretty good so far’

ATHENS — Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have a lot in common –- both from North Carolina, both highly recruited tailbacks, both University of Georgia freshmen.

Oh, and roommates, too.

Saturday night, they had something else in common: 100-plus yards rushing.

It was a race to see which of the two would reach triple digits first against the outmatched Florida Atlantic defense, and as it turned out they did so on back-to-back plays early in the third quarter — Marshall first on a 13-yard run, then Gurley on a 38-yard touchdown run that gave Georgia a 42-14 lead with 10:18 remaining in the quarter.

Neither played much after that as Georgia went deep into its roster for the completion of a 56-20 victory at Sanford Stadium.

Gurley finished with 111 yards and Marshall with 104, both getting 10 carries and both scoring one touchdown.

“It was probably … what they envisioned,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said afterward. “They are good friends, and they wanted to play together and wanted to complement each other with their abilities.

“I think that they’re probably thinking their plan is going pretty good so far.”

Their performances Saturday marked the first time since a 2004 victory over Vanderbilt that Georgia had two true freshmen with 100 yards rushing. In that game, Danny Ware and Thomas Brown had 127 and 122 yards rushing, respectively.

When Gurley and Marshall decided they wanted to be teammates at UGA, “we didn’t talk about going over 100 [yards in the same game],” Gurley said. “We just said it’d be cool to play together and back each other for yardage and when we get tired and things like that.”

Saturday marked Gurley’s second triple-digit rushing performance in three college games –- he had an even 100 yards in the season opener against Buffalo –- and Marshall’s first.

“We feed off of each other and push each other every day in practice, and we came out here in the game and did the same thing,” Marshall said. “We hope we can keep it going and get better.”

Both Gurley and Marshall repeatedly credited their offensive line for their performance.

“They work their tails off every day in practice,” Gurley said. “Without those guys, we wouldn’t have done anything we did tonight.”

Marshall gained 57 of his yards on a second-quarter drive during which he had five carries, including one for 28 yards and another for 17 to the 1-yard line. He regretted not scoring on the latter, saying: “I thought I was kind of free and sort of pulled up. I learned a lesson -– run through the goal line.” Aaron Murray scored on a quarterback keeper on the next play.

As a team, Georgia had 328 yards rushing and an all-time school record 713 yards total offense against FAU. Ken Malcome had 46 yards rushing on seven carries, five of them after Gurley and Marshall called it a night in the third quarter.

– Tim Tucker, AJC


45 comments Add your comment

GB's Hamburgers

September 16th, 2012
12:59 am

It’s the best three running backs Georgia has fielded in quite some time. I’m loving the fact that Richt has brought the quick pitch back into the offense. It was nice to see Murray hitting those recievers running free downfield.


September 16th, 2012
1:00 am

Well, I think we’re in good hands in the backfield. Everything happens for a reason…

YellerSkeeters Are PeterEaters

September 16th, 2012
1:10 am

I see a Heisman (or two) in the near future … Jarvis Jones & one of these “pups” too! Go Dawgs!!

I remember

September 16th, 2012
1:40 am

Richard Samuel won (when we had to have it) the Florida game last year. Thanks again! I would imagine his leadership wiil show up again, like vs. Mizzou. Great to see backs running through tackles and by defenders.

1969 Graduate

September 16th, 2012
5:48 am

I missed almost all of the game on television because of a social engagement. It’s so good to be able to read that we did quite well, and that our young running backs are turning out to be perhaps as good as we had hoped. They are certainly a credit to the University so far.

I love knowing that Coach Richt has incorporated something LSU has done to great advantage. Tossing the ball around in the backfield adds to our attack, and shows that an old dog can learn new tricks.

We still have a long way to go. Florida is looking pretty good. I hope no one is counting unhatched eggs. I don’t mean no one here, I mean coaches, and players. Staying focused, and practicing hard, and keeping in mind how fragile a great season is – I hope our team keeps these in the forefront – the keys to our championship kingdom.

Go, Dogs!


September 16th, 2012
6:01 am

A good running game sure did open up the pass for Murray. If we can keep it balanced like that I think we could go far. One thing we learned last night as well FL & TN are not going to be easy games. Can’t wait to beat that coach from Vandy next week… GO DAWGS!


September 16th, 2012
6:07 am

I could see both of them playing on Sunday’s , maybe one could be a Falcon.

Resident Georgia Fan

September 16th, 2012
8:06 am

Looking ahead to SC. Add both of SC’s QBs together and you still don’t get an SEC QB. No way Connor Shaw lasts through the season.

Tech Sucks

September 16th, 2012
8:52 am

That move Marshall made on the way to the goal line was sick. Unreal how loaded UGA is at RB….


September 16th, 2012
9:12 am

1969 Graduate . . . Maybe I’m disillusioned, but I don’t think Florida look as good as the score indicates. Vols are just not that good. We are better than FL defensively at all 3 levels(D-line, backers, secondary) better QB, better depth at RB, and clearly better receivers. O-line, I don’t know. If we stay healthy and execute properly, no team in the east should beat us as all of them are much more flawed than we are at key positions.

The Central Scrutinizer

September 16th, 2012
9:21 am

KBP, you are right on! I’m reading all of this stuff about the Gators looking so good, but I’ve watched them all three weeks so far, they have won,but really only looked good against UT. They were just lucky against A&M, that really could have gone either way and don’t really count Bowling Green cause it was the first game. They’re going to be good, no doubt, but I just don’t see it yet. Next week against LSU will tell the story…We might not know about the Dawgs till USC. Going to be a good one in Jax, no doubt…Thought for sure UT would give vthem a better game…


September 16th, 2012
9:24 am

Congrats to Mr. Murray!!!! He wasn’t constantly overthrowing his receivers in the fist half.

The Central Scrutinizer

September 16th, 2012
9:25 am

Oh Yeah…props to the Pups! Great job guys! You guys are bringing an energy to the offense we haven’t had in a while. Keep it up!

Daytona Dawg

September 16th, 2012
9:28 am

I like what I keep reading about Marshall’s & Gurley’s attitude. I hope it’s not just how they act when the reporters are around. If this is who they really are then they are LIGHT-years ahead of where I was as an 18-19 year old as far as selflessness and humility.

'94 UGA Alumnus

September 16th, 2012
9:56 am

Gurley is definitely better than Marshall and should be getting more carries. Marshall hasn’t impressed me much and he doesn’t look faster than Gurley to me. Gurley looks like the total package to me and Marshall does not have near the power that Gurley has.


September 16th, 2012
10:16 am

Real good effort by both backs, baring injury they could both have very special years..Go Dogs !


September 16th, 2012
10:17 am

Loved, loved, loved seeing those running backs break free into the secondary. The offensive line played great last night, clearly FAU was over matched up front. I hope this game will give a lot of confidence to that group because they will be the key to our success this season. What I hated though was seeing receivers running free in our secondary. Glad that the defense made some adjustments at halftime, but we need to be better than we showed in the first half.


September 16th, 2012
10:28 am

Fire Mike Bobo!!!



September 16th, 2012
10:28 am

Enter your comments here


September 16th, 2012
10:36 am

‘94 UGA Alumnus, while I agree with you to an extent that Gurley may be slightly better at this point and may be the better power back, I think it is WAY to early to start in with this one is better than that one. They are clearly different style runners who can both make HUGE contributions to our program. As far as pure speed goes, Marshall is definitely the faster of the two without question. I think the coaches and even Gurley himself would readily admit to that. We should all enjoy the fact that we are fortunate enough to have 3 running backs who can all contribute to the DAWGS success and not start the whole this one is better than that one crap!


September 16th, 2012
10:50 am

I have to say, after 3 games against sub-par teams, I am very disappointed in our much-vaunted DEFENSE. While I understand that we have been missing some starters (BECAUSE OF THEIR OWN BONEHEAD ACTIONS), I really think people should slow their roll when they want to refer to us as one of the 2 or 3 best defenses in the country. Sorry folks, there is not a bigger, more devoted DAWGS fan on the planet, but I just don’t see it. One of the top defenses in the country would not allow 300 yards of offense IN A HALF against a team the likes of FAU. Alabama lost over half of their D last from last year and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that FAU would not have gone for 300 on them the ENTIRE game, much less in a HALF. Hopefully, as the season progresses, the defense will prove me wrong but right now we are not even the best defense in the Eastern division of the SEC, much less one of the best in the country. I know for all DAWGS fans out there that this may sting a little but the truth is the truth!!!

HardTruth Here

September 16th, 2012
10:59 am

94 Alumnus, Gurley is explosive, and the total package as far as running, but at this point Keith Marshall understands his OVERALL game better. Don’t discount this kid to early, and know this GA’s O coordinator has to run these horses more. 10 carries a game never does a great running back justice. Can’t wait to add the kid outta Walton who will eventually de-committ from Alabama. Simply to much depth for any back coming in,

[...] Big night for Georgia’s freshman tailbacks [...]

[...] Big night for Georgia’s freshman tailbacks [...]


September 16th, 2012
11:21 am

Keith Marshall is faster than Todd Gurley! Keith is faster around the edges and Todd has the ability to bust it through the middle.

UGA is very lucky to have these two guys wearing the red and black. Not only because they are both going to be great players, but listening to both of them talk makes me extremely happy! Neither one used “I” every other word! They both talked about how hard their offensive linemen work everyday in practice to get better. They both sound like intelligent, well rounded young men who will make a difference in the huddle as well. I really liked Todd Gurley’s response to a question. I didn’t get all of the question but what he said was, “I don’t know about all of that, I mean, I don’t even know if I will be here next year”. That my friends was a reference to his faith because as we all know, we are not promised tomorrow. I just like the fact that he seems to be very humble and hopefully can keep from getting the big head with all the attention he is getting. It’s a hard thing to do when you are 18 years old and you are getting all this attention. Keep it up Todd and Keith!


September 16th, 2012
11:31 am

@Buddy you make some good points but don’t throw them under the bus just yet..last year at this time we were 1-2 and the D didn’t start to shine until week 4..lets see what we can do vs Vandy if I remember correctly Vandy gave us fits running the ball so I look for a tough game. But I do think we are ahead of last year in execution and of course our record.


September 16th, 2012
11:36 am

I really like the idea of moving Beard to LT and moving Gates inside to LG. I hope Bobo continues that lineup change.


September 16th, 2012
12:08 pm

I’ve got a feeling this team isn’t the kind that looks good on paper…statistically speaking. I believe this team will do whatever it takes to win. SEC East and then some!


September 16th, 2012
12:50 pm

Having a stable full of great running backs is awesome. That’s Georgia football!

Dawg Haus

September 16th, 2012
1:31 pm

Last night was Marshall’s first rushing TD of the season, wasn’t it?

Dawg Haus

September 16th, 2012
1:33 pm

DawgByte, I agree. It’s good to see Beard getting in there and making some noise. All in all, the O-line did well and opened up some good holes for the RBs. Good to see some new faces in there, too. I’m hoping Xzavier Ward gets more playing time.


September 16th, 2012
3:22 pm

I will say that i agree with Buddy. We should be very thankful that we have both Marshall and Gurley and don’t start the comparison crap…. Not impressed with either the vols or gators but i will give credit to where its due the gators seems to be a more mentally stuff team, with two come from behind wins too their credit everybody knows that you have to be able to run the ball in order to win in the sec Tenn. could not run it and Fla took advantage of it, by running for more than 300 yards on the vols. Tenn can’t run and Fla’s qb isn’t being asked to throw both teams are very beatable. I believe UGA will defeat both.


September 16th, 2012
4:29 pm

Isiah who? These guys are real studs and there is no question about it #3 is our best back. At least we no longer have to hear about facing the big 3 (AL, AR & LSU). AR has been removed from the equation. Go Dawgs, keep it going. I was impressed with Wesley-Scott’s speed. Also, glad Arty got his first TD.


September 16th, 2012
4:56 pm

Great to see the offense play so effectively through-out the game. The defense hasn’t played to their true abilities yet, but hopefuly Georgia will get all of it’s first string defensive players on the field for the rest of the season.

My hat is off to the guys that filled in for the starters and they played extremely well. Mitchell hopefully will get back to the offense more often soon. The wide receivers and Murray played “lights out” and looked really good on the pass plays.

As far as the running backs, I really like Gurley and Marshall a lot and glad they chose Georgia. I hope to see Malcome, Samuels and the other backs play significant roles when they can. It would be great if all the backs could really “jell” together and all become extremely productive.

Starting next week, Georgia will need to really focus and execute with the remaining teams.

Oh by the way ” College round-up” didn’t seem impressed enought with GA, as they got a mention and re-runs of Florida vs Tennessee, Alabama vs Arkansas and South Carolina were mentioned several times. Oh well, maybe next time?

Have a great season and stay focused on one game at a time!


September 16th, 2012
6:51 pm

What is with our vaunted defense? They are far from dominating. 14 points in the first half from a lower tier school that I had never heard of before this past week is not a good sign. We should expect the same from our players and coaches as do Alabama and LSU. Nothing less!

Left Coast Dawg

September 16th, 2012
7:51 pm

Mambo, you are an idiot along with the rest of the bunch complaining about the defense. By the time all our regulars are available and starting against our SEC rivals there will be no doubt that our Defense is superior to the opposition (as if it hasn’t already been evident). The real test will come against whomever we play in the SEC Championship Game because there is no offense left on the schedule until then that our defense cannot match up with.

Left Coast Dawg

September 16th, 2012
7:53 pm

….furthermore, as long as we’re putting 30-40-50 points on the board every week, who cares if we give up 20 points.

Vampire Bill

September 16th, 2012
9:09 pm

Its you that’s the idiot Left Coast. Mambo is right. A 3rd rate team scored easily twice on our starters and that should NEVER happen. Dawgs are lucky to have a couple of early creme puff wins and anyone who knows football knows that UGA is far from a truly top tier team. So what that we have a couple of starters out. That’s part of football.

If all you want from the dawgs is 8 or 9 wins a year and don’t mind getting smoked by the elite teams each and every year then keep cheering. I for one want a national championship and to be TRULY in the hunt year in and year out.


September 16th, 2012
9:36 pm

OK, guys, these are teenagers, very talented teenagers, but teenagers…had a nutcase sitting behind me at the game last night and the guy kept yelling insults over and over…the players, the coaches, all us fans equally want to win and perform and not make mistakes…but the other team will not allow us to always be perfect, some great athletes at all levels these days…so STOP complaining…ENJOY the game day experience in Athens and set an example for the kids…get excited, but not insulting…


September 16th, 2012
11:39 pm


Left Coast Dawg

September 17th, 2012
12:28 am

Vampire Bum, there’s no written rule that says a third rate team shouldn’t score on a supposed first rate team. Ga Southern put more points on the board against Bama a year or so ago and nobody condemned them. Ga Tech scores on UGA every year and nobody complains about them. As long as Boobs Johnson is coaching them with that high school offense, I would say they’re third rate. Also, my point was jus what you said. We played a couple of light weights and a conference game. Minus the starters UGA played good defense against the conference team. Against the light weights, a better performance would have been nice but it was a chance to protect against injury and not over exert. Meet me back here after we play more conference games then let’s compare notes. And for the record, any true Dawg fan would want a National Championship, so save your opinions about my expectations for the Dawgs. I’m just more realistic than you fly by night wannabe coaches who can barely breakdown a card table let alone a game film.

Sautee Dawg

September 17th, 2012
1:24 am

Gurley spent all summer running track while Marshall already enrolled spent the time learning the playbook,
Both are very good rushers with different styles.
Marshall may be the fastest in the 40 but, Gurley has a much longer stride and can move for a 220 pound back. We are very lucky to have both.


September 17th, 2012
8:56 am

I love “Old Man Football”!!!!! KEEP ROLLING DAWGS!

It was only FAU but you did what you should’ve and man was it fun!


September 18th, 2012
10:21 am

Don’t get me wrong I love the dogs, but all this gushing about beating cupcake U GIVE ME A BREAK…

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