Notebook: Through five games, ‘Gurshall’s stats top Herschel’s

Todd Gurley's first five games: 536 yards rushing on 68 carries. (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Todd Gurley's first five games: 536 yards rushing on 68 carries. (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS – The “Gurshall” phenomenon continues to grow.

That is the nickname Georgia receiver Tavarres King coined for the freshman tailback tandem of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, combining syllables from their last names to rhyme with the first name of Georgia’s greatest tailback — Herschel Walker.

“At first it was just a little thing, but now it’s getting big,” Gurley said. “I guess everybody knows about it. We just try to come out there and play our game and try to be like nobody else. But it’s a cool thing.”

Marshall acknowledged “Gurshall” has gotten a lot of attention, especially on social media, “but we try not to focus on that. We try to focus on every day at practice, getting better and not letting that stuff go to your head.”

Through five games, the “Gurshall” tandem has accounted for 964 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns — 536 yards and nine touchdowns by Gurley, 428 yards and five touchdowns by Marshall.

And if you’re wondering, Walker had 463 yards rushing and five touchdowns in his first five college games back in 1980. He finished that season with an NCAA freshman-record 1,616 yards rushing and finished his three-year UGA career with 5,259.

Gurley and Marshall will get by far their biggest test Saturday against a South Carolina defense that has allowed only 77.6 rushing yards per game and only two rushing touchdowns this season.

“Watching film on them, they are a great defense,” Marshall said. “So this should be a good matchup.”

Noting that South Carolina ranks No. 2 among SEC teams (behind only Alabama) in scoring defense, Gurley said: “Numbers don’t lie.”

Lattimore … again

Georgia’s defense gets a third attempt at slowing Marcus Lattimore on Saturday and hopes for a lot more success than in the first two.

South Carolina’s powerful tailback ran for 358 yards on 64 carries in two previous games against Georgia, 182 on 37 as a freshman and 176 on 27 last season. He returned this season after knee surgery (torn ACL) sidelined him the final six games of last season.

“We played him well last year up until the fourth quarter, and then he had a couple of big runs,” Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “We’ve got to understand that we’ve got to play four quarters on him. … I’ve got a lot of respect for him. … He plays that position the way you should play it.”

Lattimore is averaging 88 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry this season. He topped 20 carries in each of South Carolina’s first three SEC games and surpassed 100 rushing yards in two of them. He also has caught 16 passes, most on the team.

“I think we just have to gang tackle him,” Georgia cornerback Sanders Commings said. “Everybody has to play their assignments, and once one guy gets a hat on him, then two, three and four more just got to bring that guy down.”

Etc.

Georgia announced the kickoff time for its Nov. 17 home game against Georgia Southern: 1:30 p.m. TV arrangements “are still being finalized,” the school said. … Aaron Murray’s next touchdown pass will tie David Greene’s UGA career record of 72. … Michael Bennett’s season-ending knee injury hasn’t changed Georgia’s plan to redshirt freshman receiver Blake Tibbs. … Amarlo Herrera is expected to start at the “Mike” inside linebacker position Saturday. He shifted to that spot after Alec Ogletree’s return from suspension last week at the “Mo” position. “He’s earned the right to play,” Grantham said of Herrera. “We’ll stick with it and continue to work it.” Michael Gilliard and Christian Robinson also remain  in the playing-time mix at inside linebacker.

– Tim  Tucker

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113 comments Add your comment

North Ave Killer Beez

October 5th, 2012
9:49 am

It’s pretty sad when I have to start depending on my arch-rival to produce any interest a college football Saturday, maybe we should start playing on Friday nights if Tevin is a starting QB :(

Hate GT

October 5th, 2012
12:04 pm

GTbob

I like you
you are so silly
I think you like the dawgs

Hate GT

October 5th, 2012
12:08 pm

I am so glad to be a dawg fan!

I really feel sorry for you GT fans.

Your team is not that good in a very weak ACC conference.

David Granger

October 5th, 2012
3:58 pm

Great RB tandem, and should be one of best combos ever before they’re through.
One caveat, though: They are NOT interchangeable. Marshall is more of a speed back…lots of shake and bake in the open field…and if he gets half a step on the defense, he’s GONE. While Gurley…though fast as well…is the better power runner of the two. And they should be used that way, in appropriate situations. Last Saturday…against Tennessee…when we started on the one yard line thanks to a mental mistake on our kickoff return team…we had Marshall as our only tailback because it was his “turn”. But in the shadow of your own goalpost, we should have had our power team in. Gurley should have been the running back in that situation. I’m glad that Coach Richt is giving them both some quality carries…but let’s use them wisely.
And I sure hate that UGA has…seemingly…just decided to sit Richard Samuel down and not use him anymore. He’s been a DGD since he came to campus (as a 5-star running back prospect, ranked as the top RB prospect in the nation by some recruiters). He’s a big strong guy, and a good power runner as well. Wish we’d sneak him into the RB mix now and again.

Browndog

October 5th, 2012
4:43 pm

SC should be favored based purely on the way their defense has played. UGA’s defense has played well enough to win, but they have not been very impressive to date. UGA must play much better tomorrow on defense. Shaw is a very good passer and an even greater running threat. UGA will have their hands full. Will be by Far the best team UGA has faced. UF is also looking very tough so probably SC, UGA and UF all have at least one loss in conference.

Ed

October 5th, 2012
5:30 pm

Herschel played against teams that were built to stop the run, and there were no cupcakes back when he played. What Herschel did was truly amazing. He gained 4-5 yards and plowed his way for first downs when everyone in the stadium knew who was getting the ball.

Having said that, these two freshman are phenomenal in their own right. Today’s wide-open game makes it impossible for a defense to key on one player, and Georgia’s o-line is run blocking great so far, but these guys are taking it to the house given the slightest opportunity. You can give a guy a big hole to run through but you can’t teach him how to break tackles and go for 70 yards. These frosh have unreal natural talent.

Brainiac (CMR/UGA Fan For Life)

October 5th, 2012
6:34 pm

@ Buckeye:

Ohio State is 0-1 against the NCAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brainiac (CMR/UGA Fan For Life)

October 5th, 2012
6:35 pm

@ Buckeye:

Which BOWL will y’all be playing in????????????????????

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brainiac (CMR/UGA Fan For Life)

October 5th, 2012
6:37 pm

@ Buckeye:

Could you steer us to the nearest DISCOUNT TATTOO PARLOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brainiac (CMR/UGA Fan For Life)

October 5th, 2012
6:40 pm

@ Buckeye:

If y’all don’t turn into a really good team in a couple of years Ole Urban ’s heart will start acting up so y’all better be looking for another Tim Tebow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Notmuchofadawglover

October 6th, 2012
11:28 pm

Reading these comment from UGA funs has been fun. Lattimore is a stud and plays on a great team. He has looked and still looks plenty healthy to me.

This was ther first real game UGA played this year and they were exposed.

zeke

October 7th, 2012
11:19 am

And on October 6, they met the “REAL DEFENSE”! How did that work out?

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October 10th, 2012
1:30 am