Notebook: Todd Gurley eyes 1,000 yards while ‘Gurshall’ runs past Herschel

Georgia freshman tailback Todd Gurley (3) celebrates his 11th rushing TD of the season, which came against Auburn this past Saturday. (AP photo)

Georgia freshman tailback Todd Gurley (3) celebrates his 11th rushing TD of the season, which came against Auburn this past Saturday. (AP photo)

ATHENS — With 27 yards rushing against Georgia Southern on Saturday, Todd Gurley can become only the second true freshman in Georgia football history to go over 1,000 yards in a season. And it’s not beyond the realm of possibility Gurley could still catch that first guy on the list.

Gurley would need to average 160.7 yards in the Bulldogs’ final four games to run down Hall of Famer Herschel Walker. But that likely won’t happen because of the “Gurshall” phenomena, and “Gurshall’s” going to blow past Herschel this week anyway.

“Gurshall” is the nickname dreamed up by receiver Tavarres King for Georgia’s combination of freshman tailbacks, Gurley and Keith Marshall. Together they’ve accounted for 1,595 yards and 17 touchdowns. Walker’s freshman record set in 1980 was 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns.

“I had no idea about that,” said Gurley, who has accounted 973 and 11 scores. “I knew I had 900-and-something, but I wasn’t even sure. That’s pretty cool.”

“We’re not really focused on that because we’re in the middle of a season and we’ve still got a good deal of football left to play,” Marshall said modestly. “But it’s cool to be compared to somebody like that.”

“Cool” doesn’t begin to describe how important their output has been for the Bulldogs this season. Considering that Georgia lost its leading rusher from the previous season, Isaiah Crowell (850 yards), for Gurley and Marshall to show up as freshmen and come through as they have might be the biggest reason the Bulldogs find themselves back in the SEC Championship game.

“It’s huge,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “And I’ve got faith in Ken Malcome. I thought Ken was really coming on. He’s a good player, too, and he’s helping us win, no doubt. But Keith and Todd are very talented guys, obviously, and they’re both very mature guys. They’ve both kind of fed off each other in a very positive way.”

Said offensive coordinator Mike Bobo: “It was huge, because we definitely needed some consistency in the backfield, and those two guys stepped up. But it hasn’t been just those two. (Fullback) Merritt Hall, (right tackle) John Theus and (tight ends) Artie Lynch and Jay Rome and (center) David Andrews. We’d lost six starters on offense. Obviously a lot of credit goes to Todd and Keith, too.”

Probably the most important aspect of the whole equation is both players enter the 12th week of the regular season relatively healthy. They’ve had the resident strains as sprains but, to this point, neither player has missed even a single practice. That has been the byproduct of having a three-player rotation at tailback.

So while sharing the load has kept Gurley from running down Herschel, it has also helped keep all three backs running.

“In this league, you ain’t going to last long taking 30 carries every week,” Gurley said. “You need somebody to be there with you. We have other backs that can get into the rotation.”

Reaching the 1,000-yard milestone is good enough for Gurley. “That’s a big accomplishment, just to get a 1,000 in this league as a freshman,” he said. “I’d love to get that.”

Knowshon Moreno rushed for 1,334 yards and 14 TDs as a redshirt freshman. Georgia’s next-best freshman duo was Thomas Brown and Danny Ware, who combined for 1,567 yards in 2004.

Garner: Rules should address cut-blocking

Georgia defensive line coach Rodney Garner was agrees with some of his players that cut-blocking should be illegal. But he was

“I think if we’re truly concerned about student-athlete welfare, then we need to ensure that we’re looking at it from a safety standpoint on both sides of the ball,” Garner said. “Sometimes I feel like the (rules) may be favoring one side over the other. We need to make sure we’re examining rules and making sure these safety things are in place for both sides of the ball. There are safety concerns on both sides. There are some things they need to look at for the safety of the student-athlete, because there could be some career-ending type things that happen out there.”

Georgia lost senior defensive end Abry Jones to an ankle injury earlier this season. Last year, the Bulldogs lost senior defensive end DeAngelo Tyson to a season-ending ankle injury against Georgia Tech. Noseguard Kwame Geathers was suspended for a half last season for punching a Vanderbilt player after he clipped his knee from behind at the end of a play.

Etc. . . .

Georgia practiced in full pads Tuesday for the second consecutive day. Starting right guard Chris Burnette (shoulder) and outside linebacker Chase Vasser (shoulder) continued to be held out and remain questionable for Saturday’s game. … Freshman Josh Harvey-Clemons, who has been playing defensive back and special teams all season, practiced with the outside linebackers Tuesday. “We’re just trying to get our best 11 out there,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said.

132 comments Add your comment

Macclenny_dawg

November 14th, 2012
10:36 am

Tana

November 14th, 2012
10:37 am

The tandem has really been what everyone was expecting. Imagine these guys three years from now after developing….because face it…this tandem is under 40 years of age combined.

G-Dawg

November 14th, 2012
10:45 am

Couldnt get any better than these boys wearing 3 and 4 respectively!! Thanks for the hardwork, focus, and dedication you boys provide to the team, school, and fans!!

pikedawg

November 14th, 2012
10:45 am

UGA offense is pretty good right now but will be downright sick next year…they have everybody back but King and Brown. The D will take a hit but we have recruited well on that side of the ball so they will be fine. But for now I’m just enjoying this year and we will se how it plays out. Would love to meet up with Notre Dame in the Sugar bowl if the National Title game winds up out of reach. Of course to get there UGA has to handle BAMA…but it can be done as we have seen.

Steve

November 14th, 2012
10:45 am

Where are you GTBob? Your favorite time of the day! A new UGA blog so you can comment on everyones comments! Get on in here since you have no life.

Lonnie

November 14th, 2012
10:48 am

Our offense truly has a bright future!!!!! We have everyone except receivers back!!! Our line will have played together and with the new linemen and Green, Tibbs and hopefully Terry we will be even better @ receiver.

chilidawg

November 14th, 2012
10:57 am

It’s been a pleasure watching these two this year.

azdawg

November 14th, 2012
10:59 am

GA’s very fortunate to have these 2 kids at RB position. To start right out of HS and have the year they’re having is credit to both of them and the coaching staff for having signed both kids to play for the dawgs. Both are worthy and deserving of fruitful careers of their choosing.

Paul

November 14th, 2012
11:03 am

Yeah, having two guys account for the same amount of yards/TD’s as one legend is the same. Good article man.

joe jenkins

November 14th, 2012
11:08 am

JHC at outside LB at 6′5 and 215lbs…..you got to be kidding me!! he needs to be trying for WR….im telling you guys now…we need that forth wr to step up….wooten and jsw has zero catches against auburn…now that is a huge concern of worry….are yall guys not worried about this? we need somebody to step up now with bama right around the corner

robodawg

November 14th, 2012
11:10 am

Think there might be some high emotions when Tech gets a few cut blocks in? Just nobody get suspended.

HardTruth Soldier

November 14th, 2012
11:15 am

Nice article until the last part about Josh Harvey-Clemons. Question coach. Aren’t you suppose to put your best players out there in like game one? It’s obvious this kid is gonna flourish as a in the box safety.Is Ramik Wilson ready to assume some responsibility at LB? Or is JHC gonna pack on twenty five pounds this off season.

Breath of fresh air

November 14th, 2012
11:21 am

Todd, Keith, and Ken are a breath of fresh air to the Rb position. After all the “mess” the Rb position has dealt with the last few years it is so great to have rb’s that are great players and good people too!

Dawglasville

November 14th, 2012
11:31 am

I use to cut block all the time in high school. I have no problem with it. I think it just needs to be limited to in the box. It is pretty dangerous looking out on the perimeter with receivers and backs doing it to corners and safeties.. I don’t think it would be a bad idea for a defensive lineman to submarine an offensive players legs once in a while. Yes, you sacrifice your responsibilty on that play but you give those linemen something to think about too. Is that legal? Stupid? Just wondering?

59bulldawg

November 14th, 2012
11:36 am

I second what Breath of Fresh Air just said! So happy they are ours!

claytondawg

November 14th, 2012
11:39 am

@Breath of fresh air—You are exactly right about the RB position. It’s nice to see not only REAL talent but great attitudes as well.

docdawg

November 14th, 2012
11:41 am

Great to see that Gurley was unaware of his stats, shows he`s about team dynamics and improvement than personal accolades, Marshall seems the same mindset, amazinghow they have exceeded expectations in their performances this season, except for Gurley`s coach, who nailed it before the season started, he knew how this back could play. Best freshman in the SEC this year as RBs go, Manziel best in country, and who saw that coming? Herschel was a team player and could carry it 30 times a game, noone like him and Bo since in my opinion. O line progressing well, says alot for coaching and kids efforts there. Bama shouldn`t be overly confidant! Hope USC drops ND and Kstate loses, could get very interesting then..

ATL Sports Fan

November 14th, 2012
11:46 am

Joe Jenkins- JHC getting work at OLB is will help with containment against Southern and Tech. For someone who constantly blabbers and bad mouths UGA. You would think you would know something about football. Against option teams (Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech) the defense must play assignment football. Speed on the outside helps contain the option with the qb and rb on the outside.

Reality Check

November 14th, 2012
11:47 am

Not trying to be a downer because I think “Gurshall” is great, but I hope people do realize that Herschel’s stats were for only 11 games. In that time bowl game stats were not included in season totals as they are today. So “Gurshall” has ALMOST played as many games as Herschel did his freshman year. That being said all three are players are great backs but there will always be only one Herschel. He is the greatest college football player ever. If you really want to make a comparison look at per game averages. Herschel averaged 146.9 yds/game his Freshman year and 159.4 yds/game for his career. Based on Herschel’s Freshman year average he would have rushed for over 2,000 yards that year if he played as many games as Gurshall will play this year (which is 14). Pretty awesome.

DJ Dawg

November 14th, 2012
11:51 am

Dont go out there and play NOT to get hurt because that is usually when it happens!!!! GATA!!!!!!!!!!!

Ghost of Sinkwich

November 14th, 2012
12:00 pm

THERE GOES GURSHALL!!!!!!!

Steve

November 14th, 2012
12:02 pm

Hey Joe Jenkins, am I still a “moron” for saying UGA would dominate the first half of the Auburn game? I remember you saying I was a moron for thinking that and you had said Auburn was going to bust UGA in the mouth in the first half. Hmmmmm.

MadDog

November 14th, 2012
12:09 pm

NOBODY else complains about the blocking when they play Ga South/ Tech. NOBODY. UGa looking bad here. Many more injuries happening elsewhere on the field. Get over it.

Life as a "G" I guess

November 14th, 2012
12:11 pm

@joe jenkins – Bring some positive to the board my man. You think somebody who has been practicing defense all year is going to step up over Wooten, JSW, or McGowan?

And Robert Nkemdiche’s big brother, Denzel seems to be doing just fine at LB and he is only 5′11″ 205 lbs.

Brainiac (CMR/UGA Fan For Life)

November 14th, 2012
12:12 pm

@ Reality Check:

I agree. Nothing whatsoever to disparage “Gurshall” but Herschel did not play a lot in the opening game against Tennessee and, IMHO was the greatest RB ever in College FB!!!!!!!

It gives all true Dawg fans a warm, fuzzy feeling when you see such fantastic results fron a couple of 18 yr. old, true freshmen, perform as these two have and their maturity and attitudes are a TREMENDOUS bonus for all of Dawg Nation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oregon Ducks

November 14th, 2012
12:19 pm

Girlie man is 32nd with his 973 yards. Give the credit to Kenjon Barner instead – 400 more yards and 8 more touchdowns!

Truth Be Told

November 14th, 2012
12:19 pm

I stated that TG3 would be something special before the season even started and thanks to him I don’t look like an idiot for making such a bold prediction

DawgFaithful

November 14th, 2012
12:22 pm

joe jenkins,

M Mitchell, TK and Conley all three caught TD passes last week. Wooten has shown that he can be effective all year. Who cares if he had a catch last week? There’s only one football. Murray completed his first 10 passes to 6 different recievers. I agree we needed a receiver to step up and one did. Conley.

No I’m not worried. I’m not sure why you are. You can only have so many WR’s on the field. We’ve got 4 that have proven they are capable. And then there’s JSW. It’s not like we’re in 4 WR sets all the time. How many WR’s do you think we need?

Reggie Ball

November 14th, 2012
12:31 pm

Gurshall haters,
Herschel also got ~30 touches per game to gurley’s 15. Both gurshalls have significantly better yards per carry.

joe jenkins

November 14th, 2012
12:31 pm

@ steve…i’m glad i was wrong bro….we came out and smacked them in the mouth like we should have…..richt has auburn’s number thats for sure….I remember in the 90’s when aub use to beat us most of the time…i’m damn glad the series has turned in our favor

joe jenkins

November 14th, 2012
12:36 pm

@ dawgfaithful…..I disagree we need somebody to come off the bench and make plays consistently. whats going to happen when mitchell and king get shut down by bama…i’m not so sure wooten can make up for the slack…well i hope that it wont come to that….i’m just saying….I know for sure that we would beat bama with brown and bennett….not so sure now…we are alot more predictable

CHDawg

November 14th, 2012
12:36 pm

All three of the top TBs are doing great this year! We have had a terrible problem with distractions emanating from the TB position. All of these guys have shown great attitudes and this year the only problems they are causing are for opposing defenses! They all have different styles and I really like watching each of them play. Hopefully, Gurley passes 1,000 Saturday!

Valjean870

November 14th, 2012
12:36 pm

These young guys are doing their thing, week in and week out. Ig Gurley did not have to share reps with Marshall, he would have shattered Herschell’s records. Hands down. These days in the SEC, you must have two and sometimes three ligetiment backs to stay healthy and compete. Im proud of these guys. Georgia was not supposed to be in the position that they are in, leaving it up to the critics talk after Crowell was dismissed.

Go Dawgs

Steve

November 14th, 2012
12:45 pm

“Oregon Ducks” are you that stupid? Gurley is SHARING the ball with Marshall. Sorry you don’t understand college football.

GimmeAbreak

November 14th, 2012
12:45 pm

Never been so pleased with our running back(s) since watching Herschel. I hope, like all Dawg fans everywhere, that Larry Munson is in his pressbox inside the Pearly Gates saying ” at the 15, the 10 oh my God… a Freshman!”.

DawgFaithful

November 14th, 2012
12:48 pm

Joe Jenkins,

“whats going to happen when mitchell and king get shut down by bama”

Answer: What happens to other teams when their top 2 receivers get shut down? They can’t pass the ball that game. It doesn’t matter who’s on the bench.

When another team shuts down your pass you don’t pull more recievers off the bench and throw more. How many WR’s do the Falcons throw to? I mean I couldn’t name you the 4th WR on any team in the SEC right. the 4th receiver is the 4th receiver for a reason. He’s not part of the gameplan. He’s there in case someone gets hurt. If Mitchell or TK get hurt then I’ll be worried.

We’re not more predictable without Brown and Bennett. We didn’t change the play calling when we lost them. We’re still calling the same exact plays. We’re just as predictable now as we have ever been. Murray went 10-10 to 6 different recievers last week. How is that predictable?

How is Bama going to shut down our 2 best receivers anyway? They have no pass rush and their secondary is their biggest weakness on defense. I doubt frshmen corners will shut down TK and Mitchell. You want somebody coming off the bench to make plays? That’s Conley and Wooten. They’ve done it all year. Stop worrying.

joe jenkins

November 14th, 2012
12:50 pm

Gurley reminds me of tim worley and marshall reminds me of hearst…..I think gurshall is great…remember everybody they are playing behind a young o-line….i think gurley before he leaves he will go down as our second best RB in school history….I guess grantham does not have any faith in ramick wilson…that why he moved JHC

Valjean870

November 14th, 2012
12:53 pm

@Steve
Im with you. He must be crazy. To even let those words come out of his mouth. The SEC is a man’s league and Mr Barner would say the same thing

joe jenkins

November 14th, 2012
12:56 pm

@Dawgfaithfull….alright i see your point….even though i dont think i could ever stop worrying about our dawgs!!lol. This could be even better season that 2002 if the pieces fall into place….Right now i do have faith in our veteran defense

DawgFaithful

November 14th, 2012
1:03 pm

Oregon Ducks,

Barner yds/carry- 6.83
Gurley yds/carry- 6.53
Marshall yds/carry- 6.72

Also UGA as an offense is #1 in yds/play this year. Even more than Oregon. We also lead the nation in plays of 20+ yds. The number is in the 50’s. At least 20 of those were runs. I can think of at least 6 40+ yd runs this year by UGA.

Just sayin buddy.

JB

November 14th, 2012
1:09 pm

Gurley seasoned in two years at say 228 of nothing but hard rock steel will be fun to watch. The young man from Orlando that committed to Dawgs yesterday is 200 pounds of lightning. Check him out on youtube.

RunninWithTheDawgs

November 14th, 2012
1:12 pm

Gurley is definitly the best running back the Dawgs have had since Noshon Moreno, maybe even since Hershel Walker. I was surprised to see SC hold him down, but next year they’ll play between the hedges and we’ll see about it then. GO DAWGS !

CHDawg

November 14th, 2012
1:16 pm

Guys, hasn’t it ever bothered you that fans from the winning team always show up magically to badmouth the Dawgs. How many Tide/Gator handles do you see now? I think these are likely haters from some school that lost to UGA and the troll doesn’t wish to identify his allegiance. A couple of the bitter Tech guys come to mind. They drag you into badmouthing good teams like Oregon. I love watching the Quack-Attack, and, yes, Barner and Gurley have very different styles. Both are great backs.

Steve

November 14th, 2012
1:19 pm

Who is “Noshon” Moreno?

Gary

November 14th, 2012
1:26 pm

While I am very please with their production on game day, I am even happier with how thse young men appear to be carrying themselves off the field, in practice, and in the locker room. They hopefully will continue on this path and become great leaders for the bulldogs in the years to come.

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shankit

November 14th, 2012
1:41 pm

I miss, — er’ what’s his name, getting old can remember names,
the 5 star running back over in Montgomery, I guess things have a way of working
out for the best.

Ed Pilcher

November 14th, 2012
1:45 pm

@Oregon Ducks…..

If these two players played in that no-defense conference you guys play in, they both would have had 1,000 yards rushing each. At least. Probably more.

shankit

November 14th, 2012
1:47 pm

Steve and Joe Jenkins, beating Auburn is fine, but
I have had to live down here in Dosta with all these
Gator buddies for the past umpteen years, it is amazing
how mellow they have become recently. Seem to be
dodging me every chance they get.