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

Georgia's Todd Gurley found the going tough against Georgia Southern, but he managed 68 yards, which made him the first true freshman since Herschel Walker to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia's Todd Gurley found the going tough against Georgia Southern, but he managed 68 yards, which made him the first true freshman since Herschel Walker to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS – It wasn’t really a big day on the field for Georgia tailback Todd Gurley — he finished with a modest 68 yards rushing on 15 carries — but it was a big day in the history books.

The 6-foot-1, 218-pound running back became the first Bulldogs freshman to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season since Herschel Walker did it in 1980. Walker had 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns while leading Georgia to the national championship that year. With three games still to play, Gurley now has 1,041 yards and, including a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, 13 scores.

“Having Todd Gurley — and I like to throw Keith Marshall in there, too, because Keith has really had a fine true-freshman season, too — they’re definitely two important impact players on this team this year,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “You know, our run game was in question this year, with the line losing three guys that got drafted, and we’re not sure who our backs are going to be. Then these guys come in, and the line has blocked extremely well all season and we’re rushing the ball well.”

Marshall, a freshman from Raleigh, had 29 yards on seven carries Saturday as Georgia Southern sold out to stop the run Saturday. Together, Gurley and Marshall — nicknamed “Gurshall” for their combined effectiveness in comparison to Walker — have slipped passed the Hall of Famer with 1,695 yards and 19 TDs together.

Gurley was happy to break through the 1,000-yard barrier, but mostly for everybody else.

“I guess it’s what people have been waiting for, so I’ve got it now,” he said with a grin. “I’m happy about it but, like I’ve said, I still feel like I have a lot of ball to play right now and I feel like it’s not something I should be looking at. Accomplishments are something you look at when the season is over or 10 years from now. I still have a lot of ball to play.”

Marshall and Gurley came to Georgia in a pact to play together and have an impact as first-year players. Marshall was the higher-rated recruiting prospect, but said he’s nothing but happy for his roommate.

“That’s definitely a special accomplishment,” said Marshall, who has 674 yards this season. “I don’t know how many have done that before, but I know it’s big as a freshman to come in and have a 1,000-yard season.”

Knowshon Moreno had 1,334 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2007. Other than that, the closest was Rodney Hampton’s 890 yards in 1988.

“I’m just glad we got those kids,” Richt said Gurley and Marshall. “They’re good kids, and they’re great talents.”

Chris Conley feeling at home

Sophomore Chris Conley played his second game as Georgia’s first-string slot receiver on Saturday and he the transition appears to be going well.

Conley led the Bulldogs’ receivers with four catches for 76 yards and, for the second straight week, got Georgia on the scoreboard. In fact, he had two TD receptions Saturday, one for 33 yards and another for 13.

You might say he’s getting used to his new role.

“Yeah but, you know, you never want to get complacent,” said Conley, who now has 15 catches for 192 yards and 4 TDs this season. “I like to be my toughest critic and I had some opportunities that I missed today. I have a lot of things I need to fix. So going forward I know what I have to get better at and what I need to do to help this team.”

Conley didn’t start Saturday because the Bulldogs opened in a two-receiver set. But he replaced senior Marlon Brown, who was lost to a season-ending knee injury in the second half of the Ole Miss game, as the slot receiver. He also backs up Tavarres King at flanker.

Conley is now the fifth different wideout to lead the Bulldogs in receiving in a game this season.

Scoring at historic rate

The Bulldogs scored six touchdowns Saturday, which gives them a school-record 56 for a season. The old mark was 54 set in 1942 (12 games) and in 2011 (13 games).

Georgia is on pace to break the UGA records for total offense and scoring in a season as well. The Bulldogs have averaged 472.3 yards per game; the record set in 1996 was 466.8. They’ve scored 414 points with three games to go. The record for a 12-plus-game season is 450 in 2002.

“We’ve been productive all year, and that’s a credit to Coach (Mike) Bobo and his staff,” Richt said. “We’re scoring a lot of TDs instead of field goals this year. Those TDs add up quicker.”

Injury report

Starting right guard Chris Burnette (left shoulder) and Richard Samuel (abdominal strain) did not dress for Saturday’s game because of injuries. It was the first game missed by Samuel, while Burnette has been out since getting hurt in the first half of the two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, redshirt freshman fullback Merritt Hall was helped off the field just nine minutes into the game, and trainers were attending to the same ankle that has kept him out since the first play of the Florida game. Hall came back and played in the third quarter, but Richt said he “didn’t like the way he was hobbling around” after the game.

Senior free safety Bacarri Rambo twice had to leave the game with an ankle issue but returned each time..

Etc. . . .

Georgia’s 59-second scoring drive to end the first half was its seventh this season of one minute or less. … Inside linebacker Alec Ogletree led Georgia with 12 tackles. Linebacker Christian Robinson added nine, and Garrison Smith led Georgia’s down linemen with seven. … Once again, walk-on Parker Welch was the first quarterback in when Murray left the game in the fourth quarter. He and Justin Scott-Wesley combined for their first touchdown throw and catch of their careers. … Among the former players at Saturday’s game was world-renowned professional wrestler Bill Goldberg, who was an All-SEC nose guard for the Bulldogs from 1986-89.

34 comments Add your comment


November 17th, 2012
10:03 pm

Go Dawgs! Wreck Tech!!


November 17th, 2012
10:13 pm

Go Dawgs! Go Stanford and Go Baylor!


November 17th, 2012
10:52 pm


November 17th, 2012
11:06 pm

chris conley would start for many d1 teams

[...] the original post: Notebook: Todd Gurley gets 1,000 yards, ‘Gurshall’ runs past Herschel ← Back to Home Tags: big, found, georgia, keith, notes, rush, season, strong, true [...]


November 18th, 2012
12:04 am

see ya oregon and k state

[...] Notebook: Todd Gurley goes past 1,000, ‘Gurshall’ goes past Herschel [...]


November 18th, 2012
12:37 am


[...] Notebook: Todd Gurley goes past 1,000, ‘Gurshall’ goes past Herschel [...]

Miami here I come!

November 18th, 2012
1:03 am

First! Wait they ripped me off!! I was first damnit!


November 18th, 2012
4:45 am

Enter your comments here


November 18th, 2012
4:46 am

Christian Robinson needs to start against Tech. He knows how to play D against the option offense.


November 18th, 2012
7:45 am



November 18th, 2012
7:47 am

Offensive lineman Dallas Lee gets to beat up on his brother team on 1 Dec 12 congrats!!!!!!!!! on that too. Giv’em hell DAWGS!!!!!!!!!


November 18th, 2012
8:08 am

GT in Athens, the colors, the aromas, the well dressed crowds. I just love it.

UGA OUGHT to dominate by early 3rd quarter. UGA ought to mix up their plays with tins of play action tosses. Marshall and GURLEY with ZANDER QOGLETREE up tne middle oughtto just ruin any chances for GT to keep it close. With this going on, GT’s triple O should be watching from the sidelines, as Murry CARVES THEM to pieces.

UGA 39-17GT

[...] here to see the original: Notebook: Todd Gurley gets 1,000 yards, ‘Gurshall’ runs past Herschel ← Back to Home Tags: gurley, notes, sanderlin, strong, touchdown, tough, true, walker [...]


November 18th, 2012
8:46 am

One at a time, I know, but it’s hard not to get excited about the possibilities ahead. The winner of the SECCG will more than likly go to the MNC!!! (Unless the BCS dopes decide to just drop Oregon down to #3 because they love those pretty uniforms they wear) Alot to play for against GT…GO DAWGS!!!


November 18th, 2012
9:20 am

Attention All Pundits: Quit comparing two runny backs combined total yards to Herschel’s. Call them ‘Gurshall’ all you want, but comparing the yardage is apples and oranges.


November 18th, 2012
9:54 am

“…Quit comparing two running backs…” Sorry for the typo.


November 18th, 2012
10:28 am

Dawgs must not lose focus and must take care of business. But I like the sound of this headline….After 3 decades, “GURSHALL takes on FIGHTING IRISH “D”!


November 18th, 2012
10:51 am

Our Red Zone production is off the charts. Everybody in the DawgNation has got to give it up to Bobo and Murray, because they’re calling fantastic games. A light bulb must have gone off in Bobo’s head, because he’s not the same OC he was in the past. Congrats to Mike!


November 18th, 2012
11:10 am

“One Game” “One Score Board” “Dawgs Time”

“Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe” ~ Augustine

“Murray Bawl Y’all”

“BELIEVE” in the “G”

Castle Pines Canine

November 18th, 2012
11:25 am

Great job RB’s. No offense, but Herschel was the greatest ever. Fewer games, one back

mike on lake hartwell

November 18th, 2012
11:27 am

tech. nothing else.

Unfortunately, this is setting up like 2009...

November 18th, 2012
11:58 am

…when UGA was really bad and Tech was really good, and UGA beat the Bee’s in Atlanta – stay hungry you hairy dawgs…

And Derek Dooley......

November 18th, 2012
12:10 pm

…just got fired at UT – the O coordinator will coach the KY game on Saturday…


November 18th, 2012
12:14 pm

I agree with jborodawg, stop comparing these 2 backs with H. Walker, do not compare any running back to Walker! Walker took us to a National Championship, name me other Ga. running backs that have done so in the last 32 years!!!! Yep, didn’t think you could!!


November 18th, 2012
1:41 pm

I love watching our young backs, they are great, but the difference between Then and now is that Herschel had nowhere near the passing game to back him up like these guys do. Everyone in the stadium knew Herschel was going to get the ball and they still could’nt stop him. 9 guys in the box every play and he still ran for 150 yards a game.


November 18th, 2012
1:45 pm

Yes, let’s get rid of this moronic “Gurshall” nickname. I’m sure both of these men want to be recognized as contributing “individuals”.

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

November 18th, 2012
1:57 pm

Herschel Walker would have run for 3000 yards against that Pathetic SEC schedule UGa played this year.

FaithfulDawg 87

November 18th, 2012
7:51 pm

Magical season… but, as Jarvis wisely pointed out, it’s one week at a time!! Stay focused, Dawgs!


November 18th, 2012
8:47 pm

November 18th, 2012
1:45 pm

Yes, let’s get rid of this moronic “Gurshall” nickname. I’m sure both of these men want to be recognized as contributing “individuals”.


I agree. Whoever came up with that stupid name should be beaten.

[...] the original post: Notebook: Todd Gurley gets 1,000 yards, ‘Gurshall’ runs past Herschel ← Back to Home Tags: big, brant, day, football, found, freshman, sanderlin, strong, [...]


November 20th, 2012
11:20 pm

Remeber as Richt has been noted for quoting one of his favorite verses in Colossians “in word and deed do so heartily unto the Lord” i think he teaches these boys in all you do and say do so to the best of your ability. that is all we are asking of the DAWGS this year. if they do that they WILL be in Miami. the talent is certainly there but they must play their best .