Matchup: Georgia rushing offense vs. Alabama rushing defense

Each day this week, the AJC will take a quick look at a matchup in the SEC Championship game. Today: Georgia’s rushing offense vs. Alabama’s rushing defense.

Georgia rushing offense

Key stats: Todd Gurley has run for 1,138 yards, more than any true freshman in UGA history except Herschel Walker. Keith Marshall — Gurley’s running mate and roomate — has run for 720 yards, eighth most by a UGA freshman.

Season high point: Of many impressive performances, Gurley’s 118 yards on 27 fumble-free carries against Florida’s stellar defense was tops.

Season low point: Gurley and Marshall had 39 and 37 yards, respectively, against South Carolina in Georgia’s lone loss. The offensive line struggled, but offensive coordinator Mike Bobo later lamented abandoning the run too soon.

Name to know: “Gurshall”

Alabama rushing defense

Key stats: Alabama is the toughest team in the SEC to run against, yielding 77 rushing yards per game. The Crimson Tide has allowed only seven rushing touchdowns all season and only one player to run for 100-plus yards (LSU’s Jeremy Hill, 107 on 29 carries).

Season high point: Alabama held Missouri to just three — three! — rushing yards.

Season low point: Alabama gave up 165 rushing yards in its loss to Texas A&M, including 92 on 18 carries by quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Name to know: Senior nose guard Jesse Williams is from Brisbane, Australia, one of only four Australians playing FBS football at a position other than punter.

READ ALL ABOUT IT: THE AJC’S COMPLETE (AND CONTINUOUS) SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME COVERAGE

    • More to come.

    177 comments Add your comment

    Loran's Best

    November 25th, 2012
    11:48 pm

    Preston

    November 25th, 2012
    11:52 pm

    Congrats Loren’s Best!

    Preston

    November 25th, 2012
    11:53 pm

    All I can say is the O Line better show up or Gurshall will be stuffed! The line that showed up for SC will be humiliated!

    Preston

    November 25th, 2012
    11:53 pm

    “would” be humiliated

    Loran's Best

    November 26th, 2012
    12:01 am

    @Preston; thanks and completely agree… Our D will wear down, if we can’t maintain drives, and run the clock. As always, ball security will also be key.

    Have a nice day

    November 26th, 2012
    12:46 am

    UGA has a chance to win it all this season. They must take advantage of it because you never know when the chance will be there again. UGA was ripped off in 2007 when LSU jumped past them to play for the nc. UGA was the best team athe end of the 2007 season and deserves to be called the nc for 2007. There is is approved.

    Have a nice day

    November 26th, 2012
    12:47 am

    There it is approved

    legionaire

    November 26th, 2012
    6:03 am

    The key to this game for UGA is which Murray shows up. The monkey is off his back that he can’t beat a top 10 team. Bama plays solid football but their O was so bad at LSU they had to punt 7 times and converted 3rd down 1 time. A win for the Dawgs.

    Just Asking?

    November 26th, 2012
    6:28 am

    Murray doesn’t run like Texas A&M’s quarterback Johnny Manziel, but he does throw better than any other quarterback in the SEC. If we are to beat Alabama it will mean that Bobo gets creative in his play calling. Gurshall will be stopped at the line if we try to run it up the middlee. No one has been able to run up the middle against Alabama, but you can throw to your running backs in the flats.
    The question is NOT the O-Line against theirs, the question is “Is Mike Bobo up to the challenge of innovative play calling for an entire game?

    tell me again

    November 26th, 2012
    6:28 am

    Bama’s offense is not the concern – they’re special teams and the ability of their defense to control games is the wall the Dawgs must climb. If our O line can crank a running game – and if Murray is on – the Dawgs are going to Notre Dame. This team has gotten better each and every game since teh SC loss – they have not peaked and I think the attitude and hunger is there for a victory. Bama has been exposed againt A&M and LSU – they are not invincible……GO DAWGS!

    ZinoDawg

    November 26th, 2012
    6:43 am

    Spread them out and run the no huddle.

    Rambo

    November 26th, 2012
    7:15 am

    We need to play Georgia, the song when the dawgs enter the dome since they are the home team!

    Tim

    November 26th, 2012
    7:49 am

    Bulldog Boogie by Rick Duggar on itunes!

    smitty

    November 26th, 2012
    8:01 am

    Ken: I just bought two tickets to the ACC Championship game.
    Joe: What did they run you?
    Ken: Six bucks
    Joe: BWHAHAHAHA
    Joe: You could have gotten them on EBay for half that
    Ken: Bartender can I have a Purple-hand?

    mvdawg

    November 26th, 2012
    8:02 am

    DAWGRX

    November 26th, 2012
    8:18 am

    The SECCG is really the National Championship game, because both Alabama and UGA will run the Golden Domers right out of the stadium. Notre Dame is tough, no doubt. But they haven’t seen or competed against the speed that they are going to see from either time on both sides of the ball. Here’s to hoping it’s the red and black. Glory, glory to old Georgia!

    DAWGRX

    November 26th, 2012
    8:19 am

    oops….”from either team…..”. It’s still early…

    Vampire Bill

    November 26th, 2012
    8:27 am

    I think it will come down to offensive line play by the dawgs. If we can establish any type of a run game then we have a good chance to win the game. Hopefully Bobo learned something against SC and will give Murray what he needs to work the quick passes against a strong rush.

    Murray may have to win this one by himself. The losses to Marlon and Bennett will be felt in this one. I like throwing to our tight ends. Go dawgs…

    Max Sizemore

    November 26th, 2012
    8:58 am

    Georgia’s offensive line simply isn’t good enough to block Alabama consistently.

    [...] The Junkyard Blawg: Dawgs get a chance to ruin ESPN’s dreams and earn some R-E-S-P-E-C-T* Matchup: Georgia rushing offense vs. Alabama rushing defense* BCS standings set stage for SEC showdown* SEC Championship “cheap seats” priced around [...]

    I-DOG

    November 26th, 2012
    9:02 am

    Dawgs will likely struggle to run the ball, but must keep doing so. The 2 and 3 yard carries in the first half will help keep AL from pinning their ears back and rushing Murray and will turn into 5 and 6 yard gains in the second half.

    Murray has not performed well in games against top flight competition. Just this year, he was 11-39 for only 109 yards against USC and against the gators it was 12-24 for 150 with 3 interceptions. Very unlikely that the Dawgs can get a W if Murray has anywhere near that kind of day.

    Bama will move the ball on our day and we need to get some turnovers and force field goals, but I think if we run the ball 15 times in the first half, we will be able to throw the ball effectively. Think we need to score in the upper 20’s to give us the best chance to get into the national title game.

    Most important game of Murray’s career and most important of Richt’s as well. If Murray can go 19-33 with two touchdowns and one INT think the Dawgs have a good shot and Murray’s draft stock will rise.

    keniboy

    November 26th, 2012
    9:17 am

    uga needs to tackle not just bump chests.

    bwell

    November 26th, 2012
    9:23 am

    Georgia will win………If CMB don’t try and run up the gut if the play is not there. That’s one of the big mistakes he made in last year C’ship game. Also CMB stop doing what was working which was running and throwing from side to side and vertically( throwing) He gave the LSU defense confidence with running the ball up the gut. Also if CMB use ALL 5 BACKS it will wear down the Bama defense with some playaction. If Gurshall is not having success early hopefully he will throw in RS & Boo. I think we can be able to run the toss sweep which hasn’t been used much since the 2 or 3 week of the season. Bottom line we have block and come the ball quick but Ga will win and shut Bama down. Go dawgs

    Joey

    November 26th, 2012
    9:30 am

    Maybe Bobo will start Murray out with some quick, short passes to get him calmed down – you know he will get “amped’ for this one.

    Rambo is right, UGA’s starting 22 is as good or better than Bama’s. The difference is Bama’s depth, which hopefully won’t matter in 1 game.

    Win this game and Richt and Murray both shed the “can’t win a big game” images.

    Jim

    November 26th, 2012
    9:36 am

    The key is protect Murray. With time and the way he spreads the ball around our passing game should open up the running game. Maybe it’s just me, but it looks like yards after contact come against our defenders because we are going for the stripe first and the tackle second. We can’t do that against Alabama’s backs. Hit them hard and wrap up. I would rather Rambo show us than talk trash about who has the better players. Maybe the South Carolina game would have been better if he had not let his team down. Anybody else notice how Jessie Palmer is getting more and more like Lou Holtz by always gloating about how great Florida is like Holtz does about Notre Dame and South Carolina? It about made me puke to hear him go on and on about Florida having the best defense and the only reason they lost to Georgia was because of 6 turnovers. I sure was hoping for a Notre Dame loss to USC so we could have a rematch with Florida for the NCG.

    Vince

    November 26th, 2012
    9:47 am

    PLEASE drop that stupid moniker “Gurshall”, and let these two INDIVIDUALS enjoy their success and productivity!!!!! The key to our offense will be our offensive LINE, not the running backs. Has the author of this article ever played football?

    JB

    November 26th, 2012
    9:52 am

    You can bet the farm that Saban knows getting Dawgs off the field and helpless on offense is to get to Murray with Pressure and tight man coverage on his wideouts……and Bama will do that. Richt /Bobo better have a game plan to counter that, because that’s what we’ll see.

    Chris Mike

    November 26th, 2012
    9:53 am

    This one will come down to our O-line and Murray. The O-line only have to block these guys for a split second, Gurley or Marshall would be gone before they could react. Murray really scares me, he don’t play well after being rushed or hit hard. The only thing I can judged him by is the games he played against top teams. Murray have to play like he did on the scoring drive against Florida for else for us to beat them. If not Alabama would makes this game laughable and by the second half they would be getting their minds focus on Notre Dame. BoBo help Murray out and call screen and short passes to get him in a rhythm. Mark Rict this is our chance no more excuses!

    Joey

    November 26th, 2012
    9:59 am

    What do you do to counter that, JB?

    Throwing to the backs and TEs?

    JB

    November 26th, 2012
    10:00 am

    Scathing editorial in the Birmingham News about the Auburn Program. It appears a concerned Group of power brokers in and around the program and school went to the Auburn President LAST SUMMER and warned him the football program was set to implode. No discipline at all in the program, no off season workouts, skipping class, no accountability. ….. And it did.

    JB

    November 26th, 2012
    10:03 am

    Joey, coming out in a tight pro set and running our predictable Offense plays right in their hands. A&M spread them out, created running lanes and a lot of quick passes to negate the rush….And they need to tell Murray if he see’s a lane to run….but be sure to slide.

    JB

    November 26th, 2012
    10:05 am

    Saban is preaching all week that Georgia is dangerous. players are hearing how easy it will be. We’ll see.

    Joey

    November 26th, 2012
    10:06 am

    Whew! Just read where Auburn’s buyout of Chizik and entire staff was $11 million.

    That couldn’t leave much in the bank acct for the players . . .

    JB

    November 26th, 2012
    10:09 am

    Auburn will be 2-4 years recovering. All the players ain’t fired…..Yet. The new man will probably need to get rid of 10-15 cancers. That team has a lot of Crowell’s on it.

    JB

    November 26th, 2012
    10:12 am

    I tell you who’s tired of football. Mrs.VanGorder…………She’s packing again…hope he rented. I’m sure he did.

    ApothecaryMark

    November 26th, 2012
    10:31 am

    If AL commits five or less turnovers they will win. It was the sixth UF turnover that allowed UGA to win a game that was given to them.

    Dawgie

    November 26th, 2012
    10:33 am

    ROLL TIDE BEAT THE PUPPIES

    Dr. Phil

    November 26th, 2012
    10:35 am

    Both teams are talented but Alabama is slightly more talented in spite of what Rambo boasts. The game will be decided by coaching, just like the last meeting.

    JB

    November 26th, 2012
    10:36 am

    Dawgs have some grown MEN playing D who will play on Sundays. 7 or 8 of them. 22 years old. look for Bama to get popped in the mouth like no other time this year.

    Joey

    November 26th, 2012
    10:36 am

    Mr VanGorder’s status has dropped in the past 24 months, huh?

    From NFL DC, to DC of that mess of a season and team, which allowed about 90 points to UGA and Bama, the Tigers’ biggest rivals.

    BobDawg

    November 26th, 2012
    10:37 am

    It’s going to be interesting when the Dawgs are on offense… We can’t expect to get up to the line and stop and look over to the sideline for a new play…Bama audibles as well on D and will negate that… We need some fast tempo Johnny Football and let Murray change plays on the fly this week. I hope we come out attacking like last years game… Mitchell won’t drop the ball this time…

    NCDawg

    November 26th, 2012
    10:37 am

    I’ve been saying this for weeks… Florida’s D is better than Bama’s. They play the pass better. Bama has trouble getting to the passer and their secondary has holes in it. The Dawgs ran the ball well against UF and they will run it well against Bama because they will have to respect the pass. Our line has improved and I think that we can make Bama pay for thinking they can handle our line with just 7 in the box. If they move somebody up to take away the run, look for big plays in the passing game.
    Bobo needs to take the leash off Murray and let him run it some if for no other reason than to put doubt in the Bama Defenders minds. They were embarrassed by A&M. I think we run the ball better than A&M and our passing game is very good. If we run hurry up all game it will drive Saban nuts. He has personnel packages that he inserts into the game based upon down and distance and if we take that away it will be a major advantage.
    The Dawgs will run the ball and be decently successful. If Gurley or Marshall break one it will be a major dagger in Bama’s heart. They cannot afford to dare us to throw. I’m sure Saban is thinking “why did it have to be the most balanced offense in college football?” He would have loved to have faced UF. They could afford to stuff the run against UF. They can’t against UGA.

    BobDawg

    November 26th, 2012
    10:39 am

    @10:03… just saw your post JB… I agree with spreading it out…and Murray will have to run some and slide… He is tough bird but has taken some vicious hits this year…

    Joey

    November 26th, 2012
    10:41 am

    Everybody (especially Gators and Techies) likes to point out the Gators 6 turnovers helping UGA win in Jax.

    They also like to conveniently FAIL to point out that UGA gave UF 3 turnovers, which SHOULD have helped the Gators beat UGA.

    And the Gators STILL couldn’t score a TD.

    JB

    November 26th, 2012
    10:41 am

    Good post NCDawg…..we just gotta go do it. Watching the Bama/Auburn game, even that horrible
    Au team had some moments against them.They are beatable if we come to play.

    BobDawg

    November 26th, 2012
    10:42 am

    NCDAWG AND JB, the one bad thing about the hurry up is if we don’t’ make 1st downs. I agree we need to play hurry up , but we have to make the 3rd downs like Mettenburger did in the LSU game…

    Big Al

    November 26th, 2012
    10:42 am

    Bama’s rush defense #2, Dogs rush defense not in top 50. Enough said.

    BobDawg

    November 26th, 2012
    10:44 am

    …to keep our Defense fresh… Let’s face it… Bama has more depth than we do… I think that is where LSU hurt us in the SEC game last year in the 2nd half…. I think CMR and CTG have worked the boys in superior shape the last 2 weeks against the Triple option… and The D will love not having to fight off Chop Blocks anymore!

    Buzz 2011

    November 26th, 2012
    10:48 am

    Richt has done a fine job with Dogs this year.. The entire Dog country will
    support Bama as they take on Notre Dame in the big one. The entire SEC
    should be behind the Tide..

    Dwayne pn

    November 26th, 2012
    10:57 am

    ROLL TIDE LOSERS. UGA = NO CHANCE! UGA is good at runnin that mouth until they have to play a real team. Rambo must be a real smart guy. Talk trash to the best team in the nation. Provide extra motivation. THANK YOU GENIOUS! You think South carolina beat you down? Just wait…
    ROLLLLLLLL TIDEEEEEEEEE