ORLANDO, Fla. — After Todd Gurley ran for 1,260 yards this season – and 122 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries in the SEC Championship game – the tendency is to think that fellow freshman Keith Marshall is a less valuable back for Georgia at this stage in his young career.
Marshall had just two carries against Alabama. But offensive coordinator Mike Bobo insisted Saturday that Marshall remains more of a 1-B option to Gurley. Injuries and extenuating circumstances, he said, had more to do with Marshall’s reduced presence toward the end of the season than Gurley’s special talents.
“(Marshall) did not get as many touches in the Alabama game, but that’s just how the game went and how the other guy was running the ball,” Bobo said during a Capital One Bowl news conference Saturday at the Rosen Plaza Hotel. “But we’ve got a big plan for Keith in this game, and expect him to make plays and play well in this game. He’s running good.”
Marshall have fewer yards rushing than Gurley (723) and fewer overall carries (109 to 199). But he averaged more yards per carry (6.6 to 6.3) and had more runs of 50 or more yards (four to one).
Marshall was listed with a shoulder contusion heading into the SEC title game and he battled knee soreness the second half of the season. Bobo said the time off between the end of the season and bowl practices helped Marshall.
“He’ll be fresh and ready to go on Tuesday,” Bobo said.
MORE CAPITAL ONE BOWL COVERAGE