Even without the playmakers they had on defense from last season, the Georgia Bulldogs look like the best team in the SEC East, with plenty of credit going to the premier running back in the nation, Todd Gurley, who seems to be getting stronger and harder to stop with every week that goes by.
If anyone thought that his Freshman season (1,385 yards and 18 touchdowns) was some sort of fluke, guess again. Gurley is off to a very strong start with 288 yards and three touchdowns, but he isn’t really satisfied with being considered the biggest running threat in the nation.
I really didn’t sit down this offseason and say, ‘I’m trying to do this, I’m trying to do that,’. One of my main things was just to get more plays in the passing game and just work on playing without the ball. That was about all.
Gurley has caught only 2 passes this season so far (a total of 16 last year), but he did catch an 8-yard pass for a touchdown against South Carolina to go with his rushing touchdown earlier on. It doesn’t hurt having Aaron Murray as his quarterback as well, even if the two seem to be in competition for the Heisman trophy at this stage.
Gurley missed chunks of the huge opening game against Clemson, a game Georgia lost 38 to 35, and still finished with 154 yards on 12 carries, scoring two touchdowns. He had big moments all over the South Carolina game, as the Bulldogs regained their mojo with a 41-30 win. South Carolina, if you don’t remember, had one of the best defenses in the nation against the run last season.
Gurley almost scored a no-helmet touchdown as it was ripped off via a facemask from Kelcy Quarles. The play had to be called dead by the officials, but Gurley was making his way to the outside undisturbed, and it wouldn’t have been surprising to see him, through his incredible combination of speed, power and balance, take it all the way. He scored an impressive touchdown in the second quarter (even if it was only for two yards) by shaking off cornerback Jimmy Legree using a big stiff arm that looked quite effortless.
In the end, maybe his chances of winning the Heisman depend on Murray and the way he performs. Georgia have a few big games left, and those have always seemed to be the Achilles heel for Murray, but he probably got over that hurdle in the win over the Gamecocks.
Quarterbacks are usually easier to vote for when it comes to the biggest award in College Football, but it’s never just one player that makes everything happen. Murray is successful because defenses have to pay so much attention to Gurley, and it’s true the other way around, but something tells me Gurley would have done similarly well if a lesser quarterback would have been his teammate.
According to Murray, there’s no one better than Gurley at what he does – Watching film on him, he’s by far in my opinion — anyone who watched him would probably agree with me — the best player in the country. I don’t think there’s anyone like Todd.