All the expectations Georgia had for this season evaporated with the injuries that plagued them just when things were going great. However, with Todd Gurley returning to help Aaron Murray possibly save their chances of finishing on top the SEC East, or at least make sure that Florida are out of the race completely.
After missing three consecutive games, of them Georgia lost the last two, Gurley came back to show his dominance in the world’s biggest cocktail party in Jacksonville. He ran for 100 yards and a touchdown, also catching 3 passes for 87 yards and another score, coming off a 73-yard pass play from Aaron Murray to help the Bulldogs start off the game with 17 unanswered points en route to a 23-20, letting Florida get a bit too close in the second half. It was the longest catch of Gurley’s career by more than 50 yards, the previous record being 22 yards last season. Florida also had a big play: 83-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Murphy to Quinton Dunbar, but it came far too late.
The 17 first-quarter points were the most scored by Georgia against the Gators over the last 10 years, and only the second time they’ve scored more than 14 points in any quarter in this rivalry over the last decade.
At 5-3 but more importantly for them, 4-2 in the SEC, Georgia (like South Carolina, a team they’ve beaten) are waiting for Missouri to lose for a second time this season, which isn’t that unlikely. The Tigers have an easy road game against Kentucky, but then play at Ole Miss and at home against Texas A&M, who will badly be needing the win. Georgia have an FCS opponents to play before a finale that includes Auburn on the road, Kentucky and Georgia Tech to finish the season. South Carolina have to play both Florida and Clemson (and also Coastal Carolina) to try and finish the season with a ticket to the conference championship game.
The Gators took a huge step back this season, and it’s not just their problems at quarterback but a general lack of talent on offense and a defense that isn’t as good as last year. They have to play South Carolina on the road, Georgia Southern and finishing off against Florida State with a miracle needing to happen so they actually make it to the conference championship game.
Aaron Murray was probably the happiest of everyone, staying for another year because he thought this team had a shot at going all the way, or further than the five yards they lacked last season. With Gurley back on the field, maybe his hopes of making it to a BCS game are still in place.
Gurley means everything to us. His energy, when he makes those runs and catches, and runs people over is so important to us. He’s a very vocal guy getting people pumped up, getting guys going, it was huge tonight. It was great to get him back. His personality in the huddle, his play-making ability, he just made some huge, huge plays for us in this game.