Todd Gurley shed the no-contact jersey today at practice for Georgia, and the stud running back for the Bulldogs looks close to full speed in advance of their rivalry game on Saturday vs. Florida. It will have been be more than a month when Gurley steps on the field in Jacksonville, Fla. for the ‘World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party’ with Georgia going 1-2 in the three games since he was injured in the win vs. LSU.
His absence was felt even more with the loss Keith Marshall for the season in the narrow win vs. Tennessee. Georgia has rushed for 164 and 107 yards respectively in their two losses as Aaron Murray and the offense has missed Gurley, who was a Heisman candidate in the first month of the season.
Gurley will see the top rush defense in the SEC and the eighth-best unit in the country as the Gators give up 100.7 yards per game on the ground. Moreover, this vaunted Florida defense has looked vulnerable in recent weeks as they gave up 205 yards to Missouri as Henry Josey ran for 136 yards on only 18 carries. Over the last three games, Florida has gave up 163.7 yards per game.
If anyone is capable of continuing to make Florida look vulnerable against the run, it’s the 6-foot-1, 232-pound Gurley, who may be the top running back taken in the 2015 NFL draft. I don’t expect much rust from him, and I think he’ll put up numbers similar to what Jeremy Hill did against Florida when LSU beat the Gators earlier this season.
Gurley and Hill are both 230-pound runners who can run you over and run past you. Hill ran for 126 yards that afternoon, and that is my expectations for Gurley on Saturday. He was a stud last year as Georgia pulled off the eight-point win to win for the second year in a over their rival, and he ran over Florida for 118 yards and a touchdown as a freshman.
With Georgia clinging on to their hopes of winning the east in the SEC, look for Mark Richt to unleash the beast and let Gurley make up for lost time as the ‘Dawgs look to win their third game in a row in the rivalry.