ATHENS — We barely got a good look at Todd Gurley this past Saturday against Troy. He played only the first two offensive possessions for the Bulldogs, piled up 73 yards on just six carries, and then he was gone. He sat on the bench and watched Sony Michel soak up the glory — and the touchdowns – the rest of the afternoon.
But lost in his little saunter in Sanford Stadium was the fact that Gurley continued his ascent up the considerable mountain of that is Georgia’s great tailback tradition. Even in the course of what amounted to nine minutes of work on Saturday, Gurley ran past Knowshon Moreno into fourth-place on the Bulldogs’ list of all-time rushers.
Gurley now has 2,776 career rushing yards, 42 more than Moreno and 241 fewer than Lars Tate (3,017). He’ll catch Garrison Hearst, who remains 456 yards ahead, as long as he remains healthy. Herschel Walker’s record of 5,259 will remain safe if Gurley does as most expect he will and turn pro after this season.
The most amazing part of Gurley’s inclusion on that list is that he has done it without even cracking the top 12 in school history in carries. Entering the fourth game of his third season as Georgia’s starting tailback, Gurley has 428 career rushes. That’s a career per-carry average of 6.49 yards. Right now that would top the Bulldogs’ all-time chart, currently led by 1942-46 star Charley Trippi (6.42.).
It’s not a stretch to think Gurley might also set the mark for average gain per rush for the season. Certainly it’s going to come down over the season. But after three games he’s averaging 9.8 yards a carry. As it is, that’s third on the team behind flanker Isaiah McKenzie (17.8) and Michel (10.3)
AVERAGE GAIN PER RUSH — CAREER
- Charley Trippi (1942, 45-46) — 6.42
- Glynn Harrison (1972-75) — 6.37
- Keith Henderson (1985, 86-88) — 6.04
- Garrison Hearst (1990-92) — 5.95
- Tim Worley (1985, 86-88) — 5.80
AVERAGE GAIN PER RUSH — SEASON
- Rodney Hampton (1987) — 7.06
- Charley Trippi (1942) — 6.85
- Glynn Harrison (1975) — 6.82
- Garrison Hearst (1992) — 6.79
- Keith Henderson (1985) — 6.77
Gurley came to the second-floor atrium at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall to talk to reporters after Tuesday’s practice as usual. I apologize for the poor quality of this video. Not sure what happened. But you can at least hear him talk about having to miss the Tennessee game last year, being well rested and healthy at this point and other stuff. …