September 16, 2012

Gurley, Mitchell shine in win

Although reporters tried their best to get running backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley to acknowledge what appeared to be obvious, the way the freshmen duo sees it, their respective 100-yard efforts we really not big of a deal.

"It's not something we really ever talked about," said Gurley. "All we're ever worried about it being able to back each other help, do what we can to help each other out when the other one gets tired."

Still, Saturday's effort was fun for Bulldog fans to watch.

Gurley rushed the ball 10 times for 111 yards with Marshall adding 10 carries for 104. Both players scored touchdowns, Gurley on a 38-yard run early in the third quarter with Marshall tallying his first career score on a 2-yard run in the second.

The pair became the first Bulldog freshmen to rush for over 100 yards in the same game since Thomas Brown and Danny Ware did so in 2004.

"We push each other every week so we're able to come out and do something like this," Marshall shrugged. "It's a friendly competition. I know he's good, he knows I can do some things. We're just out there having fun."

Head coach Mark Richt obviously likes what he saw.

"That was wonderful, having two true freshmen both with 10 carries, both g over 100 yards apiece," Richt said. "That was probably more of what they envisioned. They're good friends and they wanted to play together. They wanted to compete with each other. They're good friends, roommates. I think they probably think their path is going pretty good so far."

For the year, Gurley has rushed 28 times for 276 yards and scored four touchdowns while Marshall has 32 carries for 184 yards and one touchdown.

In Saturday's 56-20 win, they were part of a Bulldog offense that rolled up 713 yards of offense, a new Georgia record.

"That was great being part of something like that," Gurley said. "Anytime somebody touched the ball, it was like we had a chance to score. If we can do that every week, we can be unstoppable."

Quarterback Aaron Murray isn't quite ready to go that far.

Although he's certainly excited by what he has seen thus far from the offense, he knows the schedule is about to get markedly tougher with Vanderbilt, Tennessee and South Carolina next on the Bulldogs' docket.

"It's a scary offense, especially what we have at running back, at tight end, at wide receiver with a great offensive line," Murray. "We have the tools to be very successful on offense and create a lot of mismatches, but we can't be happy. We're only three games in and it's a long season to go and it's going to be tough, especially with this SEC stretch that we're about to hit."

That's the approach the young running backs seem to be taking as well.

"We know it's going to get a lot tougher, there's no question about that," Gurley said. "We're about to play some people who can bring it. There's still a lot both of us need to prove."