After Georgia’s 48-3 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday, senior wide receiver Tavarres King compared freshman running back Todd Gurley’s performance this season to one of Georgia’s greatest — claiming that his second-half touchdown run was “Herschel-ish.”
Head coach Mark Richt may not be ready to make that steep of an assertion quite yet, but he is more than pleased with Gurley’s early season production.
Richt knew in the offseason the kind of potential that Gurley possessed, and was eager to finally seem him perform in game situations.
“We had a pretty good taste of what he was going to look like. We were all looking forward to seeing what he because we were hopeful that he was going to do what he did in scrimmages,” Richt said. “That’s basically what he’s been doing — and maybe just a tad bit more.”
He attributes much of Gurley’s early success to the sense of humility that he carries himself with both on and off the field.
“We want everybody to stay humble, and that’s how he was when he got here,” Richt said. “He’s still that way, and I hope he continues to be that way. He’s thankful for what he’s got.”
Previewing Tennessee’s explosive offense
Tennessee visits Athens this weekend to take on Richt’s Bulldogs.
The Volunteers’ offensive firepower will presumably be the most talented unit that Georgia has faced thus far in 2012. Tennessee’s quarterback Tyler Bray is a weapon that Richt will be mindful of throughout Saturday’s game.
“They’re definitely throwing and catching it extremely well,” Richt said. “They want to throw the ball.”
Richt recognizes that Tyler Bray has a several weapons of his own that make their offense even more explosive, namely junior college transfer Cordarelle Patterson.
“These [receivers] can really go. They’re not only fast, but they’re tall, they have leaping ability,” Richt said. “We knew [Patterson] was a special player. We wanted him big time. He just looks like a big-time playmaker.”
And, while the Volunteers have an established passing game, Richt appreciates Tennessee’s ground game, and their ability to lead a balanced attack.
“It’s hard to not want to throw the football with guys like that,” Richt said. “But I don’t think there’s any doubt that they want enough balance running the football to prevent teams from teeing off on their passing game.”
Injuries against Vanderbilt
There was a brief scare in the Vanderbilt game, when senior safety Shawn Williams went down in the first half.
However, after sitting out the rest of that drive, Williams saw the field for a majority of the second-half, battling what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
“He thought he pulled it while he was stretching, but it was more of a spasm,” Richt said. “It just shook him up. But thankfully it wasn’t [a pulled hamstring].”
Defensive lineman Abry Jones also suffered an injury during the win over the Commodores. Richt wasn’t positive what went wrong, but didn’t fear that it would be a long-term issue.
“We have our staff meeting tonight, and that will give us an idea,” Richt said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious.”
Possible return of Ogletree, Rambo
Richt would not confirm that linebacker Alec Ogletree and safety Bacarri Rambo would be alleviated from their suspensions this week.
Many estimations point to the belief that the two starters will return this week against Tennessee. Though Richt was tight-lipped about the suspension, he conceded that the defense could still improve and that adding Rambo and Ogletree would be a good start.
“To this point, our team has done a good job of stepping into their roles more than they would have been,” Richt said. “There’s definitely still room for improvement.”
He also said the suspensions have caused Malcolm Mitchell to play more on the defensive side of the ball than he would have liked.
“I’m not sure he ever would have left the receiver position if some of these things didn’t happen,” Richt said.
Like week’s past, Richt won’t announce the fate of his two defensive starters until game day.
“We’ll figure it out in pregame warm-ups,” Richt said. “Just like last week.”