Todd Gurley Introduces Himself and the Defense Struggles: Remembering the Season Opener
This is the first of 14 Post-Season Game Recaps.
On September 1st the Georgia Bulldogs opened their 2012 campaign against the Bulls from Buffalo. The Bulldogs won the game 45-23 behind a stellar outing from freshman running back Todd Gurley and a three-TD performance by Aaron Murray.
What We Saw:
- Todd Gurley introduced himself in a big way rushing for 100 yards and two TDs on just eight carries and adding a 100 yard kickoff return for a score.
- Murray hit on 15 of his 26 passes for 258 yards and 3 TDs.
- Tavarres King had 100 yards receiving and Michael Bennett added 76.
- The Georgia defense failed to force a turnover.
- Buffalo racked up 199 yards rushing.
What We Learned:
Everyone in Sanford Stadium that day came to see Keith Marshall. Five minutes into the game everybody was there to watch Todd Gurley. Ten minutes in I half-jokingly wondered if Keith Marshall had transferred yet. We learned that Todd Gurley was a force in this game. Ten touches for 227 yards and three TDs was hard to hid.
What We Should Have Learned:
We should have learned that the Georgia defense was going to be inconsistent at stopping the run. Two Bulls ran for over 80 yards and each scored a TD. Many, myself included, wrote it off as a meaningless game with missing personnel (several defensive stalwarts were suspended). That proved not to be the case as Georgia struggled throughout the year against the run.
Aside from the glaring deficiency in defending the run (a problem that directly resulted in a loss to Alabama), this game held no long-term repercussion. The Dawgs’ got the victory, slid just one spot in both the AP and Coaches Poll and moved towards Missouri.
Georgia won’t play Buffalo in 2013, so there is little value in hypothesizing about a potential matchup, but if won did exist I’d have to expect another lopsided win for the Bulldogs.
That’s all I got/