Georgia Football: How the Troy Game Hurt Todd Gurley’s Heisman Chances

Know what Sony Michel’s game on Saturday reminded me of?  Todd Gurley’s first game.

Sure, both opponents (Troy yesterday, Buffalo in 2012) were outmatched, but wow.  I wrote at length about this topic here, but I think the emergence of Michel helps Georgia’s offense but hurts Gurley’s Heisman campaign.

Bottom line: Georgia isn’t going to work Gurley to his maximum capacity.  And as effective as he is even with limited carries, it’s kind of hard to argue against that notion.  Especially, when someone like Michel (or Nick Chubb) can produce at a high level.  Michel is no Todd Gurley, but he’s even more versatile and he’s a nightmare to defend.  So why not use him to spell Gurley?

It’s hard to quantify this theory, especially because every carry requires a different work load.  But let’s pretend for a second that the following is 1. measurable and 2. true:

  • Todd Gurley is capable of 15 carries without showing any residual signs of wear and tear.
  • He’s capable of ten more carries at 90% capacity, ten more still at 80%.  After that, he’s reduced to 70%.
  • Georgia needs 40 carries.

If Gurley gets that whole load his average utility would be about 88.75% of capacity.

Again, even typing this is ridiculous because there are innumerable variables involved.  But a broader point needs to be made and these arbitrary numbers work.  So, if Georgia can get a player who produces somewhere between 85% and 90% of what Gurley does at his best, there wouldn’t be a noticeable step back over a prolonged period.  In other words, if the offense can run at 90% capacity when Sony Michel is in the game, then he needs to be in the game on occasion.  This is especially useful if Gurley’s 15 carries (the ones in which he is 100%) can be spread out and used when the opposing defense is declining because of fatigue.

I think this principal—whether you understand it, agree with it or already stopped reading—will be at work throughout the year.  Accordingly, I think Gurley’s carries will be limited.  No one will argue that Georgia is better when another player is on the field in stead of Gurley—at least not in that general of terms.  But this raises an interesting question.  Why do so many willingly believe that Georgia’s offensive coordinator (the guy who just put up 66 points and whose team is averaging a smidge fewer than 50 points per game this year) is leaving the man who is obviously his best player off the field to the detriment of his team?  Why is the idea of a fresh running back in the fourth quarter so hard to understand?

The running back by committee is accepted around the country, but not by Georgia fans.  Get used to it.  Michel just joined the committee.


That’s all I got/




It’s never too early to get ready for the next game!  Some of the greatest plays in Georgia history came against the Tennessee Volunteers.  Get ready for the matchup with the Vols by watching those highlights for free on The UGA Vault.  Click here to download it for FREE!

About dudeyoucrazy

College Football Writer

Posted on September 21, 2014, in Blog, Georgia Bulldogs, The UGA Vault. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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