Gurley Surging
Todd Gurley
Athens Banner-Herald
Posted Oct 31, 2012


ATHENS – Before flying back to Athens after Georgia’s victory over Florida Saturday, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo asked freshman tailback Todd Gurley about his antics after his 10-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Gurley punctuated the score with a Gator Chomp that drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

“Coach Bobo asked me `What the heck was that?” Gurley said. “I told him. He was like `That’s stupid.” It was a little celebration I got from Blake Tibbs.”

The freshman receiver who is on track for a redshirt season did the Gator Chomp last year in a high school game against Stephenson, according to Gurley. Florida freshman defensive lineman Jafar Mann played for Stephenson last season.

Gurley had four 100-yard rushing games in the first five games and added a sixth by rushing for 118 yards on 27 carries against the Gators, something that got sort of lost beneath other storylines out of that game.

“I thought it was probably underrated as far as what people talked about,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “It was a tremendous performance, that many carries against that physical of a defense. To average 4.4 (yards a carry) and not really have a long run, that was a heck of a game and his ball security was tremendous.”

Gurley moved up to third in the SEC in rushing at 92.5 yards per game, trailing only Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (99.13) and Mississippi State’s LaDarius Perkins (95.25). CBS Sportsline’s Bruce Feldman listed Gurley as No. 4 on his list of biggest impact freshmen in the nation.

Jenkins misses practice, but likely to play

Nose guard John Jenkins missed practice Wednesday with a sprained left ankle.

His absence Saturday would be a big blow for a defensive line already missing end Abry Jones after ankle surgery, but Richt said he expects the senior to play against Ole Miss.

“We think he’ll be fine, but we didn’t want to put him out there today," Richt said."We think he'll be ready."

Jenkins has started every games this season. He has 27 tackles and is third on the team with 10 quarterback pressures.

Recruit will visit while his brother plays Bulldogs

Denzel Nkemdiche will return to his home state to play against Georgia Saturday.

His brother, five-start prospect Robert Nkemdiche from Grayson High in Loganville, will be watching as he takes an unofficial visit with his parents to Georgia for Saturday’s game.

Robert Nkemdiche, a defensive end, is rated as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect by Scout.com. He is verbally committed to Clemson

“With Georgia, you never know what could happen,” Robert Nkemdiche wrote this week in an ESPN.com prospect diary. “I could start falling in love again after I visit. They have open arms toward me and I have open arms to them going in. We will see what happens.”

There were questions about whether Denzel would qualify. He visited Ole Miss in May after signing day and joined the Rebels.

Richt said Georgia never offered him a scholarship.

Denzel Nkemdiche, a 5-foot-11, 203-pound redshirt freshman leads Ole Miss in tackles with 52, in tackles for loss with nine and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions.

Bulldogs brace for uptempo offense

Ole Miss can go uptempo on offense, but picks and chooses when it does.

“It definitely keeps the pressure on,” said Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, whose team beat the Rebels 30-27 on Oct. 6. “Hugh Freeze and their staff are doing an excellent job of mixing the tempo. It’s not always the same pace and so the ability to go at different speeds is what probably makes them a little bit different than us.”

Fast-pace Texas A&M leads the SEC with 79.3 plays per game, followed by Tennessee at 72.9 and Ole Miss at 71.6

“Really what goes into it is trying to put your team in the best situation that they can be the most competitive in,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “You don’t want to go a bunch of three-and-outs in tempo and your defense is back out there inside a minute.”

Georgia’s scout team tried to simulate the pace expected in practice on Wednesday.

“You’ve got to get lined up in a hurry when you play these guys,” Richt said.

“We’ve seen a couple of plays where the chains weren’t even set yet and they were already running their next play. That’s just part of the offense,” cornerback Damian Swann said. “They move quick and try to score.”

They did with some success against Alabama, prompting Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban to say: “I think that the way people are going no-huddle right now, that at some point and time we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety.”

Richt said Georgia’s biggest challenge against Ole Miss’ offense will be lining up and getting ready, but Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, whose defense already faced a high-tempo offense in Missouri earlier this season, isn’t expressing concern about that.

“We’ll be fine,” Grantham said. “They’ve got pace, but I think the SEC officials do a good of, if they sub, we’re allowed to sub. It won’t be a problem.”

This and that

Zander Ogletree is poised to start at fullback Saturday after Merritt Hall missed his third straight day of practice with a sprained right ankle. “I think Merritt’s pretty unlikely right now,” Richt said. Fullback Quayvon Hicks (concussion) should play, Richt said.

Linebacker Jarvis Jones was named Wednesday as one of seven semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, which goes to the nation’s top lineman or linebacker. The finalists will be announced on Nov. 17.


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