Georgia Football: Do You Play Todd Gurley or Don’t You?

Gurley slips through the fingers of Florida defensive back Cody Riggs on his way to a 70+ yard touchdown reception. Photo: Curtis Compton/AJC

One name: Todd Gurley.

One question: Do you play him this week or rest him for Auburn?

Believe it or not, this is a hotly debated topic within the Georgia fan base right now, as the Bulldogs prepare for their upcoming contest against Appalachian State. The reason for the quandary has a lot to do with how Gurley looked against Florida this past weekend.

Despite a two touchdown, 175+ yard performance on the football field, he simply didn’t look like the dominant, tackle-breaking, pile-moving back Georgia fans are used to seeing. He looked, for lack of a better word, a little tired and a bit gimpy—particularly after that first quarter.

The difference in his play was so noticeable, the CBS broadcast team found themselves obsessed with pointing it out—whenever and wherever possible—so by the time the clock hit four zeroes in Jacksonville, a good portion of the Georgia fan base were wondering if it might not be best to rest Gurley until the Auburn game—why risk re-injuring or making a bad situation worse by playing him against what is perceived to be a lesser opponent? In their minds, we need him against Auburn…not so much against Appalachian State.

It’s a legitimate concern, I’ll grant you that; the mere sight of Gurley on the sidelines Saturday, sucking wind, out of sorts, and on the verge of collapse, after his 70+ yard touchdown run, was enough to make my heart palpitate. And, even more, the resulting lack of imagination on the part of offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, after Gurley’s exit, made it crystal clear who this Georgia offense truly revolves around as the season moves forward.

But, Bobo’s imaginative play calling, or lack thereof, aside, let’s get back to the question…do you play Gurley or rest him? In my humble opinion, you play him. I mean, do you honestly want him resting any more than he already has for the last month?

Georgia will need his legs and his game-breaking ability even more against an Auburn team that has seen themselves absolutely embarrassed by the Bulldogs two seasons straight—including a nasty 38-0 loss on ‘The Plains’ last season; you do not want to face the Tigers with Gurley still at half-speed. He needs all the reps he can get in order for him to get back up to speed—period. Resting him should only be an option if there was more to his exit Saturday than a need for electrolytes and oxygen.

Does that mean you play him the whole game? I don’t know about that, I think a half or three quarters would be sufficient, but you certainly want him out there taking the hits, fighting for yards, and being challenged by the defense; he needs to do that if he’s going to get back to being the player he’s known for being—Tough. Nasty. Nearly Unstoppable.

If you don’t do that, you run the risk of seeing the same thing happen to him at Auburn that you saw against Florida. And while Georgia still managed to escape with the win, thanks to a very calculated drive (and an untimely Florida penalty) at the end, you’re probably going to need more than 23-points to beat Auburn—and you’re going to need a healthy, ready, Gurley to make that happen.

That’s my two. What say you?

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I am not a 'journalist' by trade, nor do I present myself as such. I am a wife, mother, and passionate Georgia Bulldog fan. That's it. I write. You read.

9 comments for “Georgia Football: Do You Play Todd Gurley or Don’t You?

  1. AthensHomerDawg
    11/05/2013 at 8:19 PM

    Meh… uSC was glad they escaped Vandy last year and we wore them(Vandy) out that year. AND…uSC wore us out. It’s why you play the game. You can’t have the attrition we’ve had and make those mistakes and beat Vandy. Florida won’t beat them either.
    Go Dawgs!

    • 11/05/2013 at 9:10 PM

      I think Florida beats Vandy. The Commodores just aren’t as good as Georgia made them look, in my opinion. And, to be honest, USCe has had close calls more than once this season so I wonder how good they really are too.

  2. AthensHomerDawg
    11/05/2013 at 4:58 PM

    “If you’re gonna ride in the Kentucky Derby, you don’t leave your prize stallion in the stable.”

    • 11/05/2013 at 9:08 PM

      I couldn’t agree more.

      Give “Secretariat” some room and let him outrun the field.

  3. Linda
    11/05/2013 at 4:09 PM

    Sure is a crazy football season. Like reading your take on things.
    gameday dresses

    • 11/05/2013 at 9:07 PM

      It has definitely been a wild one. Hopefully, we can win a few more big ones before it’s all said and done.

  4. sj
    11/05/2013 at 11:34 AM

    Our current team appears to be best playing ‘down hill’ FB. They must have a lead to perform well, it seems. So I would sit him after (if) we have a two TD lead. Aaron also.
    However, I can’t forget the embarrassing loss Michigan had on national TV a couple of years ago to that Div II (Appal St?) team. Then again, we have already lost to a Div II team, haven’t we? (Vandy).

    • 11/05/2013 at 9:06 PM

      I don’t think anyone will ever forget that game. I know I won’t.

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