Georgia running back Todd Gurley had 154 yards and two touchdowns in last year's 38-35 loss at Clemson.
Photo: Jason Getz / AJC
Photo: Jason Getz / AJC

Gurley hopes to play longer against Clemson this time

In two words — not much.

Gurley took a toss sweep around right end on the first play of Georgia’s second offensive possession of the game and outran the Tigers’ pursuit to tie the score at 7-all with 9:17 remaining in the first quarter. But Gurley would have just one more carry that quarter, two more the rest of that half and ended up only 12 for the game.

That’s because Gurley pulled a quadricep muscle in the middle of his touchdown jaunt. As fate would have it, wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell was also lost for the season during the endzone celebration. He tore the ACL in his right knee upon landing after a leaping chest bump with Gurley.

“I strained my quad, which I never did that before,” Gurley said. “I really couldn’t lift my knee, couldn’t lift my leg up. I’m known for breaking tackles and I really couldn’t do that like I wanted to.”

Gurley believes he did it as a lifted his leg out of the arms of a would-be tackler in the middle of the his scoring run. He was in pain the rest of the night but came through with 74 yards and another score in the second half. But the injury nagged him for the next couple of weeks.

Gurley is happy to report nothing is nagging him as he heads into Saturday’s rematch against the Tigers. They finished a close second to Georgia in his recruitment three years ago and he’s looking forward to turning the tables.

As for what all transpired in that wacky first quarter a year ago, Gurley said he’d just as soon forget about it.

“I don’t really look back on it,” he said. “I just don’t want it to happen again.”

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