Once again, Clemson didn’t see a lot of Todd Gurley. But Georgia showed the Tigers — and the nation — enough to get his Heisman Trophy campaign started and give the Bulldogs a season-opening victory.
With former Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker in attendance, No. 12 Georgia used their prized junior tailback sparingly. He had only four carries at halftime, but it paid off in the second half as a fresh and strong Gurley cherry-picked his way to 198 yards rushing on just 15 carries and four touchdowns in a resounding 45-21 against No. 16 Clemson.
One of Gurley’s scores came on a 104-yard kickoff return in the first half. By the time Georgia had the game well under control midway through the fourth quarter, Gurley had amassed 293 all-purpose yards — a school record— and it came on just 16 touches. That works out to an average of 17.24 yards per touch.
The game-tipper for Georgia came on Gurley’s 18-yard cut-back run for a touchdown an a toss sweep right. That gave the Bulldogs a 31-21 and broke what open what had been a fairly sedate second half to that point.
It wouldn’t stay that way. When the Bulldogs gave Gurley yet another blow on their next possession, freshman Nick Chubb came in and immediately took a toss sweep to the right 47 yards down the sideline for another touchdown. Now the blowout was on.
Georgia brought Gurley in one more time and he did it again. At the 7:34 mark, he duplicated the youngster’s feat and went 51 yards down the home sideline for his fourth score of the night.
The victory was a nice way to raise the curtain on the 2014 season, Georgia’s 121st in football. The win offered redemption for last year’s 38-35 season-opening loss at Clemson that brought down then-No. 6 Bulldogs.
In that game, Gurley was limited by injuries and had only 12 carries. But he finished with 154 yards that night.
Georgia improves to 11-3 in season-openers under coach Mark Richt.
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