In one of the biggest games in the SEC on Saturday, the Tennessee Volunteers head to Athens to battle the Georgia Bulldogs. The Volunteers are attempting to take down a No. 5 Bulldog team that has won the last two meetings and has put up huge numbers on offense this season.
The Bulldogs have eclipsed the 40-point plateau in every game and are No. 1 in the SEC in scoring offense. One of the main reasons is the play of freshman running back Todd Gurley.
Gurley may be young, but he has looked stellar.
Here are five reasons why he's exceptional.
If a player is judged by his numbers, then Todd Gurley is one of the best players in the country. He leads the SEC in four vital offensive categories.
Gurley has amassed 406 rushing yards and is averaging an amazing 9.1 yards per carry. He is more than just a rushing threat as he leads the SEC in all-purpose yards with 657 and has scored seven touchdowns.
Gurley is rapidly becoming a household name in college football.
Gurley is a very powerful back. His physical ability is hard to ignore. He can break tackles and emerge from piles of defensive players.
This was on display in Week 1 against Buffalo when he returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. n. Later in that game, he scored again, breaking tackles and utilizing deadly stiff arm and breakaway speed to score a highlight-reel touchdown on a 55-yard run.
With this kind of ability, the sky is the limit for him.
Calling Todd Gurley a triple threat may not be adequate. So far this season, he's done everything right.
His play in the backfield is exceptional. He knows what to do with or without the ball. When he has the ball, he is a dominating runner, but he also is a pass-catching threat.
His skills don't end there. He is a big-play threat on special teams and can turn the game around in a hurry, as he did in the opener against Buffalo.
Todd Gurley is getting better every week. Last week against Vanderbilt, the physical freshman ran all over Commodores, scoring twice and accumulating 130 yards on the ground. Gurley looked unstoppable, averaging eight yards per carry.
The performance did not go unnoticed. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin told USA Today that he was impressed with the freshman back. "Gurley is a guy that really stood out to me,'' Franklin said. "He's a bit, strong, physical runner and he's playing with a lot of confidence right now.''
Gurley is attracting plenty of attention, This week, Tennessee has its eyes on him.
When the Bulldogs play Tennessee on Saturday, the Vols' defense will focus on Gurley.
Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri has showered high praise on the young running back. Sunseri, who is a former assistant at Alabama, has mentioned that Gurley reminds him of Trent Richardson in several ways.
Tennessee DC Sal Sunseri, a former Alabama assistant, said Georgia RB Todd Gurley reminds him of Trent Richardson in some ways
— Daniel Lewis (@Daniel_LewisCBS) September 26, 2012
If Gurley can follow in the footsteps of Richardson, it will mean great things for the future of the Georgia football program.