LSU vs. Georgia: Todd Gurley's Heisman Hopes Hampered by Ankle Injury

Randy ChambersAnalyst ISeptember 28, 2013

Georgia running back Todd Gurley was already considered a long shot to win the Heisman. Now, he has about a one-in-a-million chance of winning the award. In the Bulldogs' 44-41 win against LSU, the talented sophomore running back missed the second half with an ankle injury.

He finished the game with eight carries for 73 yards. Yes, incredible numbers in such limited time, but imagine what he could have accomplished if he was on the field for the entire game. With the way LSU struggled to stop the run, Gurley could have easily pushed for 200 rushing yards, setting a new career high.

Instead, Georgia won the game without him.

In Saturday's game, dark-horse candidates need all of the help they can get. Missing half of the biggest game of the weekend is devastating for a player still trying to make a dent in the Heisman voting.

Players such as Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater were all ahead of Gurley in the polls, according to ESPN.

A game against the No. 6-ranked Tigers set the stage perfectly for a Heisman moment. It's what every Heisman winner needs. If voters weren't believers in Gurley before, it would have been hard to ignore him after another monster performance against another Top 10 team. Gurley topped 100 rushing yards against Clemson and South Carolina earlier this season.

Add at least 150 yards against LSU and there's no denying him any longer.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Backup Keith Marshall stole the show on the ground in Gurley's absence, leading the team with 96 rushing yards. Much of those yards could have been Gurley's if he didn't get injured in the second quarter.

Now, assuming Gurley is able to bounce back next week, it will be tough for him to make up for lost time. Georgia only has one more ranked team on the schedule, which is Florida on Nov. 2. Ripping Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky to shreds isn't going to do anything for his campaign.

Gurley is still the best running back in college football and is critical to Georgia's success moving forward. However, Heisman candidates shine brightest in the biggest games. The talented running back wasn't given that chance on Saturday.