Everyone in the college football world knows how good Todd Gurley is. Last Saturday proved that Gurley can be even better, despite already being considered by many as the best running back in the country.
In the win against Clemson, Gurley rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, but he also returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score. His 293 all-purpose yards—he lost five yards on a reception—broke a single-game school record.
If he keeps this up, he will run away with the Heisman Trophy as well as the Doak Walker Award. However, the question is, will Gurley play at the same level all season long or will teams finally find a way to slow him down?
Here are projected stats for Gurley’s 11 remaining games of the season:
|At South Carolina||17||120||2|
|At Georgia Tech||15||115||2|
Odds Shark has the over/under for Gurley’s rushing yards set at 1,260.5. It also has his over/under for rushing touchdowns set at 13.5.
Based on what he did in the game against Clemson, he should have no issues getting more than 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns. Gurley has scored three touchdowns in two other games in his career. He did it in 2012 against Tennessee and again in 2013 against Georgia Tech.
With that said, he has never started a season the way he did on Saturday, tying his personal best in touchdowns and setting it in rushing yards.
Gurley will have his best year to date because of the other three running backs on the roster.
Keith Marshall has the same explosion as Gurley, but he will be eased into action because he’s coming off ACL surgery. Meanwhile, true freshmen Sony Michel and Nick Chubb could be called "Gurshall Jr." because they are very similar.
Chubb runs tough between the tackles and Michel is good at running off the edge and using his speed to blow past defenders. Not only will opposing defenses have to account for Gurley, they will have to make sure they can slow down Marshall, Chubb and Michel, which will lead to more opportunities for Gurley to make explosive plays.
He is not going to have a game like he had against Clemson every time he steps on the field this year, but expect him to put up big numbers because there is not one team he will face this season that can stop him.
Florida and Vanderbilt are the two best rushing defensive teams the Bulldogs will face, but Gurley has rushed for over 100 yards the two times he has faced the Gators. When he played against the Commodores in 2012, he rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns in a blowout win.
Based on what Gurley did against Clemson and what he’s done in the last two years, there is not a running back in the country like him.
If he’s able to stay healthy, there is no reason he won’t lead the SEC in rushing and end the 2014 season and as a finalist for a number of awards.