Will Todd Gurley have too many carries? Mark Richt says no

NCAA Football: Georgia-Spring Game

Georgia’s offensive success certainly doesn’t depend on star running back Todd Gurley, but he’s the best player in the country when healthy.

Because the Bulldogs’ bully running back was banged up last season, it had major implications on Georgia’s lack of a championship. Tennessee took the Dawgs to overtime, and UGA lost to Vanderbilt and before Gurley’s return against Florida. So, he’s a valuable weapon and has the ability to put the team on his back during any given game.

RELATED: SEC running backs career numbers entering 2014

Mark Richt knows this, but he alluded yesterday that although Gurley is the hawse and will get his carries, he wouldn’t overuse him and run up his mileage, via Macon Telegraph.

“If he’s healthy, he’s gonna make great runs. I mean you’ve gotta give him the ball,” Richt said. “We’ve done a pretty good job of throwing the ball to him. But Keith Marshall’s pretty talented, obviously. Brendan Douglas, we like what he did. We’ve got a couple highly-touted guys coming in, I wanna see what they can do.

“So are we gonna give it to (Gurley) 30 times a game and wear him to a nub, no. But there may be a game or two where he’s feeling in, and we’ve got momentum, and he’s pounding, we’re gonna let him pound. But Douglas pounds pretty good too. Keith Marshall can hit a home run at any moment. So we’ll use all those guys.”

Five-star backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are expected to help with Gurley’s workload. Keith Marshall is also expected to be fully healthy and ready to go, and Brendan Douglas will eat up some carries.

Gurley is already projected to become a first-round pick, and should he stay fully healthy, he could be a top-five pick, as no running back has been selected in the first round the last two years. Gurley has rushed for 2,374 yards on an SEC-high 387 carries in two seasons.

If the Gator Bowl was any foreshadowing, the main focus of the game plan will revolve around Gurley. He touched it 28 times on 21 carries and had seven receptions.

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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COMMENTS

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  • What’s the skinny on the starting qb’s skill set. Does he need to hand the ball to backs 5 out of 6 snaps because Murray didn’t get the air raid green light last year. We know it’s not going to be the throw happy scheme, but how run happy is it going to be? Also required consideration is who the East’s second line of run stoppers are going to be. Wilson’s gone but maybe there will be even harder hitters next year?

    • Mason has a good arm and decent accuracy. I think we throw less but not that much less. With our stable of running backs we should be running the ball a lot unless teams are loading up against the run.

  • UGA didn’t lose to LSU after Gurley went out. I also wouldn’t say not having Gurley caused the loss against Vandy because those two targeting penalties were a huge issue.