Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gurley sets mark as Dawgs roll

Todd Gurley, returning a second-quarter kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown, also rushes for 198 yards and three touchdowns.

Getty Images

Todd Gurley, returning a second-quarter kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown, also rushes for 198 yards and three touchdowns.

ATHENS, Ga. — Todd Gurley ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns, returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score, and No. 12 Georgia gained some early style points in the national race with a 45-21 victory over No. 16 Clemson on Saturday night.

If rating Heisman Trophy favorites after Week 1, Gurley would surely be among the favorites. He made the most of his limited touches on a sweltering night between the hedges, averaging 17.2 yards every time he got his hands on the ball. He set a school record for all-purpose yards with 293, breaking the record of 290 set by Rodney Hampton in 1987.

Georgia broke open a game that was tied at 21 at halftime, shutting down Clemson and a fastbreak offense that didn't look nearly as effective without record-setting quarterback Tajh Boyd and star receiver Sammy Watkins.

Hutson Mason turned in a nondescript performance in the first game of his only full season as Georgia's starting quarterback. The fifth-year senior, an understudy to former Plant High standout Aaron Murray throughout his career, completed 18-of-26 for 131 yards and didn't do much damage downfield without speedy receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley.

But Gurley pretty much finished off Clemson by himself.

The junior running back, looking to shine after an injury-plagued sophomore season, got things started with a 23-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Then he electrified the crowd of more than 92,000 by taking a kickoff at the goal line, bursting through a gap straight up the middle of the field, and leaving everyone in his wake.

Mindful of Gurley's injuries last season and not wanting to tire him out in the humid conditions, Georgia limited him to four carries, one pass reception (for a 5-yard loss) and the kickoff return in the first half.

The strategy paid off in the second half. Gurley seemed fresh while Clemson found it increasingly difficult to bring him down. In the final quarter, he pushed Georgia to a 31-21 lead with an 18-yard touchdown run, breaking a tackle at the line and cutting to his left to reach the end zone without being touched again.

Then, picking his way through a hole with a hand on the back of a lineman, Gurley broke free down the right sideline on his 15th, and final, carry for 51-yard touchdown that turned the game into a blowout.

Georgia showed depth at running back, giving extensive playing time to Keith Marshall, coming back from a knee injury, and freshmen Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

Grubb scored in the fourth quarter on a 47-yard run, breaking tackles and pulling away from the secondary with a burst down the sideline. He had 70 yards on four carries. Michel turned in 33 yards on six carries as the Bulldogs piled up 328 rushing yards on a defense that returned most of its front seven.

Cole Stoudt, taking over at quarterback for Boyd, was 15 of 28 for 130 yards with an interception.

Gurley sets mark as Dawgs roll 08/30/14 [Last modified: Saturday, August 30, 2014 10:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Chris Archer knocked out early as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Another short outing by Chris Archer led to another long afternoon for the Rays in a 9-4 loss to the Orioles on Sunday.

    Chris Archer has not gotten past four innings in four of his past five starts. [WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
  2. Bucs-Vikings report card: Where's this explosive offense we heard about all offseason?

    Bucs

    O NO

    True, the Bucs defense looked pretty leaky in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings. But you know what needs to happen when the defense is getting torched? The offense needs to step up. In games such as these, with defensive players seemingly getting hurt every play, the offense needs to outscore the other …

    Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes (26) intercepts a Jameis Winston pass intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Bucs-Vikings: Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — Here's Rick Stroud and Tom Jones' instant analysis from the Bucs' 34-17 loss at Minnesota Sunday. More to come from Rick & Tom — and Greg Auman —- from Minneapolis later today.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright (17) dives over the pylon for a touchdown as  Bucs cornerback Ryan Smith (29) defends. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Worst-Case scenario: Case Keenum, Vikings hand Bucs 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — With key defensive starters out with injury, the Bucs were dominated by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, with fill-in quarterback Case Keenum beating Tampa Bay for the third year in a row, …

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs-Vikings: A by-the-numbers look at the Bucs' 34-17 loss

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) hits Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) as he passes during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times