Georgia running back Todd Gurley put an emphatic stamp on his place as college football's top running back Saturday with a dominating performance against rival Tennessee in a 35-32 Bulldogs win.
He rushed for a career-high 208 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries. But just as important as his stat totals was this: when the Bulldogs needed him most, with Tennessee within three points in the fourth quarter, Gurley was at his absolute best.
The UGA coaching staff rested Gurley extensively in the middle part of the game, giving freshman Sony Michel action in the first half and another freshman, Nick Chubb, extensive time in the second half after Michel went out with an injury. The result was a Gurley who looked just as fresh in the fourth quarter as he did in the first.
And this is what a fresh Gurley looked like with the game still in doubt:
Gurley ran for 78 of his 208 yards in the fourth quarter, including his hurdle over a Tennessee defender for a 26-yard gain. His previous career high for yardage was 198 against Clemson earlier this season.
If Gurley chooses to bypass his last year of college eligibility, he could enter the NFL draft as early as next spring. UGA coach Mark Richt has suggested he expects just that to happen. An AFC personnel executive has told College Football 24/7 that Gurley is "in a different league" compared to the other top rushers around the nation.