Gurley shines in Georgia's big win over Clemson

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 31, 2014 at 5:55 pm •  Published: August 31, 2014
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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia's Todd Gurley is uncomfortable in front of the cameras.

He sure doesn't seek a lot of attention.

Well, the junior running back better get used to it if he keeps playing like he did in a 45-21 victory over Clemson.

Stamping himself as an early contender in the Heisman Trophy race, Gurley scored four touchdowns, set a school record with 293 all-purpose yards, and prompted coach Mark Richt to declare "he's the best player in America."

No argument from the Tigers.

"Gurley is obviously as good as it gets," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "He is a great, great football player."

For Richt, the most impressive thing about Gurley is not the sprinter's speed he showed on a 100-yard kickoff return, but the yards he picked up after the initial hit. The 226-pounder is almost impossible to bring down with one defender, usually requiring two of three tacklers to get him on the ground.

"We blocked pretty good," Richt said, "but he blasted through a lot of tackles and kept going."

There's a playful side to Gurley that his teammates see, and he's always quick to praise his linemen for opening up his running lanes. During preseason drills, he brought them a chocolate cake to show his appreciation. After his scores against Clemson, he quickly took the celebration to the big guys in front of him.

"He knows he couldn't do without us," center David Andrews said. "He's a special guy. He doesn't let all this get to his head. He knows he needs everyone."

During his sessions with the media, Gurley is polite but always looks a bit uneasy. His answers are usually short and rarely enlightening, as though he doesn't really understand why someone would want to talk to him.

A few days before Saturday's opening game, Gurley was asked if the responsibilities that go along with being one of the top players in the country are as anguishing as they seem.

"I don't know, man," he replied. "I mean, I do it like every week. Obviously it gets old. It's not like this is our profession. I didn't come here to do interviews. I came to play football. But it's cool, whatever."

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