Georgia Bulldogs' Marshall shoulders the load with Gurley out

Georgia Bulldogs' Marshall shoulders the load with Gurley out

September 29th, 2013 by David Paschall in Sportscollege

Georgia tailback Keith Marshall

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

ATHENS. Ga. - With a little more than 10 minutes remaining in the first half of Saturday's Georgia-LSU game, Bulldogs star tailback Todd Gurley was limping to the locker room.

It was up to Keith Marshall.

Marshall rushed for 96 yards on 20 carries to help Georgia's offense maintain some balance in a 44-41 win over LSU. The 5-foot-11, 219-pound sophomore had 31 yards on the first four carries after Gurley went out but gained only 26 yards on 11 rushes in the second half.

"You've got to keep playing football," Marshall said. "That can happen sometimes, and I had to step up and take as much advantage of it as I could. I thought I did pretty good."

Gurley suffered a sprained left ankle, coach Mark Richt said after the game. Richt did not give a timetable on his return, but the 6-1, 232-pounder is expected to be a long shot as far as this week's game at Tennessee.

Marshall's 20 carries marked a career high, and he helped the Bulldogs accumulate a 196-77 advantage in rushing yards. The winning team has captured the rushing edge all eight times the Bulldogs and Tigers have met since Richt has been at Georgia.

"I thought Keith did a good job," Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said, "and I know he would like to have a couple of runs back to where he could have picked up his feet. Keith's been a little banged up and has not had a lot of practice time.

"We ran the ball well. We threw the ball well, and we protected well. It was a great effort by everybody, and when their number was called, they made plays all game long."

Morgan drives 55

Sophomore kicker Marshall Morgan drilled a 55-yard field goal midway through the third quarter that extended Georgia's lead to 27-20. It was the longest for the Bulldogs since Blair Walsh made a 56-yarder against Coastal Carolina in 2011.

"Someone said it went into the handicapped section in the front row," Morgan said. "I hit a 65-yarder in warmups, and I stroked that 55-yarder as well as I could stroke it."

The sack man

Georgia's Jordan Jenkins was hoping to rack up the sacks this season, but the sophomore outside linebacker entered Saturday without any.

That changed with a 7-yard loss for Zach Mettenberger midway through the fourth quarter. Ray Drew, Chris Mayes and Leonard Floyd also tallied sacks for the Bulldogs, with Floyd increasing his team-leading total to three.

Jenkins was irritated about dropping an interception, however.

"I was gone," he said. "There wasn't anyone in sight, and I wasn't going to let Mettenberger catch me. I'm scoring before the year's out. Mark my words."

Odds and ends

Aaron Murray threw for 298 yards and now has 11,429 in his career, which leaves him 100 away from breaking the SEC mark of 11,528 that former Bulldogs quarterback David Greene compiled from 2001 to '04. ... Mayes and safety Quincy Mauger got their first career starts Saturday. ... Georgia has a losing all-time record against four charter members of the SEC -- Alabama (25-37-4), LSU (13-16-1), Sewanee (5-7-1) and Tennessee (19-21-2). ... The Bulldogs yielded just 77 rushing yards to an LSU team that was averaging 221.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.