Monday, October 7, 2013

The tailback spot, where the glass is half full

There have been rumors running around about Gurley's injury being more serious than suspected. Coupled with the Keith Marshall injury it leaves us feeling exposed back there, despite the fact that we had a true freshman go for over a hundred. (My God, can you imagine what Marshall could've done Saturday with a full complement of carries? Makes me sad all over.)

But I have trouble believing anything about Gurley missing more than the Missouri game. Coach Richt is not one to play games and/or be untruthful when it comes to a player's status week to week. I haven't rewatched the televised version of the Tennessee game yet, so I'm not sure how much coverage this got, but Gurley was a very active sideline participant. So if something is more serious than originally anticipated, it's likely because it's been re-aggravated somehow or wasn't treated appropriately in the first place. Considering he hasn't been seen wearing a boot, I suppose the former is possible. But again it would require Richt to be evasive on the subject. And I especially have trouble believing the latter would happen given the much earned respectability Dr. Courson and his staff have achieved.
via WardStudio

Anyway, moving on to where we are. You have to like the idea of JJ Green and Brendan Douglas getting all of the reps this week. Sure we'd love to have both Gurley and Marshall in there going full tilt. But that's why they call this game tackle football and it's also why we've been preparing these freshmen for just this occasion. They've already shown what they can do; they're both powerful runners that came in ready to follow the blocks. I like Green's versatility on all downs/distances and I like Douglas' knack for taking on all comers. They clearly have great attitudes (and why not considering both were looking at possible redshirts a couple months ago and Douglas was being forced into a fullback type role on the Flats until Bobo rescued him just before Signing Day) and will benefit this week from learning to pick up the blitz schemes without a couple sophomores ahead of them on the depth chart.

If both can develop their complete game, we should be fine against Missouri this Saturday and will be great once Gurley is 100% for Vanderbilt. If Gurley's ready to go this weekend, even better.

So...I'm not worried. After all, even though Murray's run was the offensive play that stands out the most, I thought Douglas had the critical play against Tennessee when we needed it most. On third and four no one covered Douglas out of the backfield and Murray slipped it to him for a big gain (Google couldn't find me the video unfortunately, but hopefully you recall the play I'm referring to). After missing a couple of passes earlier on, Douglas made an easy catch and turned it into a big gain to help set up the tying score that forced overtime.

That's clutch. And that's what we got from both freshmen Saturday. We'll get it again in a few days.