Injury-riddled Georgia finally got a bit of good news on Sunday when head coach Mark Richt said that injured running back Todd Gurley was ‘real close’ to returning.
Gurley has been out for the past two-and-a-half games after incurring a high ankle sprain in the first half against LSU. Prior to his injury, Gurley was averaging 125 yards per game and had established himself as perhaps the nation’s best running back.
After he went out, the Bulldogs turned to his oft-used backup, Keith Marshall, who promptly tore his ACL against Tennessee.
In his stead, freshman J.J. Green has performed admirably, averaging 108 yards the last two games.
But getting Gurley back would be a huge boon to the Georgia offense, which is also laboring without two of its top three receivers. Having a healthy Gurley in the backfield would take some of the pressure off Aaron Murray and give the Bulldogs another playmaker in the last half of the season.
With Missouri’s James Franklin out for an extended period of time, the SEC East could come down to which team can get the right combination of players back for the stretch run. Mizzou is about to face Florida and South Carolina with a young quarterback, so Gurley might be just what Georgia needs to get back to the SEC title game.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah