Georgia had its back against the wall.
Coming off a season-opening loss to Clemson, the Bulldogs couldn’t afford to start out 0-2 by losing to No. 6 South Carolina at home on Saturday.
But Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley made sure No. 11 Georgia would stay alive in its quest for a BCS title.
Murray threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns and Gurley rumbled his way to 115 rushing yards as the Bulldogs beat the Gamecocks, 41-30, in what was arguably the most entertaining game of the young season.
It was maybe the biggest win of Murray’s illustrious career, too, as he made several clutch throws to stymie South Carolina and get revenge for a 35-7 shellacking at Williams-Brice Stadium last season. With the win, he stays alive in the Heisman race after getting bested by Tajh Boyd in week one.
Meanwhile, Gurley continued to show why he’s one of the best backs in the nation, grinding out 92 first-half yards to set the tone for the Georgia offense.
South Carolina didn’t go down without a fight. The Gamecocks stormed back after being down, 17-3, early in the game. Mike Davis showed he may be a superior back to the departed Marcus Lattimore, as he notched his second-straight 100-yard game with 149 yards and a score on 16 carries. Quarterback Connor Shaw also had an outstanding game, throwing for 228 yards and two touchdowns while adding 75 yards on the ground.
The Gamecocks will have to bounce back next week against Vandy if they are to stay alive in the SEC East.
As for the Bulldogs, they are now 1-0 in the SEC and have the potential to shrug off that opening loss and win out. At this point, the Sept. 28 matchup with LSU looms especially large, as the Tigers may be the only thing standing between Georgia and its third-straight SEC East title.
Once again, a player has utilized social media to make a rather significant announcement.
On his Instagram account earlier this week, Nevada defensive back EJ Muhammad announced that he will miss the remainder of the 2018 season after undergoing surgery. Just what the medical procedure he underwent is unclear at the moment.
The football program, for what it’s worth, has not addressed Muhammad’s status moving forward.
Muhammad appeared in nine games as a redshirt sophomore last season, starting three of those contests. He had started the first two games of the 2018 season as well before missing the last two because of the injury that ultimately will sideline him for the remainder of the year.
Things are certainly getting interesting, quarterback-wise, for the second-ranked team in the country.
Monday, Dabo Swinney confirmed that senior Kelly Bryant had been benched in favor of true freshman Trevor Lawrence. A day later, Swinney revealed that he and Bryant had a lengthy conversation in which the two discussed, among other things, the possibility of a transfer.
According to Swinney, he gave Bryant the day off from practice Monday to allow him to wrap his head around the demotion. Both TigerNet.com and The State are now reporting, though, that Bryant missed a second consecutive day of practice on Tuesday.
The obvious intimation from a second straight day of missing practice is that Bryant is seriously contemplating a move from the Tigers — or has already decided a move on is in his best interests. Because of the NCAA’s new redshirt rule, Bryant, who started the first four games of the 2018 season, could leave the Tigers now and retain a year of eligibility that he can use in 2019 at another school.
If he were to play another down this season, however, Bryant’s collegiate career would be over at the end of the 2018 season.
“Certainly if he walked in here today and said, ‘Hey coach, I don’t want to play the rest of the year unless you’ve got to have me,’ well ‘Ok, if that’s what you want to do I’m all for it.’ I love Kelly,” Swinney said earlier today, prior to the reports od a second missed practice surfaced. “I would be disappointed in that because we need him. But I wouldn’t judge him for that.”
Bryant has started the last 18 games under center for the Tigers, winning 16 of those contests. Lawrence was a highly-touted five-star 2018 signee who had outplayed the incumbent the first third of the regular season.
In one of those moments that you wonder how it doesn’t happen more often, Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses crashed into a fence near the corner of a Bryant-Denny Stadium end zone on Saturday and remained down for a few perilous moments. He got up safely, and No. 1 Alabama cruised to a 45-23 win over Texas A&M.
But Nick Saban said Monday Alabama will work to ensure such an event doesn’t happen again.
“They’re going to try to do some stuff to the stadium there to shave that little corner off a little bit and pad it up a little better,” Saban told AL.com. “That was something that, after being here all these years, I never even noticed that until that play. That is definitely something that we are addressing.”
Just a few steps separate the playing field from a padded wall. Moses didn’t actually make contact with the wall, he crashed into a security guard, who was then pinned against the wall.
“As far as the security guard, I feel sorry for him,” Moses said. “But if it wasn’t for him, I’d probably be in the hospital right now because he was really in between the wall and me. I know I ran into his like knee, that was pretty bad, gruesome.”
As AL.com notes, Crimson Tide wide receiver Keith Brown had to be taken off the field in a stretcher after crashing into a wall at the other end of the field in 2004. He suffered a shoulder injury on the play.
Last month, Louisville tight ends coach Chris Klenakis was arrested for DUI, reckless driving, felony wanton endangerment and possession of alcohol. He was pulled over at 1 a.m. after a Saturday during fall camp after he was spotted while driving through a construction zone with workers present and seen swerving on Interstate 64 West, nearly striking a wall barrier multiple times, according to an arrest citation by the Shelby County (Ky.) Sheriff’s Department.
His blood alcohol content was .165, more than twice the legal limit in Kentucky. The sheriff’s department said he nearly walked in front of a moving truck during his field sobriety test and that multiple used beer cans were spotted in his vehicle’s passenger seat.
He was immediately placed on leave, but it seems his legal case will be resolved this week.
According to WDRB in Louisville, Klenakis’s attorney Alan Zaring entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday, but told the judge “we can enter a resolution” on Thursday.
No matter the resolution, Bobby Petrino stated earlier this week Klenakis will remain on administrative leave for the rest of this season.