Here are my three “Short Takes” on the Georgia-Auburn game.
Here’s a link to the full game column.
1. The steam goes out: I can’t remember the last time I was in a locker room after such a big win by a team but with a low-key celebration. There was uncertainty about Todd Gurley’s future — with thoughts and emotions perhaps leaning toward the worst-case scenario, which is that he suffered a major knee injury and his career as a Bulldog is over. An injury is an awful way for any athlete’s college career to come to an end, let alone one as great as Gurley. A potential Heisman Trophy season was derailed by the four-game NCAA suspension for selling autographs over two years, and now comes this. If Gurley has had one problem in Athens, it’s his inability to stay healthy. Hopefully this is one injury he can come back from.
2. Chubb, The (Other) Man: If not for Gurley’s suspension, Georgia coach Mark Richt might have never realized what No. 2 tailback Nick Chubb was capable of in a starting role. Chubb rushed for 671 yards and five touchdowns in four games when Gurley was out. The freshman took over the game against Auburn when Gurley had to exit after he appeared to injure his elbow in the second quarter. He had four carries for 51 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown to give the Dogs their first lead at 14-7. Richt initially sent in the field goal unit on fourth-and-1 from the Auburn 9 but then called time out, changed his mind, sent the offense back onto field and called Chubb’s number. That says something about the confidence Richt has in him. The freshman took the handoff and blasted through the right side for the TD. He went over 100 yards midway through the third quarter and finished with 144 yards and two touchdowns on only 19 carries.
3. Jeremy Pruitt’s job: Florida rushing for more than 400 yards seems even less logical today than it did two weeks ago. But that game notwithstanding, Georgia’s defensive coordinator has done a remarkable job with this team. Auburn, which has had one of the nation’s most productive offenses under coach Gus Malzahn, was held to seven points, its lowest output in two years with Malzahn and quarterback Nick Marshall (who was limited to 41 yards rushing and 11-of-23 passing with an interception). If there’s a reason to remain confident in Georgia despite Gurley’s injury, the defense is it. If the Dogs can do that to Auburn, they can do it to anybody.
•A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: Dogs have a statement win, now hope for best with Gurley — MyAJC: As hoops open, Tech looks far more ready than Georgia — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets cross bridge, Falcons back to normal — MyAJC: Ladies and gentlemen Georgia vs. Georgia Tech (in basketball, yes now) — AJC: If Georgia wins out, would it sway playoff committee? — MyAJC: All eyes are on Gurley (even if you can’t find him) — AJC: Hart should deal both Uptons and Gattis — MyAJC: Falcons’ division hopes hinge on beating teams other than Bucs — AJC: Short takes on Falcons’ win over Tampa Bay — MyAJC: If Georgia Tech has come together, we’ll find out against Clemson, UGA — AJC: Short takes on Georgia Tech’s win over N.C. State — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons’ find their penicillin — the Bucs — MyAJC: Amid Atlanta misery, can Hawks really be shining light? — AJC: Election Day: Vote to keep or fire coaches (polls) — MyAJC: Georgia blows it all with inexcusable performance — AJC: Short takes on Georgia’s stunning loss to Florida — AJC: Weekend Predictions: No Gurley (oooh, scary); but Dogs over Gators — AJC: Rules are dumb but that’s no excuse for Todd Gurley — MyAJC: Mark Richt deserves credit for holding Georgia together — AJC: NCAA mum but Muschamp expects Gurley to play vs. Florida — AJC: Will Arthur Blank make move with Mike Smith (and reader poll)?