ATHENS, Ga. -- The big mover in this week’s Georgia Power Rankings is Bulldogs tailback Todd Gurley, who is establishing himself as the frontrunner for SEC Freshman of the Year honors.
After yet another dominant outing in Saturday’s 48-3 win against Vanderbilt, Gurley’s 406 rushing yards not only lead Georgia, but they also lead the entire SEC. Jarvis Jones and Aaron Murray sit comfortably atop the rankings in the 1-2 spots, but Gurley is on the rise. If he keeps this up, even the veteran stars might have to begin looking over their shoulders.
Here is the full list after four games (last week’s rank in parentheses):
1. Jarvis Jones (1): He said he felt a bit sluggish after missing the previous week’s game against Florida Atlantic with a groin injury, but Jones still made his presence felt at the most important times against Vanderbilt. He blew up a play to tackle Vandy quarterback Jordan Rodgers in the backfield for a loss in the first quarter and later sacked Rodgers for an 11-yard loss on fourth down to halt another Commodores drive in Georgia territory.
2. Aaron Murray (2): Murray gave another standout performance, completing his first 12 passes before finally tossing an incompletion late in the second quarter. He finished 18-for-24 for 250 yards and two touchdowns and expertly led Georgia to a commanding lead before leaving the game after three quarters.
3. Todd Gurley (5): Gurley is no longer a star in the making. He’s a star right now. The freshman tailback rushed for 130 bruising yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries -- most notably a 29-yard scoring run in which he broke four tackle attempts on the way to the end zone.
4. Shawn Williams (3): Although he was battling a hamstring strain, the rock of Georgia’s secondary came up big when Vanderbilt drove near the Bulldogs’ goal line late in the second quarter. He played tight defense on a second-down pass into the end zone and blew up a screen pass for a loss on third down, forcing the Commodores to kick a field goal.
5. Marlon Brown (9): After notching the first 100-yard game of his career last year at Vanderbilt, Brown picked apart the Commodores’ secondary for a second consecutive season. He posted his second 100-yard outing in the last three games, finishing with five catches for 114 yards and a touchdown on Saturday.
6. John Jenkins (7): His stat line rarely will jump off the page, but Georgia’s big nose guard is still the guy who makes the defensive front operate so effectively. He made only two tackles against Vandy, but also had a quarterback pressure that forced Rodgers to throw the ball away.
7. Tavarres King (6): King continues to make the most of his receptions, catching four passes for 58 yards and a touchdown -- all before halftime as the Bulldogs took a commanding 27-3 lead at the break. He and Brown lead the team with three receiving touchdowns apiece.
8. Amarlo Herrera (8): Herrera continued doing a fine job as Alec Ogletree’s fill-in, leading the Bulldogs with eight tackles and a tackle for a loss against Vanderbilt. He occasionally makes mistakes in pass coverage, but is a sure tackler and typically hits with a vengeance.
9. Keith Marshall (NR): The other half of Georgia’s 1-2 punch at tailback debuts on this week's list after a second straight standout effort. Marshall rushed for 74 of his 82 yards in the first half and scored a key 52-yard touchdown as the Bulldogs began to pull away early against Vanderbilt.
10. Michael Bennett (4): Bennett slides back a bit in this week’s rankings after his first quiet outing as a receiver. He finished with just two catches for 10 yards against Vandy, although he still leads the team with 275 receiving yards.