If any fan base knows great tailbacks, it's Georgia's, and the partisans are pretty certain they have a couple of them in freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Even before Saturday's 51-44 win over Tennessee, the locals had taken to calling the pair "Gurshall," an explicit comparison to the mythical freshman dominance of Herschel Walker that led Georgia to its last national championship thirty years ago. After Saturday, the rest of the country concedes the point. In their first game on a national stage, against a traditional SEC heavyweight, the terrifying tandem combined for 312 yards and five touchdowns, ripping off scoring runs of 75 yards (Marshall), 71 yards (Marshall) and 51 yards (Gurley) in the process. The only thing missing was Larry Munson barking, "My god, a freshman!"
Which is quite the turnaround from this summer, when the last blue-chip back saddled with the "Next Herschel Walker" tag, Isaiah Crowell, was sent packing following an arrest on felony weapons charges, ostensibly taking the fate of the Georgia ground game with him. At that point, the prevailing question wasn't whether Bulldog tailbacks are cursed -– that much was obvious -– but why? Before Crowell, the biggest bust of them all, UGA had endured a succession of would-be stars who eventually fizzled into flashes in the pan.