For a while, it looked as if Clemson might give Georgia a game. But in the second half, Mark Richt's Bulldogs pulled away at home behind a powerful offensive line and a strong group of running backs, winning the season opener in Athens 45-21.

You can’t keep the monster in his cage

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It looked like Todd Gurley wasn’t going to get a chance to run free here. Halfway through the first half, Georgia’s star tailback had only four carries. Then he decided to take matters into his own hands. In on special teams, he fielded the kickoff and found daylight. Splitting the middle of the field, he sprinted 100 yards for the touchdown. It wasn’t fair. A guy that big isn’t supposed to run that fast. The 226-pound junior couldn’t be caught as he ran 100-plus yards without being touched. It was one of those Heisman Trophy-type moments. All that was missing was the stiff-arm pose.

Georgia runs it down Clemson’s throat

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Georgia telegraphed what it was doing. The Bulldogs were running the football, no matter what. And Clemson couldn’t do a darn thing to stop it. Gurley carried for 2, then 38 yards to start the drive. Sony Michel then came in and went for 6 yards. Hutson Mason got in on the action, picking up a yard of his own. Michel then came back and showed off his wheels, reeling off a 17-yard gain. Gurley, now facing a gassed defense, took care of the rest. With the front seven overloaded to his right, he took the pitch that direction, cut back and caught Clemson sleeping. He found daylight in the middle of the field, made a safety miss and went 18 yards to paydirt. The touchdown pulled Georgia ahead by two scores. But more importantly, it proved that Clemson didn’t have an answer for a determined Bulldogs offense.

And then it happened again

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How would you like to face Nick Chubb after Gurley, Keith Marshall and Michel have been pounding the rock all night? How would you like to tackle that 228-pound beast? The true freshman running back couldn’t be corralled by Clemson all night. And when he took the handoff with his team up 10 points, he decided to finish the job, this time showing off his wheels and his strength running through tackles. He shook four Clemson defenders’ grasp, hit the edge, and took off. He went 47 yards for the touchdown that put the game away for Georgia.

Gurley isn’t to be outdone

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What more can we say? Gurley played like he was trying to win the Heisman Trophy in one game, and did a good job of stating his case. Midway through the fourth quarter, you’re not supposed to have the gas to run like this. You’re not supposed to slip a bunch of tackles and go 51 yards that quickly. But Gurley isn’t normal. By the time the night was over, he had 298 yards and four touchdowns.
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Todd Gurley ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns, returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score, and No. 12 Georgia gained some early style points in the national race with a 45-21 victory over No. 16 Clemson on Saturday night.

If rating Heisman Trophy favorites after Week 1, Gurley would surely be among the favorites. He made the most of his limited touches on a sweltering night, averaging 17.2 yards every time he got his hands on the ball. He set a school record for all-purpose yards with 293, breaking the record of 290 set by Rodney Hampton in 1987.

Georgia (1-0) broke open a game that was 21-21 at the half, shutting down Clemson (0-1) and a fast-break offense that didn't look nearly as effective without Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins.

Gurley pretty much finished off Clemson by himself, scoring on runs of 23, 18 and 51 yards.


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Deshaun Watson sacked by Leonard Floyd and Amarlo Herrera for a loss of 10 yards to the Clem 16
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Todd Gurley run for 51 yds for a TD
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4Q UGA N. Chubb run for 47 yds for a TD, (M. Morgan KICK)
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Todd Gurley run for 18 yds for a TD (Marshall Morgan KICK)
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Sony Michel run for 17 yds to the Clem 18 for a 1ST down
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Cole Stoudt sacked by Josh Dawson for a loss of 7 yards to the Clem 15
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Nick Chubb run for 13 yds to the Clem 43
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Todd Gurley run for 19 yds to the Clem 48 for a 1ST down
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Marshall Morgan 27 yd FG GOOD
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Ammon Lakip 34 yd FG MISSED
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Cole Stoudt pass intercepted Aaron Davis return for no gain to the Geo 48

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4Q CLEM D. Watson sacked by L. Floyd and A. Herrera for -10 yds
Deshaun Watson sacked by Leonard Floyd and Amarlo Herrera for a loss of 10 yards to the Clem 16
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