ATHENS - A few days into becoming the latest star freshman tailback at Georgia, Todd Gurley isn’t acting like a diva.
Fresh off a three-touchdown performance that earned him SEC co-freshman of the week, Gurley was asked if he had earned the starting job for this weekend’s game at Missouri. He gave a quick answer.
“Ken’s the starter,” Gurley said, referring to sophomore Ken Malcome.
Actually, that remains to be seen: Malcome didn’t practice on Tuesday, and is still dealing with a hand injury. And neither head coach Mark Richt or offensive coordinator Mike Bobo named a starter.
“What did coach Richt tell you all today,” Bobo said, laughing, when asked. “No, it’s based on production, and how you handle a week of practice. … Whoever we feel like gives us the best chance to be productive is gonna play, and play the most.”
Gurley said he had about 60-70 messages after the Buffalo game, when he also had a 100-yard kick return. ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit sent him a mention on Twitter as well.
In any case, Bobo isn’t worried about the success getting to Gurley’s head.
“He’s a humble individual,” Bobo said. “You don’t hear him say much until you ask him a question.”
One thing Bobo was concerned about, however, was that Gurley appeared to drop the football before he crossed the goal line on his 55-yard touchdown last Saturday.
“It was one of those situations where as soon as he dropped it I was yelling: We need to hurry up and kick the (extra point),” Bobo said.
Gurley said it was “questionable” whether he did it, but added that it was a mistake.
“I thought I was across the goal-line,” Gurley said.
Advice from an old friend
For a bit of insight on what awaits Saturday Bobo said he spoke recently with Stacy Searals, the offensive line coach at Texas. Searals, who was Georgia’s line coach until 2010, coached for Texas at Missouri last season.
“I talked to him about it, just the atmosphere,” Bobo said.
Texas’ offense had a lot of trouble in that game last year, losing 17-5 to Missouri.
“He credited their front, thought their front was very athletic,” Bobo said.
Theus sits, Mitchell practices
Starting right tackle John Theus missed Tuesday’s practice with a sprained ankle, as did his top backup, Watts Dantzler. The two remain uncertain to make the trip.
“Right now we’re just trying to find five, and get ready for Saturday,” Bobo said.
Cornerback Malcolm Mitchell (sprained ankle) did practice a bit on Tuesday. Mitchell, who missed the opening game, was in a non-contact jersey, and appeared a bit gimpy.
“He worked, and took some reps. We’ll see how it goes,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said.