The picture portrays exactly the feelings of the Bulldawg faithful after hearing the surprising news Thursday evening about Heisman hopeful Todd Gurley. The entire campus and city of Athens was in shock yesterday and still are, including myself. Fans and students almost believe that if they lose Todd Gurley, the season is a wash. At 4-1 , things still looked promising as South Carolina did its usual downhill face plant after looking like a top 10 team against the Bulldogs. The sad part about this entire situation from the students and fans point of view is that they feel like they are losing the key that drives the Bulldog vehicle.
UGA has not seen a Heisman trophy winner since 1982 and we all know who won that first illustrious title for the university. They have had the chance to see greatness. Todd Gurley has been nothing short of spectacular in every game and every touch of the pigskin. Ultimately, Bulldog Nation and also the rest of the country appreciate his talent. Whether he received extra benefits or not is not what fans and students of UGA are defending because we have absolutely no say-so in that situation. However, as the team heads into Columbia, Missouri for one of the biggest games of the season, everyone is hoping for a Johnny Manziel like situation. Last year, former Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel got into trouble for a similar situation for signing autographs and ultimately was only suspended for one half of a game. Bulldawg Nation would be proud to see the same treatment at this point.
Now, on the other hand, we have already turned our heads to the next in line. One thing Georgia has always been blessed at is the running back position. The light now shines on true freshman running back Nick Chubb and sophomore Brendan Douglas. Keith Marshall and Sony Michel are both still out with injuries. The problem is that none of these options are #3 and that’s not a bad thing considering the fact that he was just leading the Heisman race 24 hours ago. The luck of Georgia just continues to not be in their favor. This occurs going into the first of a four game road trip for the Bulldogs, which can be tough in itself.
All in all, people in Athens don’t just feel like they are losing a player; it almost feels as if they are losing a moment; a moment in which they could cherish history. It could mean no trip to the Georgia Dome for the SEC title game and fans hope the NCAA does not jeopardize these possible and potential moments. There is full belief in the running backs in Douglas and Chubb to get the job done, but there is more certainty when Hutson Mason has #3 behind him. This goes to my next point by saying now people also believe Mason will have to come out of his shell and become the leader of that offense. He can no longer just manage the game, as teams will probably make him beat them with his arm. He has the talent to do so and fans are ready to see him blossom in to the player they hoped for especially after the glorious exit last year of Aaron Murray.