Gators preparing for Gurley

Georgia is waiting to hear if its star running back will be cleared to face Florida on November 1.

The University of Georgia suspended Todd Gurley on October 9 because of an investigation into an alleged violation of NCAA rules. Reports surfaced with talk that Gurley accepted money for signing autographs or memorabilia.

The Bulldogs were without Gurley for games against Missouri and Arkansas, but it didn’t look like they needed them. Georgia won the two SEC road games by a combined score of 79-32.

As the Bulldogs practice during a bye week and prepare to face Florida on November 1, they’ve appealed for Gurley to be reinstated. The star running back, who was viewed as a Heisman Trophy candidate before the suspension and still could get back into the race, has practiced with Georgia during the suspension.

So will the Gators have to try stopping him in Jacksonville?

That’s still up for debate. Georgia coach Mark Richt said on Wednesday that they’re hoping for a quick resolution from the NCAA. In Gainesville, Will Muschamp and the rest of the Florida staff are preparing to see Gurley.

“He’s an outstanding player, one of the best players in college football and one of the best running backs running in the SEC,” Muschamp said. “We want to play somebody at their best and certainly Todd is one of the best players in the country. He’ll be fresh, I would imagine that.”

It’s not the first time Gurley returns to the field for the Florida game. He did the same last season. Gurley returned to face the Gators last season after sitting out the previous three games with a sprained left ankle and totaled 20 touches for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

In two games against Florida, Gurley is averaging 24.5 touches for 164 yards and 1.5 touchdowns.

This year, the Bulldogs are even deeper at running back. Even with Keith Marshall (leg) and Sony Michel (shoulder) likely out against Florida, freshman running back Nick Chubb has been carrying the load. In the two games Gurley has missed, Chubb totaled 68 carries for 345 yards and three touchdowns.

If Gurley isn’t back for the game against Florida, Chubb will likely carry the load again. But a two-headed backfield of Chubb and Gurley seems possible at this point.

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