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Alabama vs. Georgia: Freshman tailbacks take center stage

The defenses may get a lot of the headlines, but Georgia and Alabama have two of the best freshman running backs in the country in Todd Gurley and T.J. Yeldon.

Scott Cunningham

The SEC Championship Game between the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide features two of the best freshman running backs in not only the SEC, but maybe the country. Georgia's Todd Gurley and Alabama's T.J. Yeldon have had impressive freshman seasons for their squads, both scoring over 10 touchdowns.

Gurley became the Bulldogs' featured back after the dismissal of Isaiah Crowell, and he's responded by reeling off 1,138 yards and 15 total touchdowns. Yeldon, on the other hand, has been the backup to Eddie Lacy, but still rushed for 847 yards and 10 touchdowns in more limited action.

Gurley hasn't done it alone, though. Keith Marshall, also a freshman, has made an impact for the Dawgs, rushing for 720 yards and eight touchdowns, making "Gurshall" one of the more potent one-two punches in the nation. Alabama head coach Nick Saban isn't enthusiastic about having to face them on Saturday:

"They run the ball extremely well," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "Todd has obviously played the most, but both of those guys are really good players. And they have a good offensive line. That creates a tremendous amount of balance with them with a good quarterback (in Aaron Murray) who is able to complete a high percentage of his passes."

The Dawgs and Tide will face off on Saturday for the SEC championship, with the winner also heading to Miami for the BCS Championship Game.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.