University of Florida

Florida Gators expect Georgia star RB Todd Gurley to return

Georgia running back Todd Gurley (3) dives over the goal line for a touchdown against Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.
Georgia running back Todd Gurley (3) dives over the goal line for a touchdown against Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. AP

While No. 9 Georgia awaits the NCAA’s ruling regarding Todd Gurley’s reinstatement, Florida is preparing as if the Bulldogs’ star tailback will be in uniform Saturday (3:30 p.m., CBS) in Jacksonville.

“Absolutely. I expect him to play,” UF coach Will Muschamp said. “Gurley is one of the best football players in the country. A violent runner. A great competitor.”

Gurley, a potential Heisman Trophy front-runner before an alleged autograph scandal, ranks as the SEC’s fourth-leading rusher (773 yards) despite playing in just five games.

“We knew Todd Gurley was going to be back this week,” senior linebacker Mike Taylor said, smiling.

The Gators’ rush defense is formidable (117 yards per game, third in the SEC), but even if Gurley isn’t available, Florida is well aware of freshman Nick Chubb’s recent success.

“Those guys are all physical guys that run the ball north-south pretty quickly,” Muschamp said. “Obviously Todd’s got a lot of experience and Nick’s been a guy that’s come along and played extremely well for them.”

THIS & THAT

▪ The Gators’ Nov. 8 visit to Vanderbilt is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.

▪ Muschamp said the Gators are “really healthy at this point in the season.”

▪ Former Miami Booker T. Washington quarterback Treon Harris will make his first career start Saturday, but Jeff Driskel’s future role remains unknown. “Jeff had a sore back and missed most of last week,” Muschamp said. “He’ll be back at practice today and ready to go. We’ll identify [his role] moving forward.”

▪ According to reports, both teams will wear their home uniforms for the first time in the border war since 1973.

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