COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s Mike Davis isn’t gearing up for a showdown or to stamp himself as one of college football’s best backs when the Gamecocks play host to No. 6 Georgia on Saturday.
He is, however, anxious to see a good friend: Todd Gurley.
Davis said there’s no rivalry with Gurley. There’s no trash talking or bravado between the pals who enjoy watching each other excel.
“He actually came up here and came to my house,” Davis said. “We’re real good friends. There’s no competition between me and him.”
Don’t count on anyone else buying into that.
Davis and Gurley are two of the Southeastern Conference’s elite runners and both have put up strong early performances to help their teams. Davis rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns in South Carolina’s bounce-back, 33-23 victory against East Carolina last week.
Gurley ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns — he had a fourth on a kickoff return — as the Bulldogs defeated Clemson in their season opener.
This time, South Carolina (1-1) and Georgia (1-0) face off early for control of the SEC’s Eastern Division.
Gurley didn’t have much luck as a freshman with just 39 yards when Georgia visited Williams-Brice Stadium and left with a humiliating 35-7 loss. Davis actually outgained his Bulldog buddy 149 yards to 132 a year ago at Georgia. But it was Gurley who walked off elated with the 41-30 win. Davis had a critical late fumble near the Bulldog redzone when South Carolina was trying to stay in the game.
Davis knows the importance of this game — South Carolina hasn’t started 0-2 in the SEC since 2008 — and thinks the Gamecocks picked up a strong dose of confidence with their last win, as the Gamecocks held the ball for nearly 11 of the final 12 minutes of the game.
He won’t let anything, including his friendship with Gurley, keep him from helping South Carolina succeed.
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