Many coaching staffs would shudder at the thought of losing a starting running back, especially one coming off a nearly 1,400-yard, 17 touchdown freshman campaign.

That is the situation Georgia head coach Mark Richt and his assistants are potentially facing as starting Bulldog tailback Todd Gurley's status for Saturday's conference clash with Tennessee is cloudy due to a sprained ankle.

The Georgia camp, however, doesn't fall into the norm as no one is panicking or frantically altering the offensive game plan.

They're simply preparing to reintroduce Keith Marshall to the Volunteers.

In 2012, the Raleigh, N.C. native torched UT for 164 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries, yet Richt feels Marshall is capable of a much more extensive workload.

"I think (Keith) Marshall is very capable of carrying the load," Richt told Athens reporters on Tuesday. "You talk about carrying the load with 15 or 20 carries, and I think he could do that if he had to."

A Gurley no-show will result in even higher expectations for UGA quarterback Aaron Murray, who is already viewed as the offense's primary leader. The senior from Tampa, Fla. had a career day last week, throwing for 298 yards and four touchdowns in a monumental victory over then-No. 6 LSU.

"I thought Aaron played good during the (LSU) game," Richt said. "When the game was over, I thought he had played good, and then I watched the film and I thought he played great.

"He was on top of everything – all the checks, all the projections. The balls were extremely accurate. He had very few balls that were not catchable."

Murray concurred with his coach.

"I think we are feeling great. We have a lot of momentum," Murray added. "I think the biggest thing is that we have great leadership."

For Murray, Saturday's game could become more significant than a SEC road win in enemy territory as the Bulldog signal caller will likely pass former UGA quarterback David Greene as the conference's all-time leader in career passing yards.

"It's definitely an honor. It's crazy to think about," said Murray, who needs just 100 yards to break Greene's record. "I've never been a guy who's worried about stats. It's all about winning, winning, winning, but it's definitely an honor to be alongside some of those guys like Greene and (Danny) Wuerffel. Guys who did some unbelievable things when they were at their colleges."

Defensively, the Bulldogs trot out a group of unproven individuals that are learning on the fly. Veteran leaders like Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree are gone from a year ago, meaning a plethora of new players have been handed crucial roles.

In the eyes of UT offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian, many of those newcomers have grasped the intricacies of the Georgia defense.

"They're very talented," Bajakian said. "I don't know exactly what they were like last year, but I can tell you what they have on the defensive front and at the linebacker position is very skilled. Their secondary – while there are a couple of young players – they're very skilled."

Freshman linebacker Leonard Floyd has developed into a defensive leader, while his immense versatility and athleticism make him a nightmare for all opposing offenses. The Eastman, Ga., native currently leads the Bulldogs in sacks and is second in tackles for loss.

"He's extremely impressive," Bajakian said. "They're some reps where he's out there playing man-to-man on a slot wide receiver, and there's other times where he rushing as a defensive end, putting a great counter move or spin move on a offensive tackle."

Fellow linebackers Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera rank first and second in tackles, respectively.

In a tough environment like Neyland Stadium, Richt stressed the importance of having the right mindset going into Saturday.

"We've got to have the right type of focus and the right type of mental frame of mind to get the job done," Richt said.

"I don't know if we can just say, 'Hey we're Georgia, and we're going to whip you.'"