Lost amidst the hubbub of Troy Smith's victorious debut as 49ers QB is that Frank Gore had another big time game. Gore finished the game with 118 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries. It was his third consecutive 100-yard rushing performance, which is the first such streak for him since his record-setting 2006 performance. The 49ers actually rushed the ball 43 times tonight for a total of 143 yards (3.4 yards per carry).
At times the rushing game can appear incredibly stubborn. And when the team couldn't convert some key 2nd and 3rd and short situations it was incredibly frustrating. They were able to open things up eventually, but I'd have to say Gore's performance was critical for that eventual outbreak. While some folks may be set with Troy Smith as the QB of the future (even if after only one start), his success will likely be predicated in part on Frank Gore's own success in the rushing department. That's not shocking news, but it's still something we should all remember.
After the jump I've posted Frank Gore's post-game transcript...
FRANK GORE: It was great. My first timeover here. I had a great time. People were really nice, and the best thing is that we got a win.
Q. How did the crowd receive you?
FRANK GORE: It was great. You know, it was like our fans at home.They were into the game. Every time we made a big play they were cheering for us. When the Broncos were on the offensive side of the ball, they were making a lot of noise.So it was a great experience. They did a great job. I was happy to play ball over here in front of the crowd.
Q. Talk about Troy?
FRANK GORE: Troy, he played a good game. He made some big plays too.Our receivers just told our coaches, you know, let's play. We can't try to hold stuff back.You know, our coach called it, and Troy did a great job of forcing the huddle, and he made big plays when it counted and when we needed it.
Q. Did you feel at that point that you guys pretty much had the game?
FRANK GORE: Yes, I did. You know,Chilo, Mike, Moran, the whole offensive line did a great job. They got a great push. I went behind my big guys, and I just kept pushing. I just kept pushing until I got through.
FRANK GORE: Coach Singletary is the coach. I was good, but he wanted to put the big back in and get fresh legs. He did a good job, and that's all there is to it.
FRANK GORE: I feel great. It's a blessing. I'm healthy. I'm just ready to keep going.The first half of the season was tough on us, but we finished up with a win. Now we've got to watch as a team, watch all the mistakes that we've made and try to clean it up and move forward, and try to reach our goal that we set.
FRANK GORE: It's great, man. It's great -- to get this win, especially to get to be out here this week. Now, as I said, we've got to go back to the film and look at all of the first eight games and try to clean up all the mistakes that happened to us in the second half of the season.
FRANK GORE: I think we didn't take the big shots like we did in the second half. We got together as an offense at halftime, and we told ourselves, we've got to get going. We can't let the team move around the NFL with three points. We saw them make plays and we knew all the playmakers had to get going and make plays.I'm happy to be here. I want to say thank you to London for having us play out here.