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Terry Godwin hauled in a 75-yard touchdown catch on Saturday against Vanderbilt.

Winners and Losers from Georgia’s big win over Vanderbilt

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Winners and Losers from Georgia’s win over Vanderbilt

Winner: Terry Godwin, senior wide receiver

Coming into the Vanderbilt game, senior wide receiver Terry Godwin had just 4 catches for 46 yards. Part of that is due to him battling injuries. Part of it is the emergence of Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley. But no one thought Georgia’s leading returning wide receiver would have that kind of production through the first five games.

But on the first play of Georgia’s second drive, Godwin announced, in a style that John Wick would be proud of, that he’s back. Godwin raced past Vanderbilt’s secondary and then proceeded to dance around a few defenders before scoring his first touchdown of the season.

The 75-yard touchdown was the longest touchdown pass of the season but more importantly it serves as a reminder that Godwin, who finished with 2 catches for 95 yards, is another weapon that LSU, Florida and the rest of Georgia’s opponents are going to have gameplan for. If Georgia’s offense is going to become the best version of itself, it’s going to need Godwin to play like he did on Saturday.

“Terry has worked hard every day,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after the game. “I have seen him work like that every week. So I thought it was big for him to get that catch, to get over the top behind that defense. I kind of see that from him every day in practice.

“You know what he did tonight? He blocked. This guy had two really key blocks. On James Cook’s run that he stepped out by a centimeter and on D’Andre Swift’s. People don’t give Terry enough credit. He gets his hands on people and he drives them. He is really tough for a guy his size. He plays hard and he blocks well.”

Loser: Fans hoping for a top-5 matchup

It was all set-up to be a top-5 matchup on Saturday. Then LSU had to go and lose on the road at Florida. The Tigers scored just 19 points and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow turned it over three times. The Tigers managed to lose a game in which Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks completed 12 of his 27 passes.

With the loss, LSU dropped to N0. 13 in the AP Poll, so Georgia fans can forget about the idea of adding a top-10 or even a top-5 win for this week. Also College GameDay, which was more than likely considering going to Baton Rouge for the game, is now headed to Ann Arbor, Mich., for Michigan-Wisconsin.

This game will no doubt be a special trip for Georgia fans, especially because Georgia won’t be back until 2030 under the current cross-division set-up. But this could’ve been a game everyone in the country is talking about. Instead it’s just another good SEC game.

Winner: Deandre Baker

Unless he comes up with an interception, we don’t hear a whole lot about Deandre Baker on Saturdays. All he did against Vanderbilt was limit Kalija Lipscomb, who was the SEC’s leading receiver to just two catches for 16 yards. This comes after holding Missouri’s Emmanuel Hall to zero catches and South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel to six catches for a season-low 33 yards.

Baker has pretty clearly staked his claim as the best cornerback in all of college football. He’s got two interceptions on the season and is the best defensive player on one of the nation’s top defenses. He might not play like Roquan Smith, but he’s every bit as good, and important, as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Loser: The offensive line

It was another tough night for the entire offensive line. Cade Mays got yanked from the game after a 15-yard penalty. Lamont Gaillard and Solomon Kindley both got injured, though Gaillard was able to come back in the game. But the situation for Kindley looks much bleaker, given that he had to be carted off the field.

Should Kindley not be able to go against LSU, Georgia could go with either senior Kendall Baker, sophomore Justin Shaffer or freshman Trey Hill at guard. Hill would also be the back-up to Gaillard should he be not be able to go.

“(Hill is) powerful, athletic, and he snaps ball high right now,” Smart said of Hill on Saturday. “We got to snap the ball lower, and he’s got to be efficient, because if Lamont’s not in there, he’s our center, the pressure is on, time to grow up.”

Georgia is already without one of its guards as Ben Cleveland is still recovering from an injury. The offensive line doesn’t have any continuity right now, and that is not what you want heading into LSU and one of the loudest environments in college football. There will be a lot of pressure on Gaillard and Thomas to help the offensive line keep their composure. Because as Frank the Tank will tell you, “We have to keep our composure.”

Winner: The World’s Largest Outdoor cocktail party

We mentioned earlier about Florida’s win dampening the LSU game this week. Well the positive side effect of that result is that the annual Georgia-Florida game now looks a lot more intriguing.

If Georgia can take care of business against LSU and Florida can do the same against Vanderbilt, there’s a chance it’s a top-10 matchup when the two teams meet. The last time these two teams met and both were ranked was back in 2012, when the Bulldogs came out with a 17-9 win thanks to some heroics from Malcolm Mitchell and Jarvis Jones. Hopefully both teams hold serve this week and the Georgia-Florida game gets a similar treatment to that of the Oklahoma-Texas game, the only other conference game in the country that’s held in a neutral site.

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