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Georgia beat Georgia Tech 52-7 on Saturday.

Georgia football winners and losers following massive win over Georgia Tech

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Georgia football winners and losers following massive Georgia Tech win

Winner: Charlie Woerner 

What happened to senior tight end Charlie Woerner on Saturday was a long-time coming.

After logging over hundreds of snaps and opening up hole after hole for running backs, Woerner finally made his first career touchdown catch, as he got behind the Georgia Tech defense to haul in a 20-yard pass from Jake Fromm.

“Awesome. Think about how many blocks that guy’s had for one touchdown,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “For a kid that he’s meant so much to our program, golly, I mean. The blocking value he has had and not getting as many catches he deserves and you want to get him, for him to get that play, I thought that was huge.”

On the year, Woerner now has 8 catches for 72 yards. As a passing option, he’s taken a backseat to Eli Wolf. But the touchdown for Woerner helped send him out a winner against Georgia Tech.

And that is something that mattered a lot to the senior.

“He asked me before the game, what was your record against Tech,” Smart said. “I told him 3-1 or really 4-1 if you count a redshirt year. He was just like, ‘Coach, I want to go out on top so bad.’”

Loser: Georgia football’s first-half offense

The Georgia football offense wasn’t great in the first half of the Georgia Tech game. The Bulldogs continued to misfire in the passing game, Rodrigo Blankenship missed a field goal and Georgia running back D’Andre Swift had a rare fumble.

Lawrence Cager was out for the group and will continue to be unavailable after having ankle surgery. And George Pickens missed the first half due to a violation of team rules.

Now against LSU — who just had its best defensive outing of the year – the Bulldogs will once again be without Cager and Pickens, as Pickens was ejected from the Georgia Tech game due to fighting. And because of that, he will miss the first half of the SEC championship game.

Related: Teammates, Kirby Smart sound off on George Pickens fight

Add in that Swift is now battling a shoulder injury — Smart has reiterated he will be fine for Saturday — and Georgia is going to have to get creative to find points in the first half.

LSU’s offense is perhaps the best in the country and led by the likely Heisman Trophy winner in Joe Burrow. The Georgia offense is going to need to sustain drives in the opening 30 minutes to keep them off the field. That’s going to be much more difficult without its top options.

Look for Georgia to employ a strategy similar to what it did against Florida, where it kept the Florida offense on the sideline.

Winner: Georgia defense

Though 12 games, the Georgia defense gave up just one rushing touchdown. Only Clemson gave up fewer points. Utah is the only team to surrender fewer rushing yards. And no one was better in the redzone in terms of total points allowed than the Bulldogs.

Now after a spectacular regular season, the Bulldogs will face their stiffest test yet in the Tigers. But while everyone is talking up the opposing offense, Ed Orgeron is equally impressed with Georgia’s defensive unit.

“I think they run, they’re big, they’re physical. They’re well-coached. Kirby is an outstanding defensive coach. They have an outstanding staff,” Orgeron said. “I think the thing I’m most impressed about Georgia’s defense is how they get all 11 hats to the football. They do a tremendous job of tackling in the open field and hustling to the ball.”

Related: Confident LSU coach Ed Orgeron sees ‘best defensive games’ still ahead for Tigers

To Orgeron’s point, Georgia is going to need a total team effort to slow down LSU. Because the offense is more than just Burrow. LSU has running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who rushed for over 1,200 yards on the season. There’s also a trio of talented wide receivers, led by Jamar Chase. He’s second in the country in receiving yards.

Georgia’s defense has been outstanding this season. We’re going to find out how truly transcendent it is against the Tigers.

Loser: Geoff Collins

The Georgia Tech coach was always going to have a challenging first season, given the transition from Paul Johnson’s old scheme. But Saturday was particularly rough.

The 52-7 win over the Yellow Jackets was the biggest win for the Bulldogs in the history of the rivalry.

Georgia Tech did some nice things in the second quarter and had a chance to make it competitive. But Georgia scored touchdowns on three of its first four drives in the second half to put things out of reach.

The Yellow Jackets also set a record for punts in a game, as they punted a whopping 13 times. And even when Georgia Tech forced Georgia into a punt, bad things happened for the Yellow Jackets as Tyson Campbell recovered a muffed punt in the endzone.

Saturday was Collins’ first taste of the rivalry from a head coach perspective. And it showed that he and the Yellow Jackets have a long way to go to catch up to the Bulldogs in this rivalry.

Winner: Georgia’s November 

At the beginning of the month, there was a lot of talk about how difficult this closing run was supposed to be. Florida, at Auburn, at Georiga Tech and home games against Missouri and Texas A&M.

And the Bulldogs found a way to go through that stretch with an unbeaten mark. Dating back to the South Carolina loss back on Oct. 12, Georgia has given up just 51 points over the course of the five games.

Fromm has thrown 11 touchdowns to 0 interceptions even as his completion percentage has dropped off this past month.

It hasn’t always been pretty for Georgia to get to this point, but heading into the final weekend of the season the Bulldogs control their own fate. Win against LSU, and the Bulldogs will be in the College Football Playoff. Georgia is one of only four teams in the country that can say that at this point in the year.

And to finish things off, Georgia is going to get to do something that Smart says is the best environment in all of football. Even better than the Super Bowl.

“The SEC Championship is the greatest atmosphere with passion and energy, and I’ve been in a lot of them,” Smart said. “That’s what you come to Georgia for, we earned the right to be in it so we’re going to roll our helmets out there and give it the best shot we can.”

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