COLUMBIA, S.C. – It was too hard to resist. Maybe if Terry Godwin had been having the season he expected, and that many expected of him, he would have just hit the ground. But when the onside kick came straight at him, and he looked up, his decision was easy.
“I saw a wide-open hole, and I was like: Go score,” Godwin said. “I just saw green grass.”
And thus Godwin finally scored a touchdown, in Georgia’s sixth game of the season, about six games later that would have been expected of the team’s leading returning receiver from last year.
It also basically sealed Georgia’s 28-14 victory over South Carolina.
So it was clearly the right decision for Godwin to run it in, rather than just take a knee, right?
“I don’t think so,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “Did you see the Tennessee-Texas A&M game?”
For those that didn’t: A Texas A&M player was about to score a touchdown to go up 14 points in Saturday night when a Tennessee player batted it out and into the end zone for a touchback. Tennessee’s offense then scored to force overtime.
Texas A&M still won the game, but Smart, ever the coach, was worried about a repeat on Godwin’s run-back, which came with 1:33 left in the game.
“If he runs it in and gets it punched out,” Smart said, not finishing his thought because he didn’t need to. “But it worked. So what does everybody base it on? Results. But I would suggest he get down, which is what I encouraged him to do.”
Godwin, a sophomore, was on the field because he’s part of the “hands team” on kick return, knowing South Carolina would try the onsides. Godwin complimented the kicker, pointing out it took just the right bounce. But he also praised Georgia’s front line, which “just blocked it perfect.”
That left Godwin wide open, and 43 yards in front of him.
“I thought about (taking a knee),” Godwin said. “But the hole was so wide open, I just said, Just go score, just go score.”
It was Godwin’s only yardage of the game. He didn’t catch a pass – quarterback Jacob Eason sailed a pass over him that would’ve been a touchdown – and he only handed off in the Wildcat. So far this season Godwin has only 13 catches for 179 yards and four rushes for 14 yards. That’s well off his pace for last year.
So as he went to the sideline after the onside return, a few teammates yelled the same thing at Godwin as they hugged him.
“That’s one way to score!” they said.