NASHVILLE — Carson Beck didn’t have his go-to target for most of the game at Vanderbilt, but the Georgia quarterback wasn’t using that as any sort of excuse.

“Obviously at Georgia we’re fully expecting for the next guy to step up and make plays,” Beck said after No. 1-ranked Georgia struggled through a 37-20 win against the Commodores on Saturday.

“But it does hurt to not have him out there.”

Bowers headed back to Georgia with the team Saturday night where Smart said he would undergo an MRI that would provide more information about the sprained ankle he suffered at Vanderbilt.

Bowers exited the game at the 7:24 mark of the second quarter, having already made four catches for 22 yards and run the ball on two other occasions for 21 yards, including the play he was injured on.

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Bowers had touched the ball six of the first 27 plays, the player the Bulldogs leaned on most, just as he was the most pivotal figure on the team UGA’s two national championship season.

Beck appeared uncertain with Bowers on the field, hold the ball as he searched the field for targets en route to a 29-of-39 passing performance that netted 261 yards with a touchdown and an interception and a fumble.

“We turned the ball over twice, and obviously I take (blame) for that, it’s my fault,” Beck said. “Not every day can be perfect; we’ll go back and watch film and see where we can improve.”

Beck’s fumble was on the opening drive and came when he was setting up in the pocket, ball held low, unprotected.

The interception came off a tipped pass and was returned to the UGA 1-yard line, leading to a Vanderbilt touchdown and the Commodores having the opportunity to draw within a score in the fourth quarter.

“It got tipped up in the air,” Beck said, explaining his interception. “It happens in football.”

Alas, Vanderbilt’s 2-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the scoreboard reading 30-20 and Georgia drove the length of the field to seal the game with a touchdown.

Coach Kirby Smart said he wants to see game film before saying too much about Beck’s execution, but he applauded his leadership.

“I’ll watch it and see how he did, but I’m certainly proud of his composure,” Smart said. “He doesn’t lose his composure much.”

Beck said it’s just a matter of managing the game.

“You just try to stay composed,” Beck said. “It’s just a next play mentality.”

Next man, next play and now next up for Georgia will be a Florida team that went on the road and beat South Carolina on Saturday by a 41-39 count to improve to 5-2.

Both teams have next weekend off before playing at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 in Jacksonville, Fla.