Godwin experienced good and bad in Bulldogs debut

Georgia freshman receiver Terry Godwin had three catches for 51 yards in last Saturday's debut against Louisiana-Monroe.

ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia freshman receiver Terry Godwin had several reasons for excitement following his collegiate debut last Saturday, as well as several reasons to remain humble.

"There is a lot I would go back and change," Godwin said after nabbing three receptions for 31 yards in the 51-14 weather-shortened trampling of Louisiana-Monroe inside Sanford Stadium. "The first would be ball security, and next would be route running."

The Bulldogs did not turn the ball over against the Warhawks, but they came close. Midway through the first quarter, Godwin caught a 5-yard pass from Greyson Lambert but fumbled near midfield as he was tackled to the ground. Officials initially ruled a turnover but reversed the call after replays showed Godwin's knee touching the ground before the ball came loose.

"I was glad that it happened in a game and it didn't cost us," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "We've been talking to him about it, and we've been coaching it, but until you experience it, it's hard to understand just how important it is to get that ball high and tight. It's hard to break habits of years of doing it a certain way.

"He does a pretty good job of trying to get yards after the catch, and when you do that, a lot of times you lose ball security a little bit. The ball came out, and it's going to keep coming out unless he holds it the way we tell him to hold it."

A 5-foot-11, 174-pounder from Hogansville, Ga., Godwin was a consensus five-star recruit this past winter and the nation's No. 1 athlete prospect, according to Rivals.com. His talents coupled with Georgia's lack of depth at receiver earned him a second-team spot entering last week's opener, and he wound up playing during Georgia's first possession.

Godwin also wound up making Georgia's first catch of the season, collecting a 6-yard pass from Lambert on the third play from scrimmage.

"He had a great camp and had three catches in his first game," Lambert said. "His talents are translating over seamlessly from high school to college. He's going to be a great asset for us."

With less than five minutes remaining in the first half, backup quarterback Brice Ramsey and Godwin connected for a 20-yard gain to ULM's 32-yard line. The hookup occurred on third-and-17 and extended a drive that culminated with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Ramsey to Sony Michel that put the Bulldogs up 35-0.

Georgia threw the ball just 14 times against the Warhawks, with Godwin and fifth-year senior Malcolm Mitchell sharing a team-high three catches.

"He got his feet wet, and he has a long way to go," Richt said, "but he certainly has put himself in position to get playing time early in his career, which is great."

As for Georgia's other second-team freshman receivers, Michael Chigbu played last Saturday but Jayson Stanley did not, according to the participation report.

Odds and ends

The Bulldogs practiced Wednesday for two hours in full pads. Junior inside linebacker Reggie Carter (shoulder) sat out the opener but could play Saturday at Vanderbilt. Richt when asked about a 13-year-old caller to the SEC Network's Paul Finebaum Show who wanted the Georgia coach fired: "I guess when you have SEC TV 24 hours a day, you've got to fill it with something." Sophomore outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter is no longer being credited with a blocked punt in last week's game after a review of the tape. The Bulldogs had just one block, with that being by D'Andre Walker.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.