MaconDawg

MaconDawg

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Wednesday Morning ‘Dawg Bites

Congratulations! You’ve made it halfway through bye week 2018. The commemorative teeshirts are on back order. My bad. So in recognition of this accomplishment I’m pleased to instead present you with this fine set of curated links to start your day. You’ve earned it.

Coach Smart updated the injury picture Tuesday afternoon and frankly it’s about the same. We’ve talked a little bit in this space about the role injuries play in the course of a season, and they’re definitely an under-appreciated factor from the outside.

I think having David Marshall, Daquan Hawkins-Muckle, and Devonte Wyatt out of the DL rotation Saturday was a big factor late. Not a 20 point factor, but a big one. From Coach Smart’s remarks it sounds like we might not be a whole lot healthier up front in Jacksonville than we are now, which just ain’t helpful.

What is helpful is former five star linebacker recruit Robert Beal starting to gain confidence. Beal recorded his first career sack against LSU and it sounds as if he may be in line for more playing time.

Greg McElroy echoes what a lot of us have been thinking: Justin Fields needs to be involved in the offense, but he’s a long way from ready to be the Dawgs’ starting quarterback. I’m not saying he won’t be in position to beat out Jake Fromm next spring or fall. That’s a tall task, but it’s possible. What I am saying is that the old saying about the most popular guy on campus being the second string quarterback is just as true now as it was thirty years ago.

It’s never too early to start hating Florida.

Speaking of the Gators, a 10 point come-from-behind win over Vandy has the Gators thinking about the college football playoff. I don’t know about you, but optimistic and slightly overconfident is exactly how I like the Gator fanbase to be heading into Jacksonville.

Away from the gridiron, Georgia’s national championship track & field squad picked up a big commitment from a national record holding heptathlete. In fact the Track ‘Dawgs have been on quite a roll in recruiting and look to be building a pretty strong foundation for future success. And that’s a Bulldog point of pride.

Now get out there and take care of business, ‘Dawg fans!

Chapel Bell Curve: Let’s talk about our bad decisions.

Did you go to Louisiana and find yourself making some bad decisions and find yourself having to account for them? Kirby Smart knows how you feel! So do Nathan and Justin, well, not literally but they can empathize.

The guys dissect Georgia’s loss to LSU, what it means, and what it doesn’t, including:

• Turns out....turnovers actually are bad.

• A Joe Burrow mea culpa.

• Statistically speaking, running the dang ball is generally a good idea.

• Whether Florida is a better football team than LSU.

•Whether you should bet big on Kentucky and Florida to send the ‘Dawgs to the Liberty Bowl (you probably shouldn’t).

There’s also some thoughts on baby holdin’, CBC’s patented blend of poetry and prose, and a Dawg Sports-approved rant on the economics of college football.

As always, listen, like, repeat, and....

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

‘Dawg Sports on the Radio: We’re just gonna talk our way through it

I’ll once again join the folks from St. Augustine’s WFOY 1240 AM on Sports Now to talk Georgia Bulldog football tonight between 7:20 and 7:30 p.m. eastern. We’ll have a postmortem on this weekend’s LSU loss, and look ahead to what the reasonable expectations are for the Red and Black for the remainder of this season.

As always, I invite you to listen on your radio dial if you’re down on the First Coast or in the Golden Isles, or listen online right here. As usual I’m also making no promises but I’ll also try to get to any questions you have here in the comments. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!

MVDs: Most Valuable ‘Dawgs

Even in defeat, certain members of Bulldog Nation distinguish themselves on the field of play. And when that happens we recognize them in our weekly back slappin’ feature, MVDs: Most Valuable ‘Dawgs. I had to dig pretty deep down the roster this week, but I think you’ll agree with the selections.

Offense: Bob from Marietta, who blew two grand on attending this game. There was very little positive here. At times in the first half Georgia ran the ball well. For a moment in the second the ‘Dawgs got it going through the air. But they were never able to consistently move the ball, convert third downs, or put points on the board. They just never could get moving.

But you know who did move? The 20,000+ Bulldog fans who came by plane, train, and automobile to Baton Rouge. Those folks showed up and showed out, and even though some of them are probably just getting back from the Pelican State. In the past spending on airfare, lodging, food and tickets to watch Kirby Smart’s squad against a tough opponent on the road has been a winning proposition. This time, not so much. But at least Bob enjoyed some great etouffe at that hole-in-the-wall place in the French Quarter. Great work, Bob.

Defense: Jonathan Ledbetter. There’s nothing good about giving up 275 yards on the ground. And while Joe Burrow didn’t throw a touchdown pass for the Bayou Bengals, he did hit a couple of long throws, which were made equally possible by his own accuracy and busts in the Bulldog secondary.

Cornerback Tyson Campbell led the team with 11 tackles. It’s usually a bad sign when a corner is making the tackles, and Saturday was no exception to that rule. That being said, Jonathan Ledbetter chipped in a career day with 10 stops of his own from his defensive end position, and was a bright spot on an otherwise outmanned and banged up UGA front seven.

Special teams: The person who protects Rodrigo Blankenship’s goggles. There was nothing special about this effort. Obviously there was Hot Rod’s wild run. And Mecole Hardman’s fumble. And Jake Camarda averaging a season-low 35.5 yards per punt. Honestly, I got nothing. As Coach Smart said in his postgame remarks, this was the first game this season in which Georgia lost the kicking game. And while it wasn’t alone enough to doom their chances in Baton Rouge, it sure didn’t help.

That being said, even after being stuffed for a fumble Hot Rod appeared to be able to see where he was going for the rest of the game. So I assume whoever is in charge of making sure his prescription rec specs are functioning properly did his or her job. Good job, goggle grappler.

Feel free to point out the bright spots in surely missing in the comments below. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

Kirby Smart Postgame: Missed tackles, kicking game woes, and responding to adversity.

Kirby Smart addressed the media moments ago from the depths of LSU’s Tiger Stadium following his team’s 36-16 loss to the Bayou Bengals. Among the topics covered:

• The kicking game, which Smart notes Georgia probably lost for the first time this season. In particular Kirby gives the rationale for that fake field goal gone awry.

I remain unconvinced. If you’re counting on players like Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit to get out of position so Rodrigo Blankenship can make a ten yard run, you are counting on a miracle. It was just too cute a play call by a factor of fifty.

• Jake Fromm’s struggles, which had less to do with pass protection and more to do with the type of decision making you can’t have from a guy making his 21st college start.

• Tackling. Bad tackling. I noticed it. You noticed it. Unsurprisingly Kirby Smart noticed it, too.

• Where we go from here.

Give it a listen below, and....

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

LSU 36, UGA 16: Not Ready For Primetime

A Georgia Bulldog team that had been good enough to survive its faults against lesser competition finally met its match this afternoon, falling 36-16 to LSU in Baton Rouge.

The Red and Black has survived a rash of injuries, an epidemic of fumbles against Tennessee, and a plague of penalties against Vandy. But Ed Orgeron’s Bayou Bengals proved that all that was really necessary to dethrone Georgia was to play solid fundamental football and let the ‘Dawgs self-destruct. LSU converted an inconceivable 5 of 5 fourth down attempts and used 5 Cole Tracy field goals to keep just enough distance from Kirby Smart’s team for most of the game. Then, when the Athenians needed a couple of big plays to turn the tide late they instead threw a bad interception and fumbled a kickoff return.

This game was frustrating for Georgia fans in much the way the 2017 Auburn game was, as the self-inflicted wounds came from precisely the players the ‘Dawgs needed to come up big. Jake Fromm suffered hands-down his most disappointing game as a Bulldog, missing multiple wide open receivers, failing to spot open receivers, then pressing late to give up both costly turnovers and sacks. Fromm finished 16 of 34 passing for 206 yards, with those 2 uncharacteristic interceptions.

There’s absolutely no reason to believe Justin Fields would have fared better. The freshman did help move the ball at times, but doesn’t have full command of the passing game yet. That won’t stop some from calling for the QB competition to be thrown wide-open in a short-sided overreaction. This Fromm effort was vintage sophomore Aaron Murray, attempting to put the whole team on his back when all he really needed to do was what he’s done regularly through the first six weeks of the season. Hopefully like Murray he learns his lesson.

LSU’s Joe Burrow by contrast looked like a veteran. While only 15 of 30 passing he never turned the ball over. He also made some clutch plays with his legs, including a 59 yard dash in the fourth quarter in which he juked Richard LeCounte clean out of his cleats in the open field.

Mecole Hardman, in addition to that guy-wrenching fumble, had a couple of painful drops on what could have been momentum-shifting plays. Again, it seemed a case of trying to do too much, and while you can’t fault the effort you can 100% bemoan the decision making from a veteran football player.

Defensively the ‘Dawgs gave up 475 yards, but 163 of those came on two fourth quarter drives when the Bulldog D just looked worn down. LSU held a definitive 7 minute time of possession edge, helped by a Bulldog offense that strung together 7 or fewer plays on 11 of their 13 drives.

Georgia now has an open week before taking on a Florida team that’s surged to a 6-1 start of its own in year one under Dan Mullen. Suddenly the SEC East looks a little more open than it did a couple of weeks ago.

In the end the first few weeks of this season likely seduced UGA fans into forgetting some of the gaping holes they knew existed coming into this season. Today Georgia played the kind of inconsistent football one expects from a young, rebuilding football team that needed to see that they’re not as good as their press clippings would indicate. Ed Orgeron’s team appears to have delivered that message loud and clear. Until later....

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

Evening Open Thread: Hello Darkness My Old Friend

The look says it all.

Frankly, don’t even get me started.

I’ll be back with the wrap up of Georgia’s error-prone effort against LSU shortly, but for those of you looking to move on now there’s a decent amount of half-decent football coming up tonight.

There’s a top 15 matchup between Michigan and Wisconsin on ABC, and #6 West Virginia traveling to always dangerous Ames to take on Iowa State. Miami travels to Virginia, and Ole Miss and Arkansas play one of the SEC’s perennial bat crap crazyfests.

Odds are none of them will play as far below their capabilities as Georgia did today.

Fourth Quarter Open Thread: Crunch time.

Georgia is fast running out of time to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in this one. The odds got longer in the third quarter when Georgia, backed up deep in its own territory, gave up an interception and three more points to field goal machine Cole Tracy.

The ‘Dawgs got rolling a little on offense as the third ended. Georgia now needs somebody to step up and make a huge play. Then needs someone else to make another one. It’s assuredly gut check time.

Go ‘Dawgs!

Third Quarter Open Thread

Your Georgia Bulldogs embarrassed themselves repeatedly in the first half of this one, with terrible execution the likes of which we probably haven’t seen since the Ole miss game in September 2016. It was unacceptable at this point in the program’s development, and disappointing in almost every respect.

Now it’s time to put it behind us and go win the football game.

Just about everything that could go wrong in the first half of this one did. Jake Fromm played quite literally the worst half of football I’ve seen out of him, and I’ve been watching him almost weekly since he was a sophomore in high school. Tyson Campbell has been picked on mercilessly and didn’t help himself with a brain sprain that led to a big pass play. The playcalling from Jim Chaney has been inconsistent, likely owing to the fact that he knows with about as much certainty as you or I which of his players will blow an assignment next. And while the Athenians have played solid defense 94% of the time, the other 6% has consisted of missed tackles that destroyed any momentum.

Add in an LSU team which has executed extremely well ( no turnovers and 3 of 3 on fourth down, including one from inside their own thirty that only a fool or a gravelly-voiced Cajun would have even attempted) and you have the recipe for a 16-0 deficit.

The Red and Black will get the ball to start the third quarter and will have to play an entirely different brand of football in the second half to get back in this one. If there’s any solace to be taken here it’s that the ‘Dawgs have been a great second half team. There’s also the fact that there’s only so much pixie dust that Ed Orgeron can pull out of his bag of tricks, and only so accurate Joe Burrow can be. This one hasn’t slipped away, but Georgia needs to do a lot of things right and needs LSU to do a few things wrong to right the ship.

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

Second quarter open thread: Baby, we were born to run.

Unless we’re talking about Hot Rod. Sending him around the corner against LSU’s two All-SEC defensive backs was just stupid. Whoever called that fake, while a very gifted football coach in general, did something very stupid in that specific instance.

The question is whether at this point Georgia can recover from Jake Fromm looking less than sharp, and again, the stupidest fake field goal I think I have ever seen. The defense looks solid, and the rushing game looks flawless. Now, can Georgia get out of its own way to come back from the first real deficit it’s faced all season?

First Quarter Open Thread: Time to put the cards on the table.

The prevailing wisdom is that Georgia’s football season really begins in earnest in today’s clash with LSU. If that is the case, then today is also the day when all excuses regarding what Georgia able to do and willing to show go out the window as well.

No longer is there any excuse for bringing players along slowly, or leaving anything in the playbook. There’s no reason to doubt anyone’s motivation, or to think that there is anything in the tank that’s not being put on display. Now is the time.

If you’re the Red and Black now is when you prove that you are a national championship contender despite the losses from 2017, Or confirm that you remain a year away from being back in the title conversation.

Let’s show them what we got.

Go ‘‘Dawgs!!!

Game Day ‘Dawg Bites is coming to your cit-taayyy!

It’s game day in Baton Rouge, where your #2 ranked Georgia Bulldogs will take on #13 LSU at 2:30 p.m. local time, 3:30 eastern on CBS.

While it doesn’t appear to be a Notre Dame-level takeover, Bulldog fans are making their presence known in the Boot.

Our SB Nation sister site, And The Valley Shook has a great analysis of what to look for in this contest.

As the guys from Chapel Bell Curve noted earlier this week, the advanced stats seem to really favor Georgia in this one, to an extent that is hard to reconcile with how physically talented the Bayou Bengals appear to be.

You may have already known this, but this game is among the most important on today’s schedule, and of the whole SEC season.

Have concerns about the performance of Georgia’s front seven so far this season? Senior linebacker Juwan Taylor respectfully disagrees.

Maybe coaching in a league where paying players is encouraged will be just the ticket for Hugh Freeze.

As always you can calibrate your TV viewing for the day with RedCrake’s schedule. We’ll be back with your usual slate of comment threads for the day’s action shortly. Until then...

Go ‘‘Dawgs!!!

Chapel Bell Curve: Ed Orgeron, Schrodinger’s cat, and you.

Georgia is heading to Baton Rouge, and the guys have some thoughts on that, including:

• LSU’s perfectly adequate offense and definitively decent defense.

• Joe Burrow, feline thought experiment.

• One of the absolute greatest college band numbers you will positively not hear on Saturday.*

• The always entertaining Over/Under and the guys’ score predictions.

*But you’ll hear it here.

So go ahead and mash that “like” button, tell a friend, and blast this episode out of your car windows as you roll into Louisiana.

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

Cocktail Thursday: LSU Edition

Are your Georgia Bulldogs headed to play in a place known as “Death Valley” against a top 20 team coached by a man who speaks a language only he understands? You could probably use a drink. Allow me to help.

College football is a strange business, and that’s just on the surface. Dig down into the statistical minutiae and it gets plum weird. Exhibit A: the 2018 Georgia Bulldog defense—-

Georgia has been bending and bending and bending this season. the ‘Dawgs rarely create a sack. They’re getting tackles behind the line of scrimmage less frequently than the average college football team. Yet they lead the SEC in total defense, surrendering 282.3 yards per game. And they’re second in scoring defense, surrendering a stingy 13.0 points per game. Most peculiar, mama.

I could make the argument that Georgia has amassed those stats against the likes of Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee State. Or at least I could have when those schools were the main sample constituents. Six games in however Georgia has now also played the Missouri team that ranks third in the SEC in total offense, a South Carolina squad that ranks seventh, and a Vandy team that slides in at #8. In fact the Red and Black have held every conference opponent they’ve faced more than 10 points below their season average.

These kids may, in fact, be alright. And if there’s a stat that should give you some confidence going into the Classic City Canines’ tilt with the Bayou Bengals, it’s probably that LSU is currently 9th in the SEC in total offense and 7th in scoring offense. Joe Burrow is no Drew Lock. He’s not even Kyle Shurmur.

Georgia on the other hand has seven offensive players with over 200 combined rushing/receiving yards in 2018. The Athenians have 13 rushing plays of 20+ yards and 12 passing plays of 25+. In short, the Georgia defense forces you to string together play after play, efficiently moving 75 yards down the field on every scoring drive. The Georgia offense on the other hand tends to take the express lane.

If Georgia has an advantage in this game, it’s that LSU’s very good defense only really needs to give up 3 or 4 big plays to give this one away. The Georgia defense on the other hand is likely to fiddle faddle around for long stretches giving Joe Burrow and the LSU offense the chance to get in its own way, at which they’ve been quite good at times this season.

So what’s the drink for the game in which a turbo-charged ‘Dawg offense may just be too much for the Louisianans?

Abita Turbodog. Brewed proudly in Abita Springs, Louisiana, Turbodog was actually the very first Cocktail Thursday selection at my old blogger site back in 2006. It’s just as good now. Turbodog’s caramel and chocolate malt flavor with just enough hops to add some character goes with basically any meal. It’s substantial enough to sip and savor slowly, but not so heavy you feel like it’s a meal-replacement shake. I’m not saying it’s the perfect beer to turbocharge your tailgate. But I’d give my boudin balls to know what a better choice would be. Until later . . .

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

Cocktail Thursday: LSU Edition

Are your Georgia Bulldogs headed to play in a place known as “Death Valley” against a top 20 team coached by a man who speaks a language only he understands? You could probably use a drink. Allow me to help.

College football is a strange business, and that’s just on the surface. Dig down into the statistical minutiae and it gets plum weird. Exhibit A: the 2018 Georgia Bulldog defense—-

Georgia has been bending and bending and bending this season. the ‘Dawgs rarely create a sack. They’re getting tackles behind the line of scrimmage less frequently than the average college football team. Yet they lead the SEC in total defense, surrendering 282.3 yards per game. And they’re second in scoring defense, surrendering a stingy 13.0 points per game. Most peculiar, mama.

I could make the argument that Georgia has amassed those stats against the likes of Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee State. Or at least I could have when those schools were the main sample constituents. Six games in however Georgia has now also played the Missouri team that ranks third in the SEC in total offense, a South Carolina squad that ranks seventh, and a Vandy team that slides in at #8. In fact the Red and Black have held every conference opponent they’ve faced more than 10 points below their season average.

These kids may, in fact, be alright. And if there’s a stat that should give you some confidence going into the Classic City Canines’ tilt with the Bayou Bengals, it’s probably that LSU is currently 9th in the SEC in total offense and 7th in scoring offense. Joe Burrow is no Drew Lock. He’s not even Kyle Shurmur.

Georgia on the other hand has seven offensive players with over 200 combined rushing/receiving yards in 2018. The Athenians have 13 rushing plays of 20+ yards and 12 passing plays of 25+. In short, the Georgia defense forces you to string together play after play, efficiently moving 75 yards down the field on every scoring drive. The Georgia offense on the other hand tends to take the express lane.

If Georgia has an advantage in this game, it’s that LSU’s very good defense only really needs to give up 3 or 4 big plays to give this one away. The Georgia defense on the other hand is likely to fiddle faddle around for long stretches giving Joe Burrow and the LSU offense the chance to get in its own way, at which they’ve been quite good at times this season.

So what’s the drink for the game in which a turbo-charged ‘Dawg offense may just be too much for the Louisianans?

Abita Turbodog. Brewed proudly in Abita Springs, Louisiana, Turbodog was actually the very first Cocktail Thursday selection at my old blogger site back in 2006. It’s just as good now. Turbodog’s caramel and chocolate malt flavor with just enough hops to add some character goes with basically any meal. It’s substantial enough to sip and savor slowly, but not so heavy you feel like it’s a meal-replacement shake. I’m not saying it’s the perfect beer to turbocharge your tailgate. But I’d give my boudin balls to know what a better choice would be. Until later . . .

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

Georgia picks up big pledge from Texas safety Cine

After a series of high profile decommitments over the past few days Georgia got back in the recruiting win column this afternoon by landing four star Texas safety Lewis Cine.

Cine, a 6’2, 180 pound prospect from Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, Texas, is ranked the #3 safety in America and the #59 prospect overall by 247Sports. He counts offers from over 30 schools, including Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan, and Penn State.

Cine is a physical tackler with great closing speed, a versatile player in the mold of a Richard LeCounte, as you can see in these highlights.

I’m not sure Cine will achieve a coveted fifth star in this cycle, but for what Georgia wants in a safety he’s about the best fit possible. After losing Dacula standout Jalen Perry last week Cine is the Dawgs’ only defensive back commit for 2019. However UGA continues to pursue versatile four star Florida standouts Tyrique Stevenson and Kaiir Elam.

The rumor mill has Georgia possibly picking up one or two commits in the coming days. Stay tuned to Dawg Sports for that and any other Bulldog news.

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

Chapel Bell Curve: Father Deandre has many sons. I am one of them. And so are you.

Justin and Nathan return home from Homecoming to take a quick look back at the Vandy game, including:

• A look at the advanced stats on the UGA offense, which is among the most lethal in the nation despite your neighbor’s constant grousing about Jim Chaney.

• Richard LeCounte, card-carrying badass.

• Deandre Baker, actual Manimal.

• Up tempo offense- let’s do more of that.

• Why if Tennessee football were a beer it would be Zima, and South Carolina would be PBR.

Remember to rate, recommend and listen, preferably all at the same time. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

Chapel Bell Curve: Father Deandre has many sons. I am one of them. And so are you.

Justin and Nathan return home from Homecoming to take a quick look back at the Vandy game, including:

• A look at the advanced stats on the UGA offense, which is among the most lethal in the nation despite your neighbor’s constant grousing about Jim Chaney.

• Richard LeCounte, card-carrying badass.

• Deandre Baker, actual Manimal.

• Up tempo offense- let’s do more of that.

• Why if Tennessee football were a beer it would be Zima, and South Carolina would be PBR.

Remember to rate, recommend and listen, preferably all at the same time. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

MVDs: Most Valuable Dawgs

Two familiar names, and an emerging talent.

When the Georgia Bulldogs win, it’s the result of a team effort. And while we don’t want to take anything away from that team spirit, there’s no denying that some ‘Dawgs really had their day against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Those are the MVDs: Most Valuable ‘Dawgs.

Offense: Jake Fromm. The quarterback usually gets too much credit in victory and too much blame in defeat. But on Saturday night Jake Fromm was definitely the spark plug for the UGA attack. Fromm completed 74% of his passes (17 of 23) for 276 yards and 3 touchdowns.

He threw no interceptions and looked sharp all night, especially when Georgia went up tempo. It was a more aggressive downfield attack than we’ve seen so far this season, and it suited Fromm well. It was also the kind of effort the Red and Black will need from Fromm again this week against an LSU defense giving up only 122 yards rushing per game against FBS competition.

Defense: Jordan Davis. The freshman nose tackle has looked good at times this season. On Saturday he looked good all night, but never better than when he penetrated on a 4th and 1 play at the UGA 14 yard line to stop Vanderbilt tailback Khari Blasingame for a loss. Vandy was driving for a go ahead score on a drive that had started at the Dores’ 5 yard line. Instead the Red and Black reeled off touchdowns on their next three drives to take a commanding lead.

Georgia still doesn’t have the commanding presence over center that it needs to really smother the run. But if Davis continues to progress he could become that guy in the way big John Atkins and John Jenkins were before him.

Special teams: Rodrigo Blankenship. Hot Rod hit both his field goal attempts, including a 53 yarder. He also hit 5 extra points to run his record on PATs to 121 of 121 during his UGA career, breaking Brandon Coutu’s Bulldog record of 115 in a row.

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

Chapel Bell Curve: You Doubt Kirb-strodamus?!?!

Do you want to know an inordinate amount about the Vanderbilt Commodores? Of course you do. Enter Nathan and Justin....

• Would you rather be efficient or explosive? Vanderbilt would answer “yes.”

• The incredible unsackable Kyle Shurmur.

• Ye Olde Over/Under.

• More info about how CBS’s pylon cam works than you ever thought you'd need.

• Is Kirby Smart playing 4-D chess with his quarterbacks? Of course. That's what Kirbstrodamus does. Check it out, and....

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

Cocktail Thursday: Vanderbilt Edition

If your Georgia Bulldogs continue to win football games but you just can't seem to relax, you could probably use a drink. I can help with that.

The Red and Black are 5-0 and ranked #2 in the nation. Yet Bulldog Nation remains in a semi-continuous swivet over an offense that looked halting at times in a win over Tennessee and a defense that has bent a little more than last year despite only rarely breaking.

“Just once” Billy Bulldog laments, “I want to see this team really turn loose on an opponent!”

This is your chance, Billy boy. Vanderbilt is 3-2, but the three wins are against MTSU (35-7), Nevada, and Tennessee State. The Commodores played #8 Notre Dame close in a 22-17 loss in South Bend, but also got demolished at home against South Carolina, 37-14.

Vandy is 12th in the league in scoring offense and 12th in total defense, giving up 366 yards a game. The ‘Dores are surrendering 126 yards per game on the ground, and I think that's where this UGA team may shine in this one. Georgia has some fine-tuning to do up front, but the pieces are there.

If the Classic City Canines do put it altogether up front, I expect the UGA tailbacks to be the main beneficiaries. Swift, Holyfield, and Herrien have all had their moments this season. But Holyfield in particular just looks ready to have one of those games where he takes over.

And what is the drink for the game in which Holyfield proves himself to be a legitimate breakout star?

The Real Deal. Start by muddling together two basil leaves and a quarter inch thick slice of lemon. You actually want some of the citrus oils from the peel in the mix, just for the fragrance. When you're done remove the lemon pulp, leave the juicey, zesty goodness. Continue by adding 2 oz. of good quality bourbon. I like a lower rye mash bourbon like Buffalo Trace. Finish with an ounce of simple syrup, add some ice, shake, and strain the contents into a cocktail glass. Enjoy. Until later...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!

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