It's Friday. You've got a job. You've got stuff to do. But you're concerned about whether or not Ray Drew will get on the field, whether Isaiah Crowell will hit the quatrillion yard mark in rushing, and whether the Georgia Bulldogs could actually lose to Coastal Carolina. Therefore, you need to pull up a lawn chair and join us at the Friday Tailgate. All the beginning of the football weekend goodness is after the jump.
This one's for you, Larry. You mean the world to us, and you're always on the mind of Bulldog Nation.
That thing I said last week about Otis Redding being the coolest man to ever walk the earth? It was partially because Duane Allman was just floating on air, man.
I walked away with two distinct impressions from last night's LSU/Mississippi State Sun Belt conference contest. Oh wait, you mean they're not in the Sun Belt? I thought that was some sort of Thursday night prerequisite. Anyhow, here's what I know. For one, I am incredibly glad that we do not have to play LSU. My impression is that we would lose something like 24-3 because LSU ain't scoring much more than that unless they get some points on defense. That being said, it would be one of those bludgeonings that looks way worse on the field than the scoreboard.
Second, I still don't know exactly what to make of the MSU offense. It's hard to make comparisons since Auburn is replacing a lot of production on defense and LSU's unit is apparently composed of half human/half swamp mutant hybrids who spit diesel fuel and long to hear the terrified screams of small children. But the impression I get is that Chris Relf is still not a great passing threat, his offensive line isn't doing him any favors, and he still needs a reliable go-to receiver.
But so long as Vick Ballard isn't Marcus Lattimore in disguise and the Bizarro Bulldog offensive line plays like they have the past two weeks, I think we may be able to take them in Athens in 15 days. As always, I am open to more pessimistic suggestions, though.
This weekend's Florida/Tennessee game sets up as the first major test for two young coaches who've led their teams to 2-0 records after playing exactly no one of consequence between the two of them. Okay, I suppose a rebuilding Cincinnati squad may be consequential, but only barely. And no team coached by Neil Callaway has been worthy of that adjective since at least 2005. But I digress.
Expect the media to continue to build this one up as a battle between "the new guard of SEC coaches." I'm building it up as a battle between Tyler Bray and John Brantley to see who can get to three interceptions first. Loser gets a girly back tattoo. Unless, you know, the loser already has a girly back tat.
Morrissey has gone back across the pond to hate some foreigners, so I'm going to have to do this 5 Things deal on my own. As a result it may not be appropriately morbid, but I hope you'll be able to forgive me. In no particular order I think tomorrow you'll see:
1) Hutson Mason. Who has thrown exactly one fewer touchdown passes through two games of his sophomore year than he threw during the first series of his freshman campaign.
2) Isaiah Crowell not breaking the 200 yard mark. I've talked to some folks who think Mark Richt will use this chance to give the freshman tons of work and that as a result he'll hit double century territory in rushing yards. I tend to think he'll get a fair amount of work and then, assuming we have a sizeable lead going deep into the second half, we'll see more of Carlton Thomas and perhaps Boo Malcome. It's a long season, and we need to keep our freshman tailback with the bruised ribs as healthy as possible at this point. If he's still in the game at the 8:00 mark of the fourth quarter you'll be able to spot me. I'll be the guy in the red golf shirt holding his breath and praying.
3) Aramis Hillary. That scent wafting off the Chanticleer quarterback won't be fear. Hillary at one time was supposed to be the next Corey Jenkins at South Carolina* but instead transferred to Coastal Carolina for more playing time, where he has looked impressive in wins against Furman and Catawba. Granted, Furman and Catawba may not be Alabama and LSU, but Aramis has smelled success against the competition before him, completing 26 of 37 passes for 344 yards. He's also run for 3 scores, which worries me a little against a Georgia defense that struggled last year with quarterbacks who tucked it and ran.
4) Rantavious Wooten. For whatever reason I believe WTBC is going to have a big game. Don't ask me why, I just get the feeling that he's healthy, he's confident, and he's going to make a solid contribution. I like the combo of King, Brown, Wooten and Mitchell in the receiving corps down the stretch. In addition to Wooten, I don't know that the Chanticleers will have an answer for Orson Charles.
5) UGA 45, CCU 14. With a lot of guys banged up from two tough contests to open the season, I expect the coaches want a good effort out of the starters for about 3 quarters, then want to rest everyone they can on a very thin depth chart that's about to begin an SEC slate that may determine whether they're all employed in February. This game will tell us absolutely zilch about how the 'Dawgs will perform in Oxford in eight days, but it will provide a chance to continue some of the positive vibes from last weekend. Unless we lose in which case all of Athens may be consumed by infernal flames and/or demolished by a meteor. But you know, whatever. Until later . . .
* Let's be honest, there'll never be another Corey Jenkins. But right now the best dig I can come up with against the Gamecocks is making fun of a player who left Columbia almost a decade ago. That's unfortunate, vaguely pathetic, and won't deter me in the least.