It's Thursday once again, which means it's time for us to consider the signature game day libation for this weekend's SEC contest between the hedges. The 'Dawgs welcome the #6 ranked Bayou Bengals of LSU, and while there is a lot of good analysis out there of what might happen during the game, I think that it all comes down to a few very simple points. Everyone seems to agree that Georgia will have to be able to run the ball in order to succeed. They will also need to be able to stop the run, which this year for Georgia is less about physical strength or speed and more about the mental challenges of taking good angles and wrapping up when they get to the ball carrier.
These are fundamental things. It's almost trite to say that teams need to run the ball and stop the run to win. But that makes the notion no less true. In a game like this, in which every position is manned by a player with NFL level athleticism, it's ultimately about the execution. Don't fumble the ball. Don't jump offside. The team that does the basics is going to win this weekend.
That being said, when Mark Richt's teams have won games like this, it has often been because they not only played fundamentally sound football, but also spiced things up a little bit. A well-timed onside kick. A fake punt executed to perfection. I sense that at some point on Saturday our good friend Dark Richt is going to make an appearance. And if he pulls off whatever crazy-ass trick he has planned, we just might win this one. The recipe for victory on Saturday is to do the basics right and then take advantage by spicing things up at just the right moment.
And if you are looking to do the same, to take a staple and spice it up, allow me to introduce you to my recipe for a bourbon and ginger.
Oh sure, you've poured some Maker's Mark into a can of Schweppes's. But that's remedial level. Anyone can do it. Try this instead: in a small saucepan bring a cup of sugar and cup of water just to a boil along with six ounces of peeled and grated ginger and two dashes of allspice. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for an hour. Strain out the ginger. Pack the resulting syrup into a container and head for Athens. Or your living room. Wherever you're tailgating.
When you want to serve your kicked up bourbon and ginger, just mix two tablespoons of the syrup with three ounces of your favorite bourbon and a splash of soda water over ice. Believe me, you'll like it.
For now, kick back and get your Hokie on tonight while pulling for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to get what's coming to them when they face off against Virginia Tech live from downtown Atlanta. Until later . . .