If it's Thursday and the University of Georgia is preparing for a tough road test against a favored SEC East opponent, you probably need a drink. Allow me to help, because Michael Adams is not about to.
From my perspective, the story of the Ole Miss game was Thomas Brown. We all knew that Knowshown Moreno had the ability to take it to the house on any given play. But Thomas Brown has spent the better part of the last three seasons being a solid though unspectacular tailback, more known for his eyepopping weightroom feats than any signature, eye opening moment on the gridiron. Sure, there was the kick return against Tennessee last year. Sure, he'll conclude his career as one of our 5 leading rushers of all time. But Thomas Brown has been searching for that game that Georgia fans will remember for years to come.
But no more. 180 yards rushing and a flotilla of touchdowns will do that. The question is whether TB's performance against the Fightin' Orgerons was a one time deal, or whether it will spread. Heaven knows we could use a similar effort against the squad from the Bruce Pearl Academy for Dorito-Flavored Bodypaint. Erik Ainge is a master of the dink and dunk passing game. He will complete 2/3 or more of his passes in any given game, and many of them will be on 3rd and 5 or longer. The Vols' four deep stable of tailbacks (Foster, Coker, Hardesty and Creer) also has the potential to rough up a defense that, as I may have mentioned, doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence, especially when it's giving up nine minute long scoring drives. I don't believe they've rushed for as many yards as they could primarily because they've played from behind or in shootout games with Cal and Florida. Combined, Tennessee's weapons can take a toll on a defense.
Especially a defense that's looked a lot like a toll booth (pay 35 cents and you can drive all day before coming to a dead end). I'm not sure if that's Coach Martinez or Coach Jancek in the picture.
Make no mistake, we'll need to score points aplenty to beat Tennessee. They will score early and often, and would have even before they had a week off to scheme against us. We'll need to be able to counterpunch when they score, and we'll also need to be able to keep our defense off the field to allow time to recuperate between drives. And if by chance we get an early lead on the road, we'll need to maintain control of the game and keep the crowd out of it. The best way to accomplish all of this is with a sound running game against a defensive front seven that's pretty good, but not the best we've faced. And our running game's success will depend in no small part on another eye opening effort from Thomas Brown.
So, as a superstitious 'Dawg fan, how do you assure such an effort from our senior tailback? When the morning sun dawns up on Rocky Top, as you listen to the strained banjo melody of the gentleman in the XXXL orange tracksuit tailgating next to you, you should start the day with . . .
A Brown Eye Opener. It's made by mixing 1 oz. of amaretto liqueur, 1 oz. of Bailey's Irish Cream Whiskey, 1 oz. of Kahlua, 1 oz. of Butterscotch Schnapps, 2 oz. of whole milk and 5 oz. of strong black coffee. Because you can't go wrong with a lethal infusion of caffeine, sugar and alcohol. There are recipes that call for the addition of 1-2 ounces of Everclear. But I want you to make it to kickoff, so I'm omitting that.
Besides, if the Philbillies put up 51 on us again this year, you'll need the hard stuff for your postgame tailgate. Until tomorrow . . .