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Cocktail Thursday: Georgia Southern Edition.

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University of Georgia baseball cap? Check.

Red golf shirt and mandals?? Check.

Opposing team's fans trolling the message boards while simultaneously struggling with the concept of satire? Check.

But it's not football season around here until we've talked cocktails. It is officially Cocktail Thursday.

Commenter dawgengineer asked that it be moved up to Wednesday, and I can't say I blame him. Wednesday is a perfectly good day for kicking back with a cocktail. Unfortunately, I didn't notice his request until it was too late. So Cocktail Thursday it remains.

I am having trouble making myself believe that this is actually the third season of this feature, first at MaconDawg's Blawg then last season here at Dawgsports. And I have come to realize that the first cocktail of the season is always the most difficult to devise. By the middle of the season the themes and memes have begun to sort themselves out. But here on the eve of the first contest of the year, it's harder to know what you should be toasting to on Saturday.

But after considering it, I finally realized that as usual in the game of football, this weekend's contest is going to be all about what happens on the line of scrimmage. I feel confident that our defensive front will dominate Georgia Southern's offenssive front. GSU will try to create mismatches and give Lee Chappell and Antonio Hinton a chance to make plays. They'll mix in the run and a little misdirection, but the battle will be won in the end. The numbers are just weighted too heavily in our favor in that battle.

I'll be paying close attention to the offensive line, however. Coach Richt has admitted that our offensive line is an area of concern. We're starting young guys up and down the line, and we don't have the senior leadership of a Fernando Velasco or Chester Adams to hold the thing the together. Make no mistake, this offensive line is going to need to mature in a hurry, and that all starts on Saturday.

And when you talk about the offensive line itself, especially in an offense like Mark Richt's that is designed to create offensive balance, the discussion starts at the left tackle position. That's where Kiante Tripp will be situated, guarding Matt Stafford's blind side. Does that make you a little nervous? Just a little bit? Me too. Even though Kiante Tripp has all the physical tools and is the best guy that we have to do the job, he's still inexperienced. He's still starting his first game at left tackle, and that should make all but the teetotalling-est of you go looking for a drink.

And when you find that drink, I'd suggest that it be a Chianti Triple. You'll need:

4 cups Chianti (sweet red wine, often served with fava beans)

1/3 cup of triple sec

1 cup Jack Daniels

2 cups club soda

2 sliced lemons or limes

1 sliced orange

crushed ice

 You'll mix all of the ingredients except the club soda and chill it overnight in the refrigerator. When you get to your preferred tailgating location, divide the mixture into cups (including the fruit) and top it with the club soda. It's a slightly kicked up version of a classic sangria which makes a great refresher for an early season afternoon kickoff. Let's hope that we see a similarly kicked up version of the Kiante Tripp we've heard about during the spring and summer. I'll be back tomorrow with the 5 things you'll see during the Georgia Southern game. Until then . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!