If it's Thursday and you've been busy burying what's left of your 401(k) account in tomato cans in your backyard, then you could probably use a drink. And a nice relaxing football game, during which the Georgia Bulldogs shouldn't be tested and during which your blood pressure will never approach the redline level.
Unfortunately, I can only provide one of those. In my opinion (which along with $1.50 will buy you a cup of coffee) the South Carolina game exposed three principal weaknesses of this Georgia Bulldog football team: offensive line consistency, defensive line pass rushing and defensive secondary consistency. Note the copious use of the word consistency. Each unit had their moments of solid overall performance. Each has at least one or two solid leaders who can be counted on (I'm looking at you, Asher Allen). And Chris Smelley's sudden emergence as a halfway competent passer was partially the result of some lapses in the linebacking corps. But the fact remains, the three units noted above are going to have to improve significantly as the competition gets stiffer.
We are playing a team this week that lost to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Granted. But I think that just means that for the second week in a row our opponent will be looking for a fight after having recently played down to the level of their competition (sorry, Commodore fans). We're going to get ASU's best shot, and that inevitably involves Rudy Carpenter having a big game. He's the bellcow. Stop him, and the ASU rushing attack is not going to beat us. Let him throw the ball, and it's going to be a long evening.
Stopping Carpenter begins with the front four. As Coach Richt has noted this week, Carpenter, much like Matt Stafford is too experienced a quarterback to be blitzed into oblivion. He'll pick it up and make you pay. Much like with Colt Brennan during last year's Sugar Bowl, the key is going to be getting there with the D-line, while having our secondary guys positioned properly to take advantage of the occasional bad throw.
We need somebody on that front four to become a beastly pass rusher, fast. Ideally, it would be one of the tackles, as QB's feel the most pressure when it's right in their faces. When facing a competent signal caller, there's simply no substitute for having a big, angry guy put a grizzly bear sized paw in his face. That's the only way we're going to stop Arizona State and avoid a 3 hour long track meet.
I think that the guy who's going to step up this week is Kade Weston. I know, he's only one week back on the job. But he has the size and strength to be a big disruption in the middle. And I think that Coach Garner has done an admirable job of getting other guys (Deangelo Tyson, Brandon Wood, and Ricardo Crawford for example) enough reps to keep Weston fresh.
And I for one will be toasting to a fresh Kade Weston with a fresh Lemonkade Weston, and you should too. You'll need:
a tall glass of crushed ice
3 1/2 ounces of light rum
1 ounce of blue curacao
4 ounces of lemon juice
2 ounces of simple syrup
Sprite to top it off
Pour the rum, curacao, lemon juice and syrup over the ice and top it with the Sprite. It deosn't get much simpler than that. The above recipe makes one 16 ounce drink. If you're tailgating in the desert, please alternate Lemonkade Westons with water. We don't want anybody passing out. Except Rudy Carpenter.
I'll hopefully be back tonight with a belated look at Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson. Until then . . .