It's Thursday once again, and that means it's time for Cocktail Thursday, in which I prescribe a tonic to cure your shaky confidence heading into the weekend's Bulldog football match up.
There's been a lot of digital ink spilled in the past few days about the Bulldogs' losses on the offensive side of the ball, and what effect those will have on a heretofore jet-fueled attack. My suspicion is that we'll see some misfires, some missed receptions and generalized growing pains while some guys become more comfortable with an increased role.
But by and large I expect that the 'Dawgs will put up almost as many points as we've become accustomed to. What worries me more is the contest between the Bulldog defense and the Tiger offense. As I noted in our staff prediction post, James Franklin is playing some really good football right now. Intrinsically, he's the type of quarterback who Georgia has struggled with for a long time, accurate if unspectacular throwing the ball, and capable of converting third downs with his legs. I have a terrible feeling about James Franklin, and am terribly concerned about how we're going to contain him.
I will admit I have witnessed some incremental improvement in the Bulldog defense since the North Texas game. They struggled against LSU, which fielded (I really can't believe I'm typing this) the best offense we'll see in conference play. And while Tennessee made good halftime adjustments, the 3 point first half effort against the Vols included some of the best defensive work we've seen so far.
Oh, you can hear in Todd Grantham's postgame comments that this unit is not as far along as he would have liked nearing the midpoint of the regular season. But the problem is not effort, or talent, it's inconsistency, the kind that young units exhibit as one-by-one their component parts start learning what in the hell they're supposed to be doing, and start doing it consistently.
One of those components for the Georgia defense has been emerging nose tackle Chris Mayes. After missing the Clemson game with a concussion Mayes has been seeing a good bit of time in the middle for the Red and Black D, and seems to be catching on. If Georgia's going to contain the Missouri offense, it's going to require controlling the edge and winning the middle of the field. Mayes is the key to the latter of those.
So while you're looking forward to Chris Mayes continuing to mature and develop into an amazing anchor in the middle for the 'Dawgs, you should bide your time with a Mr. A-Mayes-ing.
Mix together 1 and 1/2 ounces of dark rum, 1 ounce of light rum, 1/2 ounce of banana liqueur, 1/2 ounce of cinammon syrup, and a squeeze of lemon juice in a cocktail shaker over ice. Strain it into an old fashioned glass with ice and enjoy.
As usual, feel free to use this as your open comment thread for all the Thursday night college football action. Louisville will travel to Rutgers and attempt to avoid an upset by a Scarlet Knight squad that already took down Arkansas. And Arizona will take on USC in what has been legitimately named a National Game of Interest. Until later . . .