If your Georgia Bulldogs are headed out of town for a big cross-sectional football game against a ranked opponent, and doing so with a true freshman quarterback starting his first college football game, you probably could use a drink. I can help with that.
I don’t want to make excuses before the first whistle blows. But I would be neither surprised or particularly upset if Georgia goes down in defeat on Saturday against Notre Dame. As GlimmerTwinDawg pointed out, there is good reason to worry about this one. The Irish have an apparently improved defense, a promising ground game, and home field advantage. There’s an old coaching saw that you lose one game for every true freshman in a key position. If that’s the case, Georgia, starting true freshmen at quarterback, right tackle, and safety is in for some rough times. I don’t subscribe to that adage precisely, but I do agree that even mature, prepared true freshmen make mistakes.
I think Jake Fromm is going to be a heckuva quarterback. And if I were Jacob Eason I would be drinking my milk, eating my spinach, and doing everything else modern medical science can offer to get back on the field ASAP. But Fromm is still a true freshman, and he’s liable to make some mistakes.
He actually made quite a few against Appalachian State, but the Mountaineers didn’t do a great job making him pay for them. If Notre Dame does a better job of that, the ‘Dawgs could find themselves in trouble in a hurry.
But if we’re going to throw the young man into the fray and have him learn on the job, I’d rather it be against a non-conference opponent than later in the year against Florida or Auburn. Jake Fromm will benefit from this weekend regardless of how long he holds onto the starting job. And if you’re Kirby Smart and you lose a close one on the road with a true freshman starting his first game, well, I don’t think the most strident Bulldog fan can blame him too much (offer not valid for losses resulting from boneheaded in-game coaching decisions, or in Alaska or Hawaii).
And the good thing about a game like this is that it can’t really hurt you that much vis-à-vis your major season goals. If we learned anything from week one of the SEC season it’s that the SEC East is still a bit of a mess. It will likely improve some as the season goes on. Florida and Tennessee can play better than they have so far, and South Carolina is at least dangerous if not stellar. Missouri will likely score a lot of points, and if opponents can’t keep up, will be tough.
But Georgia looks as good as anyone right now. And the Dawgs’ chances of winning their division won’t be affected one iota by the result of Saturday’s game.
So what’s the drink for a game which you’re totally okay with maybe not exactly winning but for totally defensible reasons? An Alibi, by Henry County’s own Jailhouse Brewing. It’s a golden ale that’s actually brewed with grits for a unique, smooth taste. And, after a few, you’ll have had time to rationalize just about anything, including a loss to Notre Dame. Until later . . .