If your Georgia Bulldogs are gearing up to play their oldest rival in a hostile environment, you could probably use a drink. I can help with that.
I’d like to give you some reasons to feel warm and fuzzy about this 124th iteration of the South’s Oldest Rivalry. I cannot.
Instead, if you’re looking for reasons to be worried, we’ve got you covered. There is every reason to believe that the Red and Black will encounter an Auburn team hungry to play the spoiler to UGA’s playoff hopes. They’ll also be up against a home crowd that will likely be in this one from the opening kick.
That’s before we get to the actual matchups, which are pretty darn close to even. Both defenses are excellent, though the Athenians are perhaps exceptional on that side of the ball.
In my opinion this one comes down to the offenses. Tiger freshman Bo Nix has thrown for 335 and 340 yards in his past two games in Jordan-Hare. Admittedly, those games were against extremely compliant defenses from Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
In road games against Florida, Arkansas, and LSU in October Bone X (TM) completed only 48% of his passes, never eclipsed the 200 yard mark, and threw 4 interceptions against 5 touchdowns? Was it tough road environments? Better defenses? Arkansas frankly has neither, so I think some of it is just the freshman sometimes playing like a freshman.
If there’s a position where I think Georgia may yet have a decided advantage, it’s at quarterback. I’m not inviting a debate about Jake Fromm’s position on the all-time list of Georgia greats. I am saying that unless he eclipses his career-worst performance against South Carolina, it’s unlikely he has a worse afternoon than Nix.
Close games between good defensive football teams tend to be won when someone makes a mistake on special teams or does something spectacular on offense. If you want a warm fuzzy, it’s that Fromm is as likely as anyone not named D’Andre Swift to deliver that sort of memorable moment.
And he needs to. If Georgia is in fact going to make a run to the College Football Playoff, and if Fromm is going to burnish his career resume in what I believe to be his last handful of games in red and black, now’s the time to start. From here on out, Jake Fromm is playing for his Bulldog legacy.
So what’s the drink to warm your heart during the game in which Jake Fromm hopefully etches his name in the Georgia/Auburn record books?
A Fromm Here To Eternity. It’s a twist on the classic “hot toddy”, the perfect thing to keep you warm on what should be a clear, cool fall evening in the Loveliest Little Remedial Playschool on the Plains.
The recipe starts with making a simple syrup not unlike the one we made a few weeks back. You’ll need:
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
Combine the maple syrup, water, cinnamon sticks, and red pepper flakes in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Then remove from heat and let steep/cool for 30 minutes. Strain and put aside.
Now to make the actual toddy. You’ll need:
- 1/2 medium lemon (juiced)
- 3-4 tablespoons of the chili maple simple syrup
- 2 ounces bourbon (you could probably use rye whiskey if that’s your thing. No judgment.)
- Hot water (to fill)
- Lemon wedges and cinnamon stick (for garnish).
Add the juice of half a lemon, 3-4 ounces of the simple syrup, the bourbon, and hot water to top (less water for a stronger drink, more for a weaker drink). Stir to combine. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and lemon slice and serve. The longer it steeps the stronger the cinnamon, lemon flavor becomes. Y’all know I’m not a huge fan of fru-fru garnishes, but in this instance, I think it really contributes to the flavors.
Enjoy your libations, and...