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Cocktail Thursday: Orange Bowl Edition

If your Georgia Bulldogs are in Miami preparing to take on a conference champion with something to prove, all while missing some key contributors, you could probably use a drink. I can help you with that.

Much has been made of Florida State’s avalanche of opt outs leading up to Saturday’s matchup with the Red and Black. And it truly is a lot, even by modern college football standards. As we noted this morning, the Noles will be without their first or second string quarterback, their leading rusher, and their top three receivers. There’s no way that’s good for Mike Norvell.

Georgia on the other hand has gotten a ton of good news on that front. Players like Kamari Lassiter and Javon Bullard, players who have every reason to sit out and protect their health and draft stock have decided to play, to finish what they started. That speaks well of them. It also speaks well of the culture Kirby Smart has built in Athens. There seems to be a pervasive feeling among Georgia fans that the Athenians are playing the Sisters of Mercy B team, and that the 20 point spread currently being offered by DraftKings isn’t enough.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m a little concerned that we’re not concerned enough about this one. I think Georgia will win. But Alex Atkins has done a good job manufacturing points from the Seminole offense this season, and I think he’ll have some wrinkles ready for the Bulldog defense.

But I also believe the UGA defense has a prime opportunity to apply smart pressure to freshman quarterback Brock Glenn, and in the process prevent him from ever really establishing a rhythm. It’s not so much about bringing a ton of pressure, but about smart pressure. Georgia needs to make Glenn believe he’s in mortal danger on every snap without selling out to get pressure. Because if Glenn can survive early pressure and connect on some passes, his confidence is only going to grow.

So what’s the drink for when you want to blitz the Seminoles, but you need to be sophisticated about it?

A Seminole Blitz. It’s a twist on the Aperol Spritz, a classic champagne cocktail. What could be more apropos around New Years than that? You’ll need:

* 2 oz. Aperol

• 3 oz. Champagne or Prosecco

* 12 oz. Lime juice

• 2 oz. of club soda (or enough to top the drink)

• orange slices for garnish

Simply pour Aperol, sparkling wine, and club soda into a wine glass over ice. Garnish with the fresh orange slices in the glass.

The Seminole Blitz is sweet, but not too sweet. Refreshing, but not insubstantial. And you can have two or three without finding yourself running along South Beach and wondering where you got the poncho you’re wearing and why Mark Wahlberg keeps texting you about bringing his car back. It’s enough without being too much. So enjoy your drink, enjoy the game, and…

Go ‘Dawgs!!!