Welcome to A Sea of Blue's virtual tailgate, Georgia Bulldogs edition. Today, the 'Cats head down to Georgia looking for a game to steal. They are in a bind, and way behind, and ready for a painful ordeal.
So with that miserable shout out to Charlie Daniels, today's tailgate will focus on local Georgia favorites since we are playing down between the hedges in Athens, Georgia today. Obviously, with the Dawgs apparently headed to an SEC East championship and Kentucky in the big-time doldrums, it's hard to figure the Wildcats as a likely winner here. But UK and UGA have been surprisingly competitive the last few years regardless of the location of the game, so there is always some hope that the Wildcats are some kind of cosmic or karmic burden for the 'Dawgs.
Kind of makes sense, right? Cats. Dogs. All that. Let's eat, we'll talk football after that.
First, the cocktail. Today's liquor of choice will be:
Now, you know that if we have SoCo, we must be offering this:
Yep. The Slow Comfortable Screw. Gotta have one.
The beer of choice?
Cold, of course. The Camels and Marlboros are optional.
Of course, we have Co-Colas for those of you that don't care for alcohol.
Georgia has no "cuisine" as such -- they are the home of the South, the Heart of Dixie. In honor of that, we'll be offering southern favorites for our tailgate today.
When I think of the South, the first food group that comes to mind is "fried __________," and today, that's what we'll be serving. So make sure you take your Lipitor and have your heart specialist on speed dial, because we're taking "unhealthy" to a whole new level today.
For our appetizer? What else but:
Yeah, fried green tomatoes, a southern favorite from the Carolinas to Mississippi.
Now, y'all know how big barbecue is in the South, so we went to the trouble of spitting up a whole pig last night, and to make it easy for tailgating, we've pulled the pork and brought it with us for these:
Barbecue pulled pork sandwich. Sure to cut 5 years off your life, but when you die, you'll die with a smile on your face.
Be sure not to forget the coleslaw on there, you need that.
What to have for sides? Well, I said fried, and I meant fried:
Fried okra, baby! That's the only way I can really stomach okra, but man, that stuff is good fried.
Our last side is an easy favorite:
Black eyed peas. Not just for New Years anymore.
Finally, for desert, the one thing that we all know of that Georgians are particularly proud of:
Peach cobbler anyone? Don't lie, you know your mouth is watering like crazy right now.
Okay, now that we're fed, to the ball game
Kentucky is really banged up right now. We know about Morgan Newton, Raymond Sanders and Josh Clemons, but now the defense has been hit hard as well with starters Martavious Neloms and Ridge Wilson likely out for this game. Given the current state of Kentucky's game, they can ill afford any losses at all, particularly against the East leading Bulldogs on the road, but it is what it is.
About the only real weakness I can see in the Dawgs defensively is that they are only mid-pack against the pass, so that probably means that UK will be throwing the ball a lot today and hoping for big plays. If the line can find a way to open holes in the formidable Georgia d-line, at least enough to keep them honest, this could be effective. But as we saw last week versus the Vanderbilt Commodores, the road is a different environment for young quarterbacks like Maxwell Smith.
On the other side of the ball, Aaron Murray has been very efficient passing the football this year and is second in the league to Tyler Wilson of Arkansas. His favorite targets are Orson Charles and Tavares King, and given that we'll have a second-stringer starting in the defensive backfield, that bodes particularly ill for the Wildcats today.
In the end, this is a real tough spot for this young and struggling Kentucky team. They have simply not had the horsepower this year to create big plays on offense, and the defense has gotten progressively less confident and more porous as the year goes on.
But with all that said, we have to play the football game, and the better we play today, the better our chances of ending that 26-game losing streak to Tennessee next week in the season finale. Technically, Kentucky could still get bowl eligible by knocking off Georgia and then beating the Vols next week, but if I were you, I'd get used to the idea that next week is our bowl game with the chance to knock off our vulnerable arch-foe and end that stupid streak.