Does anybody think Tennessee has a chance against Georgia? Maybe the folks that still have the wool covering their eyes, somehow. Reality is, life isn’t great right now for Tennessee fans. Arrest videos, ugly shoes, and second-year coaches on the hot seat are all bad. But the dark, inescapable cloud of looming defeat following us all around just feels worse.
I can only assume alcohol sales have been through the roof around Knoxville the past few weekends, and this weekend probably won’t be any different.
Here’s a drinking game to help you get through the game on Saturday night. Hopefully, none of us will remember it come Sunday morning:
1. If Tennessee gets a sack or a tackle for loss, take a shot.
Let’s just jump right in here. Georgia’s offensive line is really good. Tennessee’s front seven is not as good. Youth, injuries, and coaching are to blame for that.
With that said, Tennessee probably won’t be in Georgia’s backfield very often tomorrow night. BUT if they do manage to get there, it should be cause for celebration. Shots!
2. If a Tennessee receiver breaks 100 receiving yards, take a drink for every yard over 100 they get.
Tennessee hasn’t had a 100-yard receiver in an SEC game since Jauan Jennings posted 102 against Alabama last year. In the five SEC games since, there has only been one or two instances of someone getting close. If it wasn’t for Jennings’ effort against Georgia State to open the year, Tennessee would have gone almost an entire calendar year without a 100-yard receiver. Yikes.
Again, there are a lot of different root causes for this, but there’s no sense in examining them. They probably won’t be fixed by Saturday night, anyway. And this is a drinking game after all, so let’s just hope for the best. And, if the best becomes reality, we get another excuse to drink.
3. If Tennessee shows signs of life in the 1st quarter, take a drink.
If my calculations are correct (they always are, don’t bother double-checking) Tennessee has been outscored 82-13 in the first quarter against SEC opponents since Jeremy Pruitt took over last season.
It always seems like Tennessee gets off to a slow start. Even dating back to the Butch Jones days, it seemed like Tennessee could never play a full game from start to finish. If they started slow, they finished hot. If they started hot, they finished slow. Seems like they still have that same issue.
If, by some miracle, Tennessee gets off to a hot start, get to drinking. That way, you’re less likely to care when they inevitably can’t finish the game the way they started.
4. “HEY, DID YOU KNOW ELI WOLF USED TO PLAY FOR TENNESSEE?” Take a drink.
Now he is at hated rival Georgia, and playing better than he ever did during his time at Tennessee. Did you know he was also one of the players Tennessee took to SEC Media Days last year? For any other program, those three facts would be ridiculous and infuriating for fans. But at Tennessee, it’s just par for the course.
Last year we had “HEY DID YOU KNOW CADE MAYS IS FROM KNOXVILLE?”, which was also a ridiculous situation. This year, we can hear about Wolf. If you want to play on hard mode, you can drink whenever you hear either name.
Finally, when Wolf inevitably scores his first touchdown of the year, just go ahead and accept that, as a Tennessee fan, you will never know happiness on Saturdays ever again. Alexa, play Mad World.
5. Dobbnail Boot? Take a drink.
Was this the most recent moment of elation we’ve had in Tennessee football history? It was three years ago, but I can’t think of anything else, since. It’s highly likely they’ll show it or at least mention it on the broadcast, just because that was the last interesting moment in this series.
Toast to the good times and get a good rip of whatever you’re sipping on.
6. If Jarrett Guarantano starts, finishes, and doesn’t get benched the entire game, take a shot.
Let’s face it, there is no possible way this happens. . .right? Guarantano, for all of the punishment and effort he’s gone through, has somehow regressed this season from last season. I think most Tennessee fans want him to succeed as well.
But, this season has been rough on him. Missing open throws, taking risks at the wrong time, not taking risks at the right time, hitting defensive players right in the numbers. It’s all been a mess.
Fortunately, it looks like Pruitt and staff are starting to catch on to Guarantano’s struggles of late, and they’ve started to anticipate backups seeing the field.
That said, it’ll probably be a long night if JG is the only quarterback to see the field. Just skip to liquor for your nightcap is that’s the case.
7. Every time the broadcast or someone you’re with mentions Mark Richt or Nick Saban, take a drink.
This is another one from last year. And since time is a flat circle, we’re going to include it again.
Neither Saban nor Richt is coaching in this game. Yet both of their paths have, at some point, crossed with both Pruitt and Kirby Smart. And Lord knows, the researchers and talking heads over at ESPN are salivating at their chance to mention Saban whenever they get the chance. Richt will also be in the fold since his fingerprints are still on the Georgia program.
It’s not an interesting connection, but it was brought up at least twice last year on the broadcast. It’ll probably happen again. Keep your drink nearby.
8. Miscommunication on defense for Tennessee? Take a drink.
Ah, yes, the hallmark of this 2019 Tennessee team: miscommunications.
Can you think of a game this season that hasn’t been altered greatly by at least one defensive communication? The big one is obviously the Alontae Taylor lapse at the end of the BYU game, but every game this season has had them. Even against UTC, there was more than one.
It’s to the point, now, that miscommunications are to be expected. And that isn’t good. It is, in fact, bad. Very bad. Take two drinks if the miscommunication ends with a long touchdown for Georgia.
9. Know somebody going? Pour some out. Are you going? Enjoy your $12 drink.
At the time this is being written, it doesn’t look like tickets are too expensive. At least for a night kickoff Tennessee-Georgia game. The cheapest tickets to get into the upper deck are starting at about $60.
Still, I couldn’t imagine sitting in Neyland watching Tennessee get boat-raced by Georgia when I could be at a bar with friends or sitting on my couch at home watching the same game. Odds are, some poor soul you know is going to the game. They will probably be miserable at some point, so pour one out for them in memoriam. Extra points if you meet them outside of the stadium during the third quarter with a drink for them. You’re a real pal.
Going to the game? Enjoy your $12 Miller Lite, you masochist.
10. If Tennessee covers the 25.5 point spread, throw a damn party. Take multiple shots and drink more than once.
Let’s face it, this isn’t very likely. 25 points is a lot, sure. But the way Tennessee has been playing this year and the way Georgia is playing this year, this one could get ugly.
On the other hand, though, if Tennessee covers, it probably means they put up a noble effort and showed much needed signs of improvement. If this winds up being something like a 14-point game when it’s all said and done, there would probably be some optimism going into Mississippi State week. Just keeping it close with Georgia at this point would be nice.
Would that be a moral victory? 100 percent. Are moral victories better than no victories at all? 95 percent.
Results aside, please be safe this weekend and drink responsibly. Don’t drink and drive, either.
And most importantly, Go Vols!