Monte Kiffin, Tennessee’s defensive coordinator, reached for the stars when discussing Georgia’s A.J. Green with reporters in Knoxville after practice Thursday.
“I’ll tell you what, Green is something else,” Kiffin was quoted as saying by the Knoxville News Sentinel and utsports.com. “He’s special now. I told our guys this: ‘Terrell Owens in his heyday, Randy Moss, that’s what this guy is.’ You just throw it up and he’ll go get it.”
Kiffin, the longtime NFL defensive mastermind and father of Tennessee’s head coach, added: “I do believe you can double guys, but it’s hard to do against [Georgia]. We don’t plan on doing it, because they’ll just go to the other side.”
He cited Tavarres King as a receiver who has “really come along,” but apparently had not heard that King suffered a concussion last week. Mark Richt has said “it’s very unlikely [King] will travel” to Knoxville. Kiffin also praised the pass-catching abilities of Georgia’s tight ends, Aron White and Orson Charles.
Green, by the way, is well ahead of his stellar 2008 pace. He led the SEC last season with an average of 74.1 receiving yards per game –- and is averaging a league-leading 105.4 yards per game this season. He caught eight touchdown passes last season and already has caught five this year.
– I was talking with Brandon Boykin a couple of days ago about his upcoming first trip to Tennessee’s large, loud, 100,000-seat Neyland Stadium.
“The only experience I’ve had with it is on video game,” said Boykin, Georgia’s sophomore cornerback.. “It’s always, like, the loudest stadium in the video game. I’m sure it’ll be like that in real life. I’m looking forward to it.”
Boykin, by the way, minced no words in discussing his bad decision to run an interception out of the end zone in the first quarter last week. He was tackled, as you know, on the 2-yard line.
“I should have kneeled with it; that’s as simple as it gets,” he said. “Initially, I thought I saw an opening. A couple of my teammates were telling me to get down, which I didn’t see, and some of the LSU players were engaging on me. I shouldn’t have brought it out. I should have kneeled.
“That’s my fault, totally. I take responsibility for that. It’s a learning experience, and I’ll get better from that, I’m sure. . . . It might have made a difference in the game. Little things like that can help win the game.”
– And finally, a couple of stats that might prove pertinent on Saturday:
Tennessee is the least penalized team in the SEC at 28.8 yards per game. Georgia is the second most penalized team in the league (74.6 yards per game), having yielded last place in that category to Arkansas (77.5).
Georgia remains last in the league in turnover margin (minus-9) by a wide margin. Tennessee is ninth at minus-4.