Monte Kiffin: Green as good as Owens, Moss

Game preview: Tennessee vs. Georgia

Tennessee is aware of all the weapons.

Monte Kiffin has praised the accuracy of Georgia quarterback Joe Cox. He's talked about where he'd prefer tight end Orson Charles to be playing this season, and the Vols defensive coordinator is also worried about matching up with receiver Tavarres King.

But no matter how many options the Bulldogs have, there's one threat UT has clearly focused on more than any other - even if it won't actually be giving him extra attention on Saturday.

"I tell you what, (A.J.) Green is something else," Kiffin said. "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.

"I do believe you can double (cover) guys, but I don't think you can (this week). It's hard to do against these guys. We don't plan on doing it because then they just go the other way."

At times the Vols have sounded more than a little envious of Green's ability and what it can do for the Georgia passing game.

UT has nothing remotely resembling the 30 catches for 527 yards and five touchdowns Green has already piled up this season, and though coach Lane Kiffin didn't exactly make a direct comparison between his receivers and one of the best in the country, he hasn't been shy about bringing him up in conversation.

"We need some big plays," Lane Kiffin said. "We need those tough catches to show up. We need guys when the ball is there, and (the play) needs to be made - like A.J. does every game. He makes four or five contested, great plays.

"We're looking for guys to do that."

Of greater concern for the older Kiffin is finding a way to keep Green from doing that to the Vols.

The sophomore hasn't had fewer than four catches in any game yet this season for the Bulldogs, and though UT has been reasonably successful defending the pass, the secondary hasn't unbeatable. And somebody will likely be matching up with Green by himself.

"They've got King on the other side now, and he's really come along," Monte Kiffin said. "They've got other weapons they can go to."

It's no secret which one does the most damage though.

Fast Finish: UT didn't get to kick an extra point, but the fireworks went off anyway and the Vols still celebrated their buzzer-beating touchdown just like any other. It didn't change the outcome in the loss last week to Auburn, but Jonathan Crompton's scoring strike to Denarius Moore did count for something.

"We've been taught to finish," Crompton said. "We never want to quit, we're going to play four quarters, and it's not how you start, it's how you finish."

The Vols could use a little better start though, and the effort through the fourth quarter against the Tigers has at least provided some offensive momentum and reinforced what they can be capable of offensively.

But that's still no guarantee it will carry over to the Bulldogs.

"We just have to come out and play faster, play better at the start of the game and the start of the third quarter," Crompton said. "That's obviously a big key. You always want to win the first five minutes of each half, so we've got to come out and we have to play a little better and go from there.

"You don't win the game in the first quarter, you win it in the fourth. That's really what we've been taught, and it's ingrained in our minds and that's how we play. Obviously we've got to go out there and execute."

Health Nuts: Greg King tested out his injured knee on Thursday, but the freshman linebacker was listed as doubtful for Saturday by Lane Kiffin.

Offensive lineman Vladimir Richard continues to be limited in practice as well, but center Josh McNeil is starting to make progress to perhaps bolster the depth up front. The senior worked out more than he has at any point since undergoing knee surgery before the season.

"We've been able to give him some reps here and there as he battles back, and he's still sore afterwards the more he plays," Lane Kiffin said. "Right now he's in more of an emergency role for us, and that could change, especially with the bye week coming up."

Kicker Daniel Lincoln's sore quadriceps has improved, but UT won't be sure how fit he actually is until warm-ups before the game.

New Chapter: The latest edition of a storied rivalry doesn't figure to have the national impact that usually comes from Georgia and UT. But even with both teams outside of the top 25 heading into the game for the first time since 1937, the Vols are at least expecting plenty of physical impact with the Bulldogs again.

"Well, it's Georgia," linebacker Rico McCoy said. "They're always going to come to play Tennessee, just like we do them.

"It's a big game, it's a rivalry, so it's going to be a physical game. Every year, it never fails."

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Comments » 15

SWAVol writes:

I hope that we get after Cox. Dan Marino could not throw from his back. I hope to be in his face and try to rattle him into a bad throw or turnover.

UTsloV writes:

Ole Monte must have shown up early for Happy Hour.

BigOrange_Vol_2 writes:

Wouldn't it be nice to see Berry come across and hit Green just like Moreno last year, rattle him up and see if he goes for the contested throws again with #14 lurking nearby

DownTheField writes:

Go Vols.

mytrifecta writes:

in response to SWAVol:

I hope that we get after Cox. Dan Marino could not throw from his back. I hope to be in his face and try to rattle him into a bad throw or turnover.

Agree. We've got to break that 2 game streak with no sacks. Cox can be rattled and a few hits that make him remove grass from his facmask is the way to do it.

Mommasboy writes:

Tell Grandpa Monte to put down the cough medicine. AJ Green is nowhere near Moss or Owens. I love how our coaches build up the opposing team like they are amazing the weak before we play them. The fact is we are rebuilding and are very bad and will be next year as well. The truth hurts sometimes. We aren't a top 75 team. We need linemen and receivers and a qb. What if Tyler Bray isn't that great? We are in trouble..

GahLee writes:

he is no Moss or T.O. for that matter...not yet.

And maybe never, say what you will about their personalities, they are Hall of Famers...no question about it.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to Mommasboy:

Tell Grandpa Monte to put down the cough medicine. AJ Green is nowhere near Moss or Owens. I love how our coaches build up the opposing team like they are amazing the weak before we play them. The fact is we are rebuilding and are very bad and will be next year as well. The truth hurts sometimes. We aren't a top 75 team. We need linemen and receivers and a qb. What if Tyler Bray isn't that great? We are in trouble..

"we"? sounds as if your glass is half empty already. Truth is fans like you "we" don't need. ANd Grandpa don't need advice from halfwit fans like you, he crapped more football than you will ever know

6MillionDollarPumpkin writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

crimsonviper writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Fool.

timetofireclk writes:

As many yards as that D has been giving up I would bet that I would look like Moss to them. 2-10 Go Vols.

Tenn_Dawg writes:

AJ is the real deal but like Berry he is only one player and he can only do so much for his team. Tarvares King , the other WR Monte was talking about, is out with a concussion for the UT game. The RB Caleb King is out with a broken jaw and concussion as well. Those injuries hurt but hey its football...right.

For those that wanted to see Marlon get jacked up by Berry...here is the opportunity since Marlon will probably play in King's spot. Of course Marlon could have a good game as well.

UT's Crompton is first in the SEC in INTs thrown. Joe Cox is second behind Johnny. UT's running game is head and shoulders better than UGAs. I boil this game down to one match up......Mike Bobo vs Monte Kiffin. Monte > Bobo. Game, set, match.

seventysevenvol writes:

All the smack talk about Berry shutting down or clobbering AJ Green probably isn't going to happen. 90% of Green's catches have come from outs, hooks, hook n' go's, fades and flies. Rarely does he go across the middle or do slants- he's too valuable. This means the coverage will be concentrated on with our corners. Berry's a safety. He might get involved in some over-under outside the hash coverage, but stop drooling over any constant man on man slobber-knockin' action. AJ Green cannot beat UT alone. Our corners might get stung some, but UT will win this one... I predict by 7-10 points.

mjaichele writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You just pegged the Stupo Meter at a 9.84

US_Army_Vol writes:

in response to Mommasboy:

Tell Grandpa Monte to put down the cough medicine. AJ Green is nowhere near Moss or Owens. I love how our coaches build up the opposing team like they are amazing the weak before we play them. The fact is we are rebuilding and are very bad and will be next year as well. The truth hurts sometimes. We aren't a top 75 team. We need linemen and receivers and a qb. What if Tyler Bray isn't that great? We are in trouble..

Are you Mommas boy or Mommas girl? You're obviously watching completely different games than what I'm seeing. Look, I'm not a big fan of moral victories. In my business, a moral victory leaves you just as dead as a catastrophic loss. Having said that, our record is not indicative of the overall product on the field and it has been a long time since that has been the case. I'm no Kool-Aid drinker, nor have I agreed with every move CLK has made; however, we are an average quaterback (not even a great QB) away from being at worst 4-1 and possiby even 5-0. So, while we may be a long way from being all the way back 1998 style, we are closer than we've been in recent memory and headed in the right direction.

God Bless America (especially my 314th CA crew in Basra..Hooah) and God bless the VOLS

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