As the Knights continue to prepare for the Liberty Bowl Game on December 31stone of the big questions in the game will be can the Knights slow down one of college football’s most dangerous players in Georgia’s star junior wide receiver A.J.Green.
Green is regarded as best wide receiver in College Football and is expected to play his final game for Georgia at Liberty Bowl before declaring himself for the NFL Draft where he is expected to be the first wide receiver taken in the draft. Green leads the Bulldogs with 49 catches for 771 yards and nine touchdowns in just eight games. Green missed first four games of the season as Green was suspended by the NCAA for selling last year’s bowl jersey. The suspension cost Green any chance of competing for the Heisman Trophy and Biletnikoff award that goes to best wide out in college football before the season even got started. However Green is still regarded as best receiver to play at the next level. Green was missed as Georgia went 1-3 in his absence averaging 24 points per game and if you take away Georgia opening day win over inferior opponent La-Lafayette. Georgia averaged 14 points per game in the 3 losses without Green. With Green back Georgia went 5-3 averaging 39.2 points per game and in Georgia 3 losses with Green, Georgia still averaged 29.3 points per game.
“We averaged a lot more points with him than without him, that’s for sure.” Said Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt on impact of Green on the offense. “But everybody got better as we went along. We also had a freshman quarterback playing with Aaron Murray. But A.J. definitely had a big part in that jump in point production when he got back in the fold.”
The Knights will turn to sophomore Cornerback Josh Robinson to cover Green for most of the game. Robinson had six interceptions in his freshman season in 2009 only had two in 2010 but saved his best game for his last game as in C-USA Championship Game against SMU, Robinson was tested against SMU Passing game and responded with seven tackles, had two key pass break ups and Interception that halted a SMU Drive deep in UCF Territory and help UCF prevail 17-7 to win C-USA Championship and a trip to Memphis. “Green is a great receiver with great hands and he runs good routes.” Said Robinson about Green who will best player UCF sees all season. “He just got that playmaking ability. Like a lot of players I know he’s great talent, but I’ll be ready for the challenge.”
This season UCF faced against 2 wide outs with similar talents in East Carolina’s Dwayne Harris and Southern Miss’s DeAndre Brown. Harris had a big game against the Knights catching 9 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown while Brown who was less than 100 percent going into UCF Game with a lower leg injury still caught 3 passes for 66 yards and touchdown. Knights defense gave up 35 points to East Carolina and 31 to Southern Miss in splitting those games with win over ECU, and loss to So Miss. Brown is 6 foot 6 239 pounds while Harris is 6 feet 205 pounds. Green is 6 foot 4 212 pounds who according to Mel Kiper Jr is rated as the 3rdbest player in next year draft behind only Clemson defensive end Da’ Quan Bowers and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
Expect Georgia to get Green involved early as Green will want to use this game as a showcase game for NFL Draft while UCF may not be able to stop Green if they can contain Green and get help from their offense in keeping Green and Georgia Offense off the field then it will be Robinson and the Knights stock that will end up going up at the end of the Liberty Bowl.
News and Notes
- UCF been practicing working twice a day with walk-through sessions in the morning and practice in the afternoons. The Knights will take two days off for Christmas, practice again on Sunday before flying out to Memphis on December 27th.
- Wednesday Night, WSB Channel 2 in Atlanta News-Sports Director Zack Klein reported that two sources told him that Green will indeed turn pro following Liberty Bowl. For more on story go herehttp://www.wsbtv.com/sports/26248706/detail.html Klein ironically previously worked in Orlando market for WFTV Channel 9 Sports Team from 2003-2008 and covered UCF Football including traveling to Knights Bowl Games in 2005 Hawaii Bowl and Liberty Bowl in 2007 before going to Atlanta.
- Knights Coaches recruited last week before the dead period started and had success as Knights got one of top junior college defensive end in Cameron Henderson who has signed on to play for Knights in 2011 as first reported by UCFSports.com. ” I just felt comfortable with the whole coaching staff when I went down there and the enviorment of the school.” Henderson told UCFSports.com’s Brandon Helwig. ” I thought it was the best place for me.” Henderson had offers from other schools including USF, Texas Tech, and Arizona and is rated as a 3 star defensive end according to Rivals. For more information on Henderson as well as updates on UCF Football recruiting and other UCF Athletics recruiting news and updates go check out UCFSports.com for the best in depth coverage in recruiting.
- 29- That is how many catches Kris Durham has for Georgia which is good enough for 2nd on the team behind Green 49 receptions. Durham also is second on team to Green with 612 yards and 3 touchdowns.
- 26% of Georgia’s Freshman quarterback Aaron Murray completions have gone to Green this season while 27% of Murray passing yards have gone to Green. Murray has thrown 24 touchdown passes with 9 of them have gone to Green which amounts to 37% of Murray TD Passes.