Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pre-Game Hype


GT standout Calvin Johnson should be a handful this weekend.

ESPN.com writes: What's the biggest matchup of the weekend?

That's easy. It's not LSU-Tennessee, USC-Oregon or even Notre Dame-Washington. It's the matchup of a pair of preseason All-Americans, sophomore wide receiver Calvin Johnson of No. 15 Georgia Tech vs. senior cornerback Jimmy Williams of No. 4 Virginia Tech.

Johnson burst onto the scene a year ago as a big, sure-handed receiver. At 6-4, 225, has the size to post up cornerbacks. Most college corners, anyway -- at 6-3, 212, Williams has size that only a few NFL corners possess. He is a fixture on the Hokies' boundary corner, which means that most quarterbacks have learned to look toward the field.

Both players, as you can imagine, are looking forward to the challenge of facing each other Saturday.

"It's going to be fun," Johnson said. "It will be good competition. I can't say how much I'll be matched up against him. I'm pretty sure I'll see him a lot."

You think? Williams thinks so, too.

"I watched about an hour of film today," Williams said Monday night. "He has great hands. Most of the passes around him, he catches. They tend to lay it up there and try to have him go get it. He's a great receiver, a great playmaker. It will be a a good opportunity to check him throughout the game."

Both players were vague on what may happen. Williams said he didn't know how much the coaches would want him to man up on Johnson and how much he would stick to the boundary.

Johnson said he had studied video to check out Williams' technique, but was coy about revealing what he learned.

"I'm not going to talk about his technique," Johnson said. "He's a big corner who makes plays. He's in the right place at the right time. It's very unusual to play against a corner that size. Most are 5-10, 5-11. I look forward to playing him. It's going to be tough, but I can do it because I've done that before."

Johnson recalled that he only saw Williams on a couple of plays last year, when Virginia Tech came back in the fourth quarter to win, 34-20. Johnson caught four passes for 51 yards, including a 27-yarder.

Both of them look forward to the typical Lane Stadium craziness on Saturday. It's a major ACC game and a big game for two ranked teams. The Williams vs. Johnson matchup will get their attention, too.

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