ATHENS –- As high school seniors in the fall of 2007, Patrick Peterson and A.J. Green were rated the nation's No. 1 cornerback and No. 2 wide receiver, respectively, by Scout.com.
Two years later, LSU's Peterson and Georgia's Green continue to draw accolades, and their matchup is a compelling feature of Saturday's game.
"I think certainly there will be a time when that matchup will be key," LSU coach Les Miles said Wednesday.
LSU's secondary figures to present Green's biggest challenge of the season, largely because of Peterson -– a 6-foot-1 sophomore celebrated for his speed, athleticism and ball skills -- and Chad Jones, a 6-foot-3 junior who Miles said "plays with as much passion and want and anticipation of big plays as any safety I've been around."
Peterson returned an interception for a touchdown last week against Mississippi State, and Jones has two picks this season. The other starters in LSU's secondary, cornerback Chris Hawkins and safety Brandon Taylor, have one and two interceptions, respectively.
Georgia coach Mark Richt said LSU's secondary matches up against the 6-foot-4 Green better than any opponent so far this season. "They match up in that they are talented but also [in that] they are bigger men," Richt said.
Green welcomes the test. "I like big challenges like that," he said. "That brings my game to a different level."
Boykin misses practice
UGA starting cornerback Brandon Boykin missed practice Wednesday.
"He doesn't feel good, but we think he'll practice [today]," Richt said. "We think he'll be fine. He's ill. I'll just say he's ill, how about that?"
Richt said he expects Boykin to play Saturday.
Boykin was on the practice field Wednesday but not dressed in pads. He wasn't available for comment afterward.
Miles' first visit to Athens
Saturday will bring a new experience for Miles. "I've never been to Athens and never played between the hedges," he said.
He said he got a scouting report on Sanford Stadium from his defensive coordinator, John Chavis, who was on Tennessee's staff for two decades.
"He said it's a great environment, and he said it's very much like the other great SEC venues, and it's loud and fun," Miles said. "And he said, ‘You'll really enjoy it.' I can't wait."
LSU is 0-2 against Georgia under Miles, losing to the Bulldogs in Baton Rouge last year and in the 2005 SEC Championship Game in the Georgia Dome. Georgia is the only SEC team that Miles has not beaten as LSU coach.
Staff writer Ken Sugiura and correspondent Lee Feinswog contributed to this article.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.