AU Receiver Eager To Show What He's Got

Junior Courtney Taylor is excited about opening night as his Tigers take on Georgia Tech.

Auburn, Ala.--As kickoff for the 2005 season inches closer and closer for the Auburn football team, receiver Courtney Taylor says he is looking forward to matching up against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday.

Although Taylor won't be on the field at the same time as Tech's 6-4 true sophomore phenom receiver Calvin Johnson, he says he hopes to steal the spotlight in the battle of play-making receivers.

"I want to show him up," the redshirt junior says of Johnson. "He's a younger guy, too. I've got to show him that the older guy still has the edge."

Taylor was Auburn's top receiver last season.

Taylor caught 43 balls for 737 yards and six touchdowns while leading the Tigers in receiving in 2004. Johnson used his height and athletic ability to snag 48 passes for 837 and seven scores on his way to being named 2004 ACC Freshman of the Year.

"I really haven't seen him much, but I did watch one game with (Auburn linebacker) Karibe Dede," Taylor notes. "The guy impresses. You can't take anything from him--he is good and he is probably one of the best receivers in the nation."

Another matchup Taylor is looking forward to on Saturday is the sell-out blitzing schemes of the Yellow Jackets, which could leave him going against man-to-man coverage. In Tech's 17-3 victory over Auburn in Atlanta in 2003, Taylor caught eight passes for 73 yards, but his personal success didn't translate into team success.

"It was rough," he says of the 2003 debacle in Atlanta. "It was tough. Those guys came out and took it to us and that is basically it. They beat us to the punch, but we're ready for them this time. We scored what, three points? We barely got out of there with our lives. We're looking forward to playing these guys again."

This time, under a new offensive system, Taylor says that playing against a constant blitz may be in the Tigers' favor.

"You have got to love it," he says. "Those guys blitz on every down possible. If we had a fifth down they would blitz on that down, too. You have got to love that because you know you have single coverage on you and it's going to be tough for those guys to hold all four of our receivers."


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