ATHENS, Ga. - Georgia assistant football coach Tony Ball knew what was coming when junior cornerback Brandon Boykin approached him this week at practice.
"Coach, what's taken so long?" Boykin asked. "When is it going to happen?"
Even the most patient Bulldogs are impatient these days.
Boykin is required to stay calm as the kickoff return specialist, but his 2010 season isn't producing the same results as '09. Last year, the 5-foot-10, 183-pounder from Fayetteville, Ga., set program records with 38 kickoff returns for 988 yards and three touchdowns.
He set an SEC standard by becoming the first to return two kickoffs 100 yards in the same season, but his 10 returns so far this year have produced a long of 39 yards.
"When you have a year like last year, people are going to key on you because they know you can be the difference in the game," Boykin said. "We just have to make adjustments, which I think we're doing. We almost broke one
Odds and ends
Head coach Mark Richt said after Wednesday's practice that senior receiver Kris Durham (neck) continues to work but that he considers him questionable. ... A day after receiver A.J. Green addressed his four-game NCAA suspension for selling a jersey for $1,000, Richt said it would be nice if players received a stipend. "A lot of young men do get some Pell Grant money, and it's not a bad amount," Richt said. "There should be something across the board where everybody could get a little bit more than what they're getting."
last game, so everybody's being pretty optimistic."
Boykin's 39-yard return occurred early in the fourth quarter of the 24-12 loss at Mississippi State, but his first return of the night went just 13 yards.
Ball, who returned kicks for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 1977-80, admits his team has not performed how he would like, but he expected some struggles with so many new faces. He said safeties Jakar Hamilton, Shawn Williams and Alec Ogletree are newcomers on the front line and that his two ends on the back unit, tight end Bruce Figgins and receiver Marlon Brown, are new as well.
"I think Brandon Boykin has done an outstanding job under the circumstances," Ball said. "When we go back and look at things, he sees that it's a block here or proper leverage there. That's the patient part of it. We've got young people out there who care, and once they get it, we'll be fine."