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Auburn DE Quentin Groves: Sack Happy


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From the Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer...

Sack happy

Auburn defensive end Groves within one sack of school record

BY CHRISTA TURNER - turnerc@ledger-enquirer.com --

786-0904_groves300.embedded.prod_affiliate.70.jpg

AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst

AUBURN, Ala. --

All game long, Quentin Groves said he felt the jitters.

Auburn's star defensive end couldn't put his finger on why he was so nervous. He also felt like he wasn't doing enough in the early stages of the game.

"I knew I could beat their guys. I felt like I wasn't trying hard enough," Groves said

But as the game against Kansas State went along, Groves said things started to change. A different emotion took charge.

Anger? No, that wasn't it, he said.

It was frustration which finally helped accelerate his play.

"I gave up that touchdown in the back of the end zone," Groves said, referring to Kansas State's trick play.

Groves lost his man, running back Leon Patton, when Wildcat quarterback Josh Freeman tossed a pass to receiver Jordy Nelson along the line of scrimmage. It was an "uh-oh" moment for Groves when he saw a pass being lofted to Patton into the end zone. That touchdown gave the Wildcats a lead over the Tigers, forcing Auburn to play catchup.

Groves found a way for redemption with Auburn holding a precarious 3-point lead. He laid a vicious hit on Freeman which jarred the ball loose. His fellow end, Antonio Coleman, scooped the ball and raced 34 yards for a touchdown that sealed the win.

"I got frustrated when I gave up the touchdown," Groves said. "I was like, 'OK Q, gotta make up for it.' That's what I did. I thank god I had the sack that caused the fumble."

Defensive ends coach Terry Price said he watched Groves -- along with all the ends -- take their play to a higher level as the game progressed.

"I think overall, the whole group got stronger," Price said. "You've got to finish strong."

Groves sack was his second of the game, bringing him a step closer to breaking Auburn's career sacks record. He has 25, just one shy of the record held by Gerald Robinson, and he's aware of where he stands in the record books.

He'll get his first crack at tying the record on Saturday when the Tigers host an athletic, speedy South Florida Bulls team. That game, slated for a 9:15 p.m. kickoff, will be televised on ESPN2.

"It crosses my mind, but I know we still have to go out and play," Groves said. "South Florida is a great team and has a great offense."

Groves' game against Kansas State earned him Southeastern Conference defensive lineman of the week honors. He finished with five tackles -- three for a loss -- and two sacks, as well as the forced fumble. Still, that's not good enough for Groves.

"I could have pass rushed a little more efficiently," Groves said. "If I had used my hands a little better, I would have had more sacks. I would have had like two or three more."

Price liked what he saw from his 6-foot-3, 254-pound senior, but wants to see even more.

"He didn't play the perfect game," Price said. "He made mistakes, but he's playing hard, trying to be more physical and obviously, he made some plays for us when we needed some plays made."

Maybe that will ease his jitters.

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What will they say if George Selvie out-sacks Groves?

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"It crosses my mind, but I know we still have to go out and play," Groves said. "South Florida is a great team and has a great offense."

I love the respect... but he obviously wasn't watching replays of the elon game ;) 

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This kids is a beast off the edge and we are gunna have to scheme our blocking around him.  I really don't think we have a tackle that can block him 1 on 1 consistently.  I expect to see Ben Williams in on most passing downs and chipping and helping the tackle hes lined up over. 

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"It crosses my mind, but I know we still have to go out and play," Groves said. "South Florida is a great team and has a great offense."

I love the respect... but he obviously wasn't watching replays of the elon game ;) 

I'm sure he was watching tape of last season.  ;)

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i hope our o-line is up for the challenge, and i hope they are healthy enough for it too!

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I wouldn't bother me at all to see a TE stay in on his side during passing downs

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I wouldn't bother me at all to see a TE stay in on his side during passing downs

Cedric Hill does a great job blocking... maybe he and Dile can tag team Groves and keep him shut out.

Remember, USF stifled Elivs Dumervil from Louisville 2 yrs ago. Came in as the nation's sack leader, left with zero sacks in the game.

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