Groves Seeking Victory and More Respect

Auburn sophomore Quinton Groves discusses Saturday's big SEC West showdown vs. LSU.

Auburn, Ala.--Nobody gave Auburn a tougher battle during its 13-0 SEC Championship season last year than LSU.

One of the key players on the Auburn defense, sophomore end Quinton Groves, says he is again expecting to face a very tough opponent when his Tigers take on LSU on Saturday night in Baton Rouge.

Kickoff is set for 6:45 p.m. at Tiger Stadium for a game that is being televised on ESPN.

Groves and his fellow defensive linemen will face a big, talented and experienced offensive line that features three senior starters. The Auburn sophomore is impressed.

"They are really good, probably the best one we have faced so far," Groves says of the LSU front. "They come off the ball really hard for the run and they can pass protect better than I thought they could."

Groves will also have to face blocks from the LSU tight ends and he notes that are big and physical, too. "One is 260 and one is 270," he says.

Auburn will be trying to improve its SEC record to 4-0 while LSU will be looking go to 4-1 in the league. The home team is a touchdown favorite in a stadium where they have an 11-5-1 all-time record in games vs. Auburn, including a 41-7 whipping put on the visitors two years ago.

Auburn hasn't lost an SEC game, home or road, since later in that 2003 season when the Tigers fell at Georgia. If Coach Tommy Tuberville's team can win this week, they will be able to tie the school record for consecutive SEC victories set during the 1993 and 1994 seasons.

A win in Baton Rouge would also likely help the Tigers climb in the polls if they could defeat seventh-ranked LSU on its homefield. AU is ranked 15th and 16th this week after falling out of the Top 25 after a disappointing opening night loss to Georgia Tech.

Groves helped the Tigers win their SEC opener vs. Mississippi State. The defensive end notes that a poor performance in the opener vs. Georgia Tech on national television is a big reason for the lack of respect this year. "We had our fair chance just like Georgia Tech did. We made our bed and now we have to lay in it. We hope to get better every week and hope to let the computers do whatever they do.

"Once you get on national television, it is a great chance to show what you can," Groves adds. "In games like the Arkansas game, or the Ball State and Western Kentucky games, not many people around the country could see that we have gotten better week by week. This week's game could do that."

However, winning in Baton Rouge isn't going to be easy. Groves is well aware of that.

"We have to go down there and play as a team," he says. "We can't go down with the offense and defense and leave the kicking game here or we can't down there with the kicking game and offense and leave the defensive game. We have to go down with all three phases of our game playing well and if we do that there is no doubt that we can give them a run. They are a great team. We just have to bring all three phases of our game if we hope to compete with them."


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