Groves Blanks Bulldogs

Defensive end Quentin Groves put pressure put constant pressure on Mississippi State quarterback Tray Rutland.

Starkville, Miss.--Defensive end Quentin Groves owns bragging rights for another year over his home-state friends at Mississippi State. The junior defensive end is 3-0 against the Bulldogs, 4-0 including his redshirt season, and Auburn has won the last six in the series.

"Coach told me that I had to calm down before we came out for the first half," Groves says. "He said, ‘Q, calm down or you're going to lose all of your energy.' I calmed down and took some Gatorade."

Groves, who played his high school ball at Greenville (Miss.) High School had "something like 30" family members in attendance, most of whom hadn't seen him play in person since his prep days.

He says he's still friends with many players on the MSU squad. "(WR) Omarr (Conner), (WR) Joey Sanders, (TE) Eric Butler, (DL) Anthony Johnson, the list goes on and on. Whenever Omarr keeps his phone on I talk to him."

Groves got one sack against the Bulldogs and nearly had many more. Although it doesn't show up on the stat sheet, he was a big part of the reason with his pass rush why Auburn held MSU quarterback Tray Rutland to 12-25 passing for just 82 yards and a shutout.

"It's always special," he says of blanking the Bulldogs. "Any time you can get a shutout is great, but once you get the shutout in the SEC it's even better. We came with the mindset that we have to be physical and just play our defense."

Groves celebrating the blocked field goal.

In the fourth quarter the shutout was almost broken up after a Robert Dunn muffed punt. However, fellow end Marquies Gunn shot through the line and blocked it preserving Auburn's second shutout of the Dawgs in the last two years.

"He fit the guy up and we knew they were soft inside," Groves says of his teammate. "We knew going into the game that we could block a field goal on them. We came in, shot our hands and did our thing."

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