Another Homecoming For Groves

Auburn (7-1, 4-1) defensive end Quentin Groves talks about his team's return to the SEC and his home state.

Auburn, Ala.--Junior defensive end Quentin Groves, a Greenville, Miss., native, will be making his last visit to his home state of the Magnolia for a college football game as the Tigers travel to Oxford to play the 2-6 Ole Miss Rebels at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

With Mississippi State and Ole Miss traveling to Auburn next season, this will be Groves' final chance to play in front of the home-state folks.

"It's going to be a memorable game," he says. "I want to make it a memorable game, but it's going to be hard chasing Brent Schaeffer around and trying to get (BenJarvus) Green-Ellis on the ground. I want to make it as memorable of a game as possible.

"I've got a couple of friends over there," Groves adds. "Trumaine McBride, Mico McSwain, Marcus Cohen, Robert Hough."

The Rebels have a pair of talented players in Schaeffer and Green-Ellis, but they have been relatively unsuccessful at moving the football. They are last in the league in passing offense, last in total offense and last in scoring offense despite Green-Ellis leading the SEC with 706 yards rushing.

"We have to come in and stop him," Groves says of the Rebel tailback. "If we stop him then we can force them to do something that they don't like to do, which is pass. We watched some film on them. They're a real big power O team. They love to run the power, they run a lot of bootlegs and capitalize on Schaeffer's speed. Green-Ellis is a guy that's not going to outrun many people, but he can hit it between the tackles and get five to six yards. He's a very strong back from what we're seen on film."

Groves takes down Lester Ricard.

Groves and fellow end Marquies Gunn will be responsible for doing a better job of getting pressure on Schaeffer than they did against Tulane QB Lester Ricard. If the Tigers can slow Green-Ellis and keep Schaeffer from making big plays with his legs, the Auburn defense will have a good chance of being successful against the Rebels. Schaeffer has thrown just five touchdowns compared to eight interceptions this season.

"We were just joking in film study," Groves says. "I asked Marquies how many sacks he had. He said he had four and I said I had six or seven. He was like, ‘I'm more of a run stopper.' Whatever. Marquies is a get after it kind of guy. We know when it's time to get to the quarterback. That's the thing we try to pride ourselves on is that you can't sit back there and hold the ball for long."

With three sacks against Florida and another against Tulane, Groves now leads the SEC in sacks this season with seven. Known mostly as a speed rusher, he has tried to add a more physical side and it was evident against Tulane with his bull rush move that put the Tulane right tackle on his rear on a third down from the Auburn 14 in the third quarter.

"Being a pass rusher you have to be sort of a like a pitcher," Groves explains. "You feed him a fastball, fastball, fastball. Just when he thinks a fastball is coming you throw him a curve. That's what I did. I speed rushed him twice and I had him sitting. He was thinking, ‘Okay I've got to get out of here because he's going to speed rush me.' On my fourth step I planted and went into him because I knew he was going crossed over and running. So I bull rushed him, went into him and he fell. I was that close to getting a sack.

Auburn leads the series vs. Ole Miss 22-7 and has won two straight games vs. the Rebels, including a 27-3 victory last fall.

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