Groves Returns Home a Winner

Mississippi native Quentin Groves discusses Auburn's victory at Ole Miss.

Oxford, Miss.--Quentin Groves can always have fond memories of his final play as a college football player in his home state of Mississippi.

The junior from Greenville put Ole Miss quarterback Eric Schaeffer on the artificial green turf of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with an assist from Marquies Gunn to close Saturday's 23-17 Auburn victory over the Ole Miss Rebels.

Groves, who was credited with four tackles in the game, said, "It is just funny to me because every time I come down here I have to wait to the fourth quarter and then I get a sack. It couldn't come at a better time. Marquies did a great job of making him step up and flushing him to me."

Groves said the defensive ends had a goal of keeping Ole Miss QB Brent Schaeffer from beating them with big running and passing plays by getting on the corner of the Auburn defense.

Schaeffer hit 8-16 passes for 161 yards and one TD and was intercepted by Eric Brock and Aairon Savage in the third quarter. He ran the ball seven times for minus 19 yards.

"I think we did a great job of containing him," Groves said. "We stressed all week we had to contain. We did a great job of keeping him in the pocket whether it was bull-rushing the tackle or collapsing the pocket up front.

"We did a great job where he didn't just turn the corner," Groves noted. "If you notice from watching the film, all of his big plays are when he rolls out of the pocket. He had to step up rather than roll out."

Auburn improved its 2006 record to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the SEC with the victory over the Rebels. The Tigers are now 8-1 all-time in games played on the Ole Miss campus.

Groves said the defensive effort by his Tigers was far from perfect. "There are still a lot of things we need to work on," he said. "I know I gave up a pass to the tight end for the touchdown in the back of the end zone."

In addition to stressing containment, the defensive theme was to cause turnovers. Head coach Tommy Tuberville that the two interceptions by his team in the third quarter were big. Groves agrees.

"Anytime you take the ball out of the other team's hands and give it back to your offense, that does wonders for your team, Groves said. "You get to shorten the field where the offense doesn't have to work as much and you get to rest the defense. Eric Brock and Aairon Savage came through with two big plays. Those are things we knew they could do it all year and they just stepped up and did it.

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