Minter's big play big gives defense momentum

ATHENS – Going into this spring's football drills, Willie Martinez didn't know which cornerback would start opposite Tim Jennings.

Good thing for Martinez that it did not take long for DeMario Minter to separate himself from the rest of the cornerbacks opposite Jennings. Minter, who knew it was now or never last spring, locked down the starting spot following the annual G-Day contest and has never looked back.

He cemented himself in the starting line up, and perhaps made a name for himself, when he stopped South Carolina quarterback Dondrel Pinkins on a fourth-and-one play inside the Georgia 20 yard line. The play broke South Carolina's back, but it also put Minter in the limelight as a playmaker.

"As soon as we were down, I could tell he didn't have the first down," said Minter. "Big hits elevate the team – they pick up our intensity." Jarvis Jackson and Danny Verdun-Wheeler helped Minter knock Pinkins over before he got a first down.

But the big hit probably won't do too much for Minter and his fellow secondary members this weekend against quick throwing Marshall. The Thundering Herd gave Ohio State all it could handle last week before the Buckeyes won on a 55-yard field goal with time running out. Minter says Marshall's style is similar to what Florida has done to Georgia recently.

"They are going to nickel and dime you down the field," said Minter of Marshall's offense. "They have some nice receivers; I think you saw that against Ohio State. I think everyone in the secondary knows what they can do."

Marshall's offensive game plan is totally different than South Carolina and Georgia Southern's primarily rushing attacks. The Thundering Herd like to throw it early and often. The adjustment might take some getting used to for Minter and company.

Marshall has thrown the ball 63 times this season, but only for 292 yards a game, thus Minter's reference to "dink and dunking down the field". But the dink and dunk has worked on the Bulldogs before – Troy Williamson scored the Gamecock's only offensive touchdown on a short pass from Pinkins last Saturday, and Florida has made a living on it against the Dawgs of late. But it's a Big Ten school that reminds Minter of Marshall.

"Bubble screens, yeah we'll see that. They are along the lines of the Purdue offense," said Minter. "But we adjusted to Purdue at the half."

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