Mike Jenkins 'Focused to Win the BIG EAST!'

This week we got a chance to talk with USF cornerback Mike Jenkins. Read on to get his thoughts on the Loss at Rutgers, the upcoming game at UCONN, and the Bulls focus on winning the BIG EAST. Only on USFNation.com. Get it First, Get it Fast!

Mike Jenkins

 

What's your mind set after the Rutgers' game?

"Just get past it and get ready for Connecticut."

 

How frustrating was it when Rutgers got off that fake field goal?

"It was really frustrating, when the game was decided primarily on special teams. It was frustrating but you have to let it go and move on."

 

Why has Ray Rice been so hard for you guys to defend the past three years?

"Honestly, I couldn't tell you, he's a great running back. We have to tackle him. We were out there trying to make big hits and he was bouncing off. I think that's how it has been for the last few years. Everybody thinks they have that right tackle but he just bounces out and gets away from you."

 

Is his lack of height an advantage for him?

"Oh yeah, he's a power back and he's really short. He's a compact dude and runs really tough. It's hard to get low and make that kind of tackle."

 

Now that you guys lost the number two ranking, is there less pressure or more pressure on you guys?

"Probably a little bit of both because of the simple fact that people were saying that we were going to fall off towards the end of the year. We're just trying to maintain our wins and maintain where we are at right now."

 

Not that you need to be humbled, but do you think this loss is going to help you?

"I think it will help us in the long run simply because nobody likes losing and we were on a winning streak and everybody had the winning mentality. I think that boosted a lot of people up to start winning again."

 

Did you watch the Connecticut-Louisville game this weekend?

"I watched a few plays but I really couldn't watch any football after we lost this weekend. I watched the first half of the first quarter and that was pretty much it."

 

Were you surprised that they won?

"A little bit but they're a good team. I wasn't too [surprised], they have a good defense. Louisville has been struggling this year so I wasn't that surprised. I didn't watch the game so I don't know how it went. Somebody told me that there was a blown play by the refs but I didn't watch the game."

 

UConn has a strong running game but do you know anything about their receivers?

"No I don't, but I think two of their receivers came back from last year. I think so but I haven't seen the scouting report yet. I know their quarterback from last year moved to receiver, so I know they're going to have a lot of trick plays ready for us. Their running game is pretty nice as far as I know. I've seen their running back in a couple of games."

 

Speaking of trick plays, have you guys been working on defending those?

"Not really, the first day of practice we did a little bit of scouting on them but most of it was conditioning, but we'll probably get into that today."

 

Since Connecticut is first place in the Big East, is there extra motivation to knock them off and reclaim first place in the Big East?

"I didn't know that, you just updated me with that [laughs]. I guess, yeah."

 

When you guys faced UConn two years ago it was very cold, now this year it won't be quite as bad. Is that an advantage for you guys?

"That's another advantage for us this year, not having to go into the cold. I don't think we have too many cold games this year other than Pittsburgh. We don't have to freeze up there. Hopefully we go up there with our minds' right, not worry about the weather and pull out the win."

 

Connecticut's running style is very similar to Rutgers' style, do you guys have more trouble with a power running game?

"Not really, I think [the problem] was the scheme. We'll probably change up our whole scheme this week. We just had a bad game last week and we couldn't stop the run. Hopefully the scheme we have this week will work as long as the players go out there, do their jobs and get it done."

 

Last week was very short and you guys had to travel and this week is longer, does that help you guys get back to where you were?

"We have a lot more time to get our weekly game plan right. We can mess around with a lot of different looks. Last week was short and we didn't have enough time to see [different] looks. Obviously that look didn't work but we have a lot more time to see more looks this week."

 

Two years ago, the close loss to Connecticut cost you guys the opportunity to play West Virginia for the Big East title, is that still on your mind?

"Oh yeah definitely, we talk about that every summer right before the season. Our main focus right now is trying to win the Big East and win out and at the same time we think about Connecticut and how they knocked us off. We're gonna' go in there with the intentions of beating them."

 

 



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