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Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by OregonGamecock, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. OregonGamecock

    OregonGamecock Freshman

    Oct 14, 2002
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    Gamecocks' Jenkins is double trouble

    QB poses a running, passing threat to LSU


    By Peter Barrouquere
    Staff writer/The Times-Picayune

    LSU was looking at a quarterback problem even before Matt Mauck suffered an injury to his right foot.

    South Carolina quarterback Corey Jenkins is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound package of problems. The Tigers will face Jenkins and the Gamecocks on Saturday night at Tiger Stadium.

    This season Jenkins has 609 yards on 120 carries, a 5.1 average, mostly by running over people. He rarely slides when defenders get close. He did enough sliding during a five-year minor-league career as an outfielder with the Boston Red Sox, who drafted him in the first round in 1995, and the Chicago White Sox, who got him in a trade in 1998.

    "Most people see a quarterback as being soft, and they've got the bull's-eye on him," Jenkins said. "And they tattoo a quarterback a couple of times, and that probably takes them out of the game. But it's going to take a lot more than that for me because I just love the whole physical aspect of football.

    "I won't say I look for people, but I won't run away from people. But at the same time I'm smart, too. If I've got two or three guys coming at me and I'm heading toward the sideline, I'll go out of bounds. But at the same time I'm not afraid to stick my head down and get that extra two or three yards if needed."

    Jenkins figures to be a handful for the Tigers' defense, rated No. 1 in the nation.

    "We've got to get some pressure on him," LSU defensive end Marquise Hill said. "He can create some problems because if he gets out, he gets past us, it's going to be him against a DB.

    "We don't want that kind of matchup, not that we don't have confidence in our DBs and their tackling. So we know we've got to keep containment on him, don't let him get comfortable back there. Once he starts going through his progressions . . . he starts to get rolling, and it's downhill from there."

    Stack the line, and Jenkins will throw the ball. He has completed 80 of 132 passes (60.6 percent) for 1,145 yards and six touchdowns with five interceptions.

    "We haven't faced a guy like that," LSU linebacker Bradie James said. "He's very elusive. It's kind of hard for a defense to prepare for a guy like that because he scrambles. He runs the ball real well and makes good decisions with his arm. He strives to make plays."

    "We would compare him to (LSU tailback LaBrandon) Toefield in terms of his ability as a runner," LSU coach Nick Saban said. "He has developed into a good enough passer that he can make big plays in the passing game.

    "So he's developed into a multi-dimensional guy that is a great running threat. It's a different challenge for us because we haven't faced a guy like him."

    Gamecocks coach Lou Holtz knows how they feel.

    "I've never coached anyone like him," Holtz said. "I don't know what's going to happen when the ball's snapped. He's just a tough-minded young man, very competitive. He has a pretty strong arm. He doesn't have a lot of experience at quarterback.

    "He's really a strong safety playing quarterback for us, but he's a very good athlete. But his mental toughness is second to none. He's the toughest quarterback I've ever coached. "

    Jenkins is prepared for a physical game. As soon as the Gamecocks returned from their 16-12 victory over Kentucky last Saturday, he popped a tape of LSU's 36-7 win at Florida in the VCR.

    "It was about 3 (Sunday) morning," Jenkins said. "I was very impressed. They're big, and they're strong, and they're physical. And that's the type of football we love to play. They're going to come out and hit us right in the mouth, and we're kind of prepared for that.

    "It's going to be just a tough, hard-hitting game, and I know I'll probably be in the training room on Sunday because I'm going to be every part of that physical aspect of it. I'm going to take some shots from some of those guys, and some of those guys are going to take some shots from me. It's going to be good; it's going to be exciting."

    Jenkins, who as a youth sold soft drinks at Williams-Brice Stadium, said he dreamed of playing quarterback for the Gamecocks in front of family and friends. Saturday night will be the fulfillment of another dream.

    "I've always wanted to go to Baton Rouge to play, just to see what it's like," he said. "I've seen games on television there, and that's a different atmosphere.

    "They have a great team, and they play real well at night in Baton Rouge. It's going to be a tough, physical game in an exciting atmosphere. I can't wait to get there."

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