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October 6, 2004Read this free interview with Gator wideout Jemalle Cornelius and then check out our 7-DAY FREE TRIAL to read the rest of the great Gator football coverage on InsidetheGators.net!
The Gator offense seems to have hit its stride and is firing on all cylinders at this point in the season. One of the big reasons why is the incredible number of weapons at quarterback Chris Leak's disposal. The team has the No. 1 passing offense in the SEC and wide receiver Jemalle Cornelius has been happy to be one of the contributers. InsidetheGators.net sat down with Cornelius for another one of our player interviews.
How was Dallas Baker able to bounce back after the penalty at Tennessee
"That shows a lot about Dallas. He has a lot more confidence in himself this year. He came back to practice and was the same old Dallas. He was down for a little bit, but he came back and that showed a lot about him. I'm real proud of the way he did that. That's the difference a year of experience can make. The experience he had last year has really helped him out this year."
Obviously this is a team game, but how satisfying has it been for you personally to be out there and making plays?
"It's been real good. I came here and redshirted and sat out for a little bit. So it feels good to come out here and have the opportunity to play and to get experience playing in the big games. And actually being a factor in the game means a lot more to you."
How tough is that redshirt season?
"It's real tough, especially mentally, when you go out there and practice and you see other guys out there on the field and you know you really don't have an opportunity to play. But it helped me a lot, it helped me to grow up, being away from home and stuff like that. And it prepares you for the big games and prepares you to really be ready to go out and play mentally and physically."
Was there a point last year when you were a little frustrated not being a part of the offense and having to kind of wait your turn?
"Yeah, it gets frustrating, but once you do get that opportunity, it feels that much better."
When you come out of the huddle and you see one-on-one coverage and you know it's a deep post to you, what's the feeling?
"You just try to stay calm, focus on making the play and concentrating. You just have to make sure that you go and run your route great and look for the ball."
When you saw them line up like that, were you thinking six points?
"I thought the safety was going to help out, but once the safety dropped down on Andre (Caldwell), I figured he would probably go over the top. Because if Chris has a chance to go downfield, he's probably going to take it in one-on-one coverage. Once I saw that, I figured he'd throw the ball."
Everyone always talks about the special bond between quarterbacks and receivers. Do you guys have that with Chris?
"I think he has a real good bond with all of us. He jumps around with us a lot and he hangs out with us a lot. He stays with Andre and Chad (Jackson) and I know they spend a lot of time together. But he spends a lot of time to talking to all of us off the field about regular stuff."
LSU is a team that uses a lot of single coverage. Are you looking forward to that?
"Yeah, we're looking forward to it. We just have to make sure we prepare and get ready for the man-to-man coverage and take advantage of it. We need to be prepared for all the different schemes they're going to have and make sure we run good routes and get open."
Is LSU in a similar situation to you guys last year in that they've lost a couple of games? How do you expect them to come in here and play?
"I know they are going to come in here hungry and want to win, just like very team. We're not really concentrating on that, we're just concentrating on preparing. Coach Zook really puts a lot of emphasis on making sure we're prepared so when we come out Saturday, we're ready to do what we got to do."
It seems that the offensive line is helping you guys out by giving Chris plenty of time to find the open receiver.
"Oh, yeah, I've got a lot of confidence in the offensive line. There's a lot of guys with a lot of experience and they've been going out there and giving their all on the field. We got a lot of talent up front and I think we'll be able to handle the blitzes and that kind of stuff."
Since LSU got beat so badly by Georgia, is there any chance of overlooking them or taking them too lightly?
"No, you can't overlook anybody when you're playing in the SEC. Every week you've got to be prepared to play. Everybody in the SEC is capable of beating anyone on any given Saturday."
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