|Perrilloux prepares for JSU debut|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 24 August 2008 07:21|
Jacksonville State's high-profile quarterback has played in big games and big stadiums, and he's even done it in the same big city. The LSU transfer leads the Football Championship Subdivision team into Atlanta to face Georgia Tech on Thursday night.
It's a fitting debut for Perrilloux, who is far more used to the limelight than most of his teammates. His last significant action with the defending national champions came when he was named MVP of the Southeastern Conference championship game last season in the same city, if a different stadium.
``That's a great opportunity,'' Perrilloux said in a phone interview. ``I'm used to playing in front of big crowds on big stages. Basically what I want to do is play hard and be disciplined and execute our gameplan. I think the team's ready. It's going to be a great opportunity for us to go out and show what we can do on a big stage.''
Largely due to Perrilloux's presence, the Gamecocks were picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference. That's still a long way from the Yellow Jackets' Atlantic Coast Conference, or from Perrilloux's old SEC.
Once the nation's top prep prospect, he is trying to start fresh after getting kicked off the LSU team for off-the-field problems, including skipping classes, missing a team meeting and getting caught trying to use a false ID to get into a Baton Rouge casino.
Perrilloux's first game at 55,000-seat Bobby Dodd Stadium won't exactly allow him time out of the spotlight. He faces plenty of scrutiny because of his past history and the expectations his arrival gave Jacksonville State fans.
Perrilloux showed the ability to run and make highlight-reel plays at LSU. He said there won't be any added pressure to force throws or make big plays out of nothing against a team that presumably has more depth and talent.
``The pressure is to go out and win. That's the pressure,'' Perrilloux said. ``I'm going to play within the system and play within the gameplan and try to make plays when the opportunities present themselves.''
Gamecocks coach Jack Crowe doesn't think that pressure will bother Perrilloux.
``A lot of times when it gets you,'' Crowe said, ``is when you step into something you're not prepared for.''
And he said his quarterback has been dutifully preparing for this game with a Georgia Tech team that has a new coaching staff. Plus playing in bigger stadiums is nothing new to him.
``We're playing in a big environment, which will not affect him,'' Crowe said. ``We're playing against a talented team, which will not affect him. But he has not seen them play in these schemes.''
He also notes that Perrilloux was thrust into action against Tennessee in the SEC championship game with an injury to Matt Flynn. He responded by passing for 243 yards and a touchdown.
``He had to make a lot of adjustments against Tennessee, too,'' Crowe said. ``He has such an aggressive approach to the game itself, he's a guy that catches up with what's going on pretty dang quit.''
Jacksonville State fans aren't the only ones excited about Perrilloux's debut. He said ``more than 10'' family members will be on hand for the game.
``They're way more excited than I am to see me get out there again,'' he said, ``and I can't wait either.''