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Giants' D Knows Rex


This included LSU product Corey Webster's multi-interception game in 2002 against the then-Heisman hopeful from the University of Florida. One recap said he had two picks. But it was more. And Webster could still write the story himself a decade later.

"It was three, actually," the fast-talking Webster corrected me without hesitation. "Took one to the house. I remember it well."

Mea culpa, Corey.

Looking further into the box score, I noticed the mistake in the old write-up. Webster, then a sophomore, did in fact pull off the hat trick against the SEC rival, returning his second one 45 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.

The mid-October meeting was Webster's sixth game after converting from wide receiver to cornerback, and it was the only time he faced Grossman at the collegiate level.

"All I knew was he was the Heisman Trophy quarterback candidate, and we had to go out there and we had a good challenge on our hands," said Webster, whose Tigers went on to win, 36-7. "We wanted to be up for it, and I think we did a good job of living up to it. We ended up going down there to the Swamp and getting the "W." That's over now. You've got to go out there and try to do the same thing here."

Grossman, whom the Giants will face along with the rest of the Washington Redskins this Sunday, will also square off against another college opponent.

Antrel Rolle, an All-American cornerback at the University of Miami, got to Grossman and the Gators first in that 2002 season. Coming off a national championship, the Hurricanes were the top-ranked team in the country when they faced Grossman's No. 6 Florida in the second game of the season – five weeks before Webster.

Rolle was also a sophomore at the time, and while he didn't pick off Grossman, his Canes picked apart the Gators, 41-16.

"He was a very high profile athlete at the college level, very strong arm," Rolle said. "I thought he was a pretty good quarterback. But at times also in college, we did rattle him and we made him look kind of bad. We made him look kind of bad in his game."

Coincidentally, Eli Manning was also in that mix in 2002 while playing at Ole Miss. In fact, Rolle's, Manning's and Webster's three respective alma maters handed Grossman's Gators their first three losses of that year.

Furthermore, Eli did what no other Manning had done previously – beat Florida. Peyton was 0-4 against the Gators, and his father, Archie, never played them while at Ole Miss.

"Rex had a terrific college career," Manning said. "His sophomore year, he had 40-something touchdowns and won a lot of games. He can throw it and he's a smart guy."

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