MSU Football Scrimmage


Posted Mar 29, 2003


STARKVILLE, Miss. -­ Sophomore halfback Nick Turner (Atlanta, Ga.) rushed for 121 yards on 11 carries and scored three touchdowns, and Mississippi State quarterbacks completed 29-of-48 passes for 249 yards during the Bulldogs' first scrimmage of the four-week spring session.

"I thought we consistently hustled and made plays," head football coach Jackie Sherrill said. "We didn't have the continuity with our offensive line because of injury, but our running backs showed that if we can make a block, we can run the football. We definitely have some talent, and I look for them to continue to improve."

Turner showed that ability early, ripping off a 62-yard touchdown run on State's third offensive series. He also scored on 3- and 13-yard runs later in the two-hour scrimmage.

What made Turner's run so impressive was the fact that it appeared he was caught at the line of scrimmage, but somehow broke free and showed exceptional speed outrunning everybody to the endzone.

Sophomore quarterback Kyle York (Spring, Texas) led all quarterbacks with 15 completions in 23 attempts for 138 yards and touchdown. He connected with sophomore wide receiver Tee Milons (Starkville) on a 26-yard TD toss.

Kevin Fant was 8 of 14 for 60 yards while redshirt freshman Aries Nelson completed 6 of 11 passes for 51 yards. Both QBs threw 1 interception.

Overall, the quarterbacks were very accurate with their passes, throwing only six or seven badly thrown passes and a few others that were intentionally thrown away.

Although he didn't score a touchdown, the most effective wide receiver catching passes thrown to him that were catchable was redshirt freshman Will Prosser with a 100% day (3-for-3). What makes his achievement even more impressive is the fact that they were thrown in the middle of the field where he knew he was going to immediately get hit.

Another receiver that started off strong was senior Milas Randle, a former defensive back. Milas, before dropping a couple of passes in the latter stages of the scrimmage, show excellent hands and concentration while catching 7 passes. Like Prosser, most of his catches were over the middle.

Senior tight end Kyle Wiley, showing good hands and concentration, also was perfect with a 2-for-2 day.

The tailbacks were also extremely effective in that regard, catching all 8 catchable passes that were thrown their way. Junior Fred Reid was 4-for-4.

The defense came up with four turnovers and four sacks, led by senior strong safety Jason Clark's (Starkville) two quarterback falls. Sophomore linebacker Brandon Downing led all defenders with nine hits, two for loss.

Despite all the heroics on offense and defense, however, both coordinators were more encouraged with how their charges were advancing along the learning curve.

"We stayed pretty simple," defensive coordinator Ron Cooper said. "We ran a couple of different calls ­ a couple of different blitzes ­ and I'm pretty pleased. We just have to keep getting better. We're going to keep adding to the scheme and making sure that the guys understand what we're doing."

"I saw some guys make some plays," offensive coordinator Morris Watts. "Our feeling was that if we could get to the end of the scrimmage, and we played hard and hustled, then I'll be happy about the scrimmage. We haven't had to coach effort and intensity very much this spring."

SCORING

Turner 63 run (Marlin kick)
Andrews 22 FG
Marlin 43 FG
Andrews 35 FG
Andrews 42 FG
Marlin 47 FG
Marlin 52 FG
Turner 3 run (no PAT attempt)
Milons 26 pass from York (no PAT attempt)
Turner 13 run (no PAT attempt)
Reid 1 run (no PAT attempt)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

  • RUSHING-Turner 11-121 3TD, Reid 10-34 TD, Norwood 9-26, York 3-20, Fant 6-(-6), Nelson 6-(-25), Team 1-(-5).
  • PASSING-York 15-23-0-138 TD, Fant 8-14-1-60, Nelson 6-11-1-51.
  • RECEIVING-Randle 7-54, Reid 4-16, Prosser 3-59, Milons 3-36 TD, Jenkins 2-29, Lumpkin 2-14, Norwood 2-12, Turner 2-7, Wiley 2-3, Pettit 1-15, Hargro 1-4.
  • PUNTING-Wallis 2-44.0, J.Cook 3-33.0.
  • TACKLES-Downing 9, B.Morgan 7, Wallace 6, Clark 4, Day 4, Jack 3, Kern 3, T. Morgan 3, Upton 3, Vinson 3, D.Wright 3, Bennett 2, Evans 2, Heard 2, Jackson 2, McKinley 2, Perry 1, Pyron 2, Swain 2, Tate 2, Arant 1, Bradley 1, R.Cook 1, Fields 1, Hunter 1, Mawhinney 1, McDougal 1, Moore 1, Sherrill 1, Stowers 1, Williams 1.
  • INTERCEPTIONS-Heard 1-10, Arant 1-0.
  • PASS BREAKUPS-Wallace 2, Heard 1, McDougal 1.
  • SACKS- Clark 2-9, McKinley 1-15, Evans 1-7.
  • TACKLES FOR LOSS- Downing 2-7, McDougal 1-5, Jack 1-4, Mawhinney 1-4, Kern 1-3, Moore 1-1, Stowers 1-1, Upton 1-1, Vinson 1-1.
  • CAUSED FUMBLES- Mawhinney 1.
  • FUMBLE RECOVERIES- Byrdsong 1, T.Morgan 1.


    Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at swindoll@genespage.com



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    LB Brandon Downing (profile)
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