Meridian's Hill sees some action
By By Joey Vaughn/special to The Star
October 13, 2002
OXFORD While Ole Miss had no trouble in knocking off Arkansas State, the Rebels did give up some yardage on the ground.
Cleveland native Danny Smith who ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns for the visiting Indians in ASU's 52-17 loss to Ole Miss.
After earning every bit of his scholarship with 11 punts against Florida, Rebel punter Cody Ridgeway only stepped on the field to hold for kicks against Arkansas State. Ole Miss didn't punt at all Saturday. It was only the third time in Ole Miss football history that the Rebels didn't punt, and first time since 1960.
Seeing some action
Future NFL Hall of Famer and Crawford native Jerry Rice celebrated his 40th birthday last week. His nephew, Starkville native Eric Rice, had his time in the sun Saturday, catching a 9-yard pass from Eli Manning in the second quarter. It was Rice's third catch of the year. After redshirting last season as a sophomore, Rice made a six-yard catch against UL-Monroe and a career-long 17-yard catch versus Vanderbilt.
Redshirt freshman receiver Mario Hill of Meridian made his presence known in only his second career game. He saw the field against Florida last week, but didn't make a catch. Hill hauled in three passes for 30 yards Saturday, but lost a fumble late in the fourth quarter that led to Arkansas State's final touchdown.
Backup quarterback David Morris saw his most significant playing time of the season against Arkansas State. He entered the game after Von Hutchins picked off ASU's Elliot Jacobs with 12:17 to go in the fourth quarter. Morris played against UL-Monroe and Memphis, completing 1-of-2 for six yards against UL-Monroe. He completed 3-of-3 against ASU for 30 yards.
Manning tied the Ole Miss career record for touchdown passes with three in the first half, giving him 43 for his career.
In his usual fashion, Manning shied away from questions about the record.
Manning's first-quarter interception, thrown into a crowd while being pressured on a third-down play, was his first in 111 pass attempts. He also moved past Deuce McAllister for fourth place on the Ole Miss career touchdowns responsible for list at 43.
Eli also passed the 4,500 career passing yardage mark at 4,688, and will tie his father Archie for fifth on the school career list with 65 more yards.