Norwood's effort big plus for MSU
By By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
Nov. 4, 2002
STARKVILLE It may have turned out to be a long afternoon filled with turnovers and bad special teams' play for the Bulldogs of Mississippi State on Saturday against Kentucky, but freshman tailback Jerious Norwood was one player who shined for the Bulldogs.
The tailback from Brandon rushed for 138 yards on just 15 carries to finish the game with a 9.2 average per rush.
The game set a career high for Norwood for the second straight game. It was the first time he gained over 100 yards in a game and was the most yards for an MSU back since Dontae Walker rushed for 143 in the 2002 Independence Bowl.
Walker started the game for State, but finished with just 11 yards rushing on 8 carries. At this point Norwood has turned the heads of a lot of Bulldog fans. Most of the crowd would cheer when Norwood entered the game and would boo when he left.
The stats for Norwood were impressive, but what was more impressive was that he gained all the yards without a carry in the entire first quarter.
He carried the ball nine times in the second quarter and finished with 72 yards in the first half. His biggest gain came on a 30-yard rush on the Bulldogs' final possession of the half. The big gain moved the ball to the Kentucky 32-yard line and set up a field goal at the end of the half to give MSU the lead.
Norwood rushed only once in the third quarter for the Bulldogs, but broke loose for an 11-yard gain on his only carry.
He finished the game with a very good fourth quarter. He again broke a 30-yard gain and followed that with an 11-yard gain to set up an MSU touchdown midway through the final quarter.
Walker started the game for the Bulldogs but was unable to get going for MSU. He finished the game with a one-yard average.
The true freshman Norwood will probably not knock Walker out of a starting role, but has become someone who can carry the football for the Bulldogs. He seems to be the bright spot of a disappointing year for Mississippi State.