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Saints' Deuce McAllister taking NFL by storm in absence of Williams

By By Richard Dark / EMG sports writer
Nov. 6, 2002
NEW ORLEANS He's accomplished quite a bit since volunteering to serve as a basketball referee at the State Games of Mississippi in Decatur.
His meteoric rise has gone hand-in-hand with one of the most successful starts in the history of his team.
The numbers are quite eye-opening. And they have certainly gotten the attention of not only the local media, but football pundits and prognosticators around the country, as well.
National spotlights aside however, the Ludlow native, whose parents get their mail from the Lena post office in rural Scott County, is quite the subject of sports talk these days and it has nothing to do with the words Ole Miss or Conerly Trophy.
To date, New Orleans Saints running back Dulymus Jenod Deuce' McAllister has taken the NFL world by storm this season, amassing a staggering 1,070 yards from scrimmage at the midway point of the season. That figure includes 836 yards rushing on 171 carries. Entering the Saints' bye week, that figure was tops in the NFC. His nearly five yards a carry is second in the league and his nine touchdowns also rank first in the conference.
Indeed. He may very well be the MVP for a team no one thought would do anything this season, yet has gotten to where they are (6-2) against the meat of the schedule.
The fans inside the Louisiana Superdome have already become accustomed to his spectacle, gleefully anticipating the serious threat to score which looms any time McAllister touches the football. He owns this season's longest carry from scrimmage, a 62-yard jaunt against Green Bay earlier in the season which served to set up the game-icing score. Several other long touchdown runs have been nullified due to penalties.
Whenever the former Ole Miss Heisman candidate takes a handoff from quarterback Aaron Brooks, the low, ominous rumble swells from the stands: DOOOOOOSSSSSSEEE!!! It has become a Saints fan ritual. A welcomed practice to be sure when one ponders that the predecessor to the Deuce, Ricky Williams, had only one run of 40 yards or more in well over 800 career totes with this team.
Saints not surprised
When asked if he is surprised that the young second-year prodigy has erupted on the scene, seemingly out of nowhere, Haslett is quick to say no, but it is hard to believe that the head man expected those kinds of numbers.
But one Saint isn't surprised at all. Former Itawamba Community College standout receiver Joe Horn has told anyone who will listen that this is a breakout year for the back.
Not surprising to hear those types of statements from a player who flat out told a Miami-area writer that the Saints were simply a better team with McAllister rather than Williams.
However, you'll hear no such bravado from the former Saints kick returner who is now on pace for the Pro Bowl.