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Alabama Game Postgame Notes

August 31, 2002 · MT Media Relations
Hines Starts ... at Receiver?: Andrico Hines made his first start as expected today against Alabama, but it wasn't under center. ReShard Lee took the first snap of the game as the quarterback with Hines lined up at wideout. After a keeper by Lee, Hines came back to his normal position.

Hicks' Continues Record March: Senior tailback Dwone Hicks continued his assault on the MT record book with his performance against Alabama. The Huntsville, Ala., native scored his first touchdown of the season in the second quarter, putting him only one away from equaling the Middle Tennessee rushing touchdown record. He later reached paydirt in the fourth quarter to equal the all-time rushing TD mark with 44. Hicks already owns the all-time touchdowns record with 50.

Tailback Trio: One of the biggest strengths for the Blue Raiders coming into the season was the talented and deep backfield and it showed today against Alabama. All three of the Blue Raider tailbacks that saw action today found the endzone. Dwone Hicks scored in the second quarter while Don Calloway and ReShard Lee each scored in the fourth quarter. Lee also hit paydirt when he scored on a two-point conversion.

Hines Solid in Debut: Junior quarterback put together a very solid game in his first as the Blue Raider starter. Hines was 16-of-24 through the air for 165 yards and rushed for 47 yards on seven attempts.

Mr. Versatility: Sophomore ReShard Lee put on an exhibition today for the Blue Raiders. The native of Brunswick, Ga., lined up at tailback and quarterback today along with returning every kickoff for the Blue Raiders in the game. Lee returned four kicks for 137 yards, setting a new personal high. His return effort today put him at third all-time on the single game list and his average of 34.3 yards is good enough for sixth all-time. As the team's tailback, Lee rushed for 56 yards on 11 carries. He also completed a 37-yard pass to Wardell Alsup late in the fourth quarter to set up a touchdown that would pull Middle Tennessee within five of the Crimson Tide with less than three minutes to go in the contest.

Kickin' Kelly: Junior kicker Brian Kelly continued his excellence in opening day contests by booting two field goals against Alabama. Kelly is now 5-of-6 on opening day. He has also now connected on seven of his last eight field goal attempts. Kelly's two field goals today gives him 19 in his career and ties him with Matt Crews for sixth all-time.

Legging it Out: Redshirt freshman Paul Wheeler made a big impact for the Blue Raider special teams today against Alabama. The Tullahoma, Tenn., native booted five kickoffs today with four going into the endzone and the other reaching the 3-yard line. With Wheeler's excellent work, the Blue Raiders kept Alabama's average drive start after a kickoff at the 19-yard line. He also attempted an onsides kick in the fourth quarter that was recovered by the Crimson Tide at the 50.

First Starts: Middle Tennessee players making their first start today were: Andrico Hines, ReShard Lee, Brandon Parker, Will Martin, and Tony Sutton.

First Games: Middle Tennessee players making their first appearance in a Blue Raider uniform today were: Devarick Scandrett, Jeff Littlejohn, Sean Waller, Will Martin, Tony Sutton, Andrico Hines, John Crawford, Fletcher Williams, Dennis Burke, Jonathan Bonner, Kenny Edwards, Chris Henry, Aaron Pitts, Dominic Jones, Doug Waller, Brett Trott, and Sam Williams.

Immediate Impact: Middle Tennessee's recruiting efforts continued to pay dividends on Saturday as five true freshmen saw action in today's contest. True freshmen Devarick Scandrett, Sean Waller, Sam Williams, Dennis Burke, and Jonathan Bonner each saw action against the Crimson Tide in their first collegiate game.

Bus Driver Relates to Blue Raiders: Eddie Hill usually drives the lead bus when he is a part of the Grayline Tours crew assigned to drive teams to games. This week, though, he made an exception and drove the second bus for Middle Tennessee which contained the team's defensive unit and his grandson, linebacker Alvin Fite.

Quick Hitters: Today marked the start of the 87th football season in Middle Tennessee history ... David Youell extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 23 ... Today's game marked the first ever meeting between MT and Alabama ... Next week's game will also be a first time matchup pitting MT against in-state rival Tennessee ... Senior Chris Johnson got the second half start at left corner in place of junior Tony Sutton ... Junior tailback Don Calloway scored his 10th career touchdown in the fourth quarter ... Sophomore Reshard Lee scored his fifth career rushing touchdown ... The Blue Raiders played in front of the largest opening day crowd in school history with 80,019 in attendance at Legion Field ... Redshirt freshman made his first career catch late in the fourth quarter to convert a third down.

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