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MT Stings Vanderbilt 21-20

October 13, 2002 · MT Media Relations
First Quarter Lead: MT's 7-3 advantage at the end of the first quarter marks the first time that the Blue Raiders have held the lead at the end of the opening stanza. The closest that the Blue Raiders have been to the lead in the first quarter this year came against Southeast Missouri when the teams were tied at seven.

Return of #4: Senior RB Dwone Hicks returned to the MT lineup tonight after missing two full games due to a knee injury. Hicks saw his first action in the first quarter of tonight's game. The Huntsville, AL, native rushed for 42 yards on 10 carries in the game, and had the game-winning touchdown. Hicks now has at least one rushing touchdown in 14 of his last 19 outings.

Hicks for Six: Senior RB Dwone Hicks just has a nose for the endzone. Hicks turned up big tonight with his first touchdown in three games with a two-yard TD plunge with 0:52 remaining in the game to give Middle Tennessee the lead in the contest. Hicks, who already owns the career record for touchdowns, now has 53 total TDs, 47 of which have come on the ground.

Hats off for the D: Middle Tennessee's defense came up big tonight against Vandy. The Blue Raider defensive unit turned in two interceptions, the last of which sealed the game with less than a minute to go in the game. The defense also kept Vandy out of the endzone on two occasions when the Commodores had the ball inside the 10 yard line, yielding only six points on those possessions.

Lynch for the Cinch: Junior LB Brandon Lynch turned in one of the best games of his career against Vandy tonight. The Hephizbah, GA, native had five tackles in the game with two costing the Commodores negative yardage. Lynch broke up a pass and intercepted another and returned it 37 yards to seal the Middle Tennessee victory.

Lee Carrying the Load: RB ReShard Lee has come into his own since finding himself in the starting lineup for the injured Dwone Hicks. Lee rushed for 144 yards against Vanderbilt tonight, marking the third straight game that he has eclipsed the century mark. Lee came into the season with three career 100-yard rushing games and has doubled his career total in the last three contests. Lee now has 453 yards on the season to pace the Blue Raiders.

Streak Broken: David Youell's consecutive games streak with at least one reception came to an end against the Commodores. Youell came into tonight's game with at least one grab in 27 straight games, which is the third best streak in school history.

Quick Hitters: Senior LB Chris Gatlin made a huge TD saving tackle on third and goal in the first quarter tonight to mark his first appearance in a game this season ... DB Tony picked off his second pass of the year in the second quarter ... QB Andrico Hines' two rushing TDs set a career best ... The Middle Tennessee defense saw its streak of quarters without allowing a touchdown end at six with Vandy's third quarter tally ... TE Reggie Polk saw his first action of the year in the third quarter ... Under Andy McCollum, the Blue Raiders are now 4-1 against in-state schools ... The Blue Raiders are now a perfect 15-0 when leading at halftime ... Wardell Alsup had a career-best two receptions.

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