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MT-Ole Miss Game Notes

October 20, 2001 · MT Media Relations
MIDDLE TENNESSEE POSTGAME NOTEBOOK BLUE RAIDERS VS OLE MISS REBELS OCTOBER 20, 2001; OXFORD, MS

VERSATILE LINEMAN: Redshirt sophomore Brandon Westbrook started at left guard today against Ole Miss, which was the first time in his career he has started at the guard spot. It also marks the third straight game Westbrook has started at a different position along the offensive line. He started at left tackle the first five games of the year, then started at right tackle at North Texas before moving in at guard vs Ole Miss. To showcase his versatility even more, Westbrook played left guard, left tackle and right tackle during the course of the game today.

NEWSON ALONE IN 2ND: Kendall Newson's second quarter touchdown reception was the 19th of his career and the fifth of the season for the senior. Newson entered the Ole Miss game tied for second all-time in TD receptions with Demetric Mostiller and his grab against Ole Miss put him in second place all alone.

STEPHENS SACK: Senior Wes Stephens, who made his first start of the season today, recorded his second sack of the year and pressured Ole Miss signal caller Eli Manning into an intentional grounding call all in the first half. Stephens, who later deflected a Manning pass, now has five sacks in his career.

KELLY SIGHTING: For the first time since the UL-Monroe game on Sept. 22 (a span of 16 quarters), placekicker Brian Kelly attempted a field goal when he drilled a 25 yarder in the third quarter against Ole Miss. For the season, Kelly is now 3-for-5 in the field goal department.

CALICO TIES SANFORD: Tyrone Calico's fourth quarter touchdown reception tied him with Sulecio Sanford for ninth on the Blue Raiders' all-time list. Calico, who has four TD catches on the year, now has 11 for his career and needs one more to tie Cory Simpson for eighth place.

FIRSTS: True freshman Blake Morris made his first collegiate start today when he lined up at the rightside linebacker spot ... LB Chris Gatlin made his first start of the season at linebacker ... Chris Johnson made his first start today at the left outside linebacker spot since the 2000 South Florida game ... DE Wes Stephens made his first start today since getting the nod against Florida in 2000.

PENALTIES HURT MT: The Blue Raiders were CALLED for 11 penalties for 103 yards and seven of those for 70 yards were called in the first half when the Blue Raider offense was making big plays. Comparatively, Ole Miss was flagged only four times for 36 yards.

LEE LEADS: For the second straight week and the third time this season, sophomore running back Reshard Lee paced the Blue Raiders in rushing. Lee had 12 carries for 84 yards (7.0 average).

QUICK HITTERS: Kendall Newson extended his streak to 39 consecutive games with at least one reception, which ranks as the third longest total in the country this year ... QB Jason Johnson recorded his first touchdown pass of the season when he hit Kendall Newson for a 14-yard score in the second quarter (the fifth of his career) ... LB Scotty Brown, who did not start today against Ole Miss, recorded his team-leading third sack of the season today when he dropped Eli Manning in the third quarter ... Tyrone Calico's fourth quarter touchdown was his fourth of the season and his 11th career scoring grab ... Jason Johnson threw for a season-high 115 yards on 11 of 25 passing ... Middle Tennessee's possession time of 22:36 was the lowest of the season for the Blue Raiders and marked the second straight week it has not topped the 23:00 minute mark.

INJURIES: Fullback Jason Spray received a right knee injury in the first quarter and did not return to the game ... RB Dwone Hicks reaggravated his hamstring injury in the third quarter and did not return.

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