But there were plenty of offensive heroics to go around. Senior flanker Justin Jenkins hauled in a pair of long-distance touchdown receptions (72 and 53 yards), sophomore split end Tee Milons scored twice among his five catches, one from 65 yards out, and junior Ty Freeman added a 43-yard touchdown reception. Quarterback Kyle York was responsible for four of those TD aerials and threw for 374 yards on the day.
The defense was certainly not left out of the big play category. Senior defensive end Curtis Stowers was credited with a 63-yard fumble return for a touchdown, and the unit was responsible for six quarterback sacks, four fumble recoveries and an interception.
The Bulldogs scrimmaged without FL Antonio Hargro (shoulder bruise), SE Ken Topps (hamstring pull), OTs Richard Burch (ankle rehab), David Stewart (thigh bruise) and James Redmond (knee sprain), and QB Kevin Fant (abdominal strain). In addition to Norwood's in-scrimmage injury, FB Darnell Jones (knee bruise) was also forced to the sidelines. Safety Bernard Vinson (groin pull) and LB T.J. Mawhinney (family illness) also did not scrimmage.
RUSHING Reid 14-82 TD, Norwood 4-79 TD, Turner 23-61 TD, D.Jones 3-14, Tyler 2-9, York 5-(-5), Nelson 6-(-37), Team 1-(-6).
PASSING York 18-27-1-374 4TD, Nelson 9-14-0-131 TD, Tyler 2-5-0, 19.
RECEIVING Milons 5-93 2TD, Lumpkin 5-89, Jenkins 3-138 2TD, B.Wright 3-46, D.Jones 3-20, Bivines 2-34, Freeman 1-43 TD, Norwood 1-22, Randle 1-11, L.Smith 1-10, Scott 1-9, Ferrill 1-4, B.Davis 1-3, Reid 1-2.
PUNTING Cook 4-46.3, Wallis 2-33.0
TACKLES Wallace 10, Upton 9, Morgan 7, Griffith 6, D. Wright 5, Bradley 4, Stowers 4, Swain 4, Clark 3, Dockery 3, Downing 3, Kelly 3, Spivey 3, Bennett 2, Byrdsong 2, Williams 2, Evans 1, Kern 1, Marlin 1, McKinley 1, T. Morgan 1, Tate.
INTERCEPTIONS Downing 1-12.
PASS BREAKUPS Clark 1, McDougal 1, Swain 1, Wallace 1.
SACKS Kelly 1-9, Spivey 1-8, Stowers 1-8, Bennett 1-6, Clark 1-6, McDougal 0-5-4, Swain 0.5-4.
TACKLES FOR LOSS Stowers 2-7, Upton 2-5, Wallace 2-3, Clark 1-7, Byrdsong 1-5, McKinley 1-3, Tate 1-3, D.Wright 1-3, Downing 1-1.
CAUSED FUMBLE Clark 1, McKinley 1.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES Bradley 1, T. Morgan 1, Stowers 1, Swain 1.
BLOCKED KICKS D.Wright 1.
Other scrimmage information
"There was some competition and big plays out there. There were some good licks."
"Defensively, it looks like we will have strength at linebacker. It looks like we have 7 or 8 down linemen that can play, but we still have to get a lot better up front at a couple of spots. It looks like the young guys coming in, especially the defensive backs, will be able to give us some help."
"I'll be glad when we get either one of two of the (offensive) tackles back. But the good thing is we are finding some (other) offensive linemen who are stepping up and should be able to help us. It looks (Otis) Riddley is going to really help us. (Manuel) Dickson has been playing very well. (They) give us flexibility at center and guard. We need to get (Brad) Weathers back to playing guard instead of tackle."
"The running backs have talent. That is very evident."
"I was glad to see our kids catch and make plays."
"We made a lot of progress for it being the second scrimmage. Hopefully, we can make a lot more this week. I think the players are starting to learn to practice."
The quarterbacks looked like they played well.
"They did. And at the end we let Kyle (York) and Aries (Nelson) call their own plays. I was impressed with Kyle calling all the formations and plays."
Would you say that Kyle is number 1 and Aries is number 2?
"Yes. Aries has a lot to work (on). There are some things that we would restrict with Aries. I was pleasantly pleased that he could call the formations and plays."
What was your impression of the kicking game today?
"I wasn't very pleased. But, right now, we don't have Brent (Smith) out there. We had one (field goal attempt) blocked because of it being slow. We've got good strength. Keith (Andrews) kind of guided. Keith and (Brent Smith) have 52 to 59 (yard field goal) range. We just have to get more consistent. From the 20 yard line, which is a 37-yard field goal, we should make 100% of those."
What about the punters? How do you think they have done?
"Robert and Jared have punted pretty well. We have worked very hard with protection and it looks like we will have guys up front who will protect them."
Do you expect Kevin Fant will be back this week?
"I hope so. I hope we will have him back so he can get ready for next Saturday. If not, that's ok."
Is there any update on Kevin?
"No, certainly the doctors will see him. Hopefully, we will get him back. We need to get everybody back. The guys who aren't out here, David Stewart, Ken Topps, Antonio Hargro; we need to get them all back."
What are Lincoln Smith's chances of making the team?
"(Lincoln) just gets better and better. He has some football savvy."
You threw the ball really well today.
"I'm getting there. I think the offense as a whole is starting to jell and have more confidence with the things that we are doing. From the start, we felt like the offense would be a good thing for us. We've mixed it up and are starting to have a lot of fun with it. I think the more I pick up the offense, the more confidence they will have in me."
Compared to last week's scrimmage, the offense looked much better during this scrimmage.
"We are just getting better. We've had one more week of experience and a week more of getting healthy at some positions where we needed to get healthy. We came out here wanting to do as well as we could because this last week is more a getting polished week."
Talk about the players who played on the offensive line today.
"I'm excited for them because we've had some injuries and the guys who are in there right now have really come together and learned their assignments. I think we have some guys who have been forced into some positions that they've never played before but they have handled it well. They are starting to pick up protection and run-block well."
With this offense, you have so many different options that you can go to. How difficult has it been to pick that up?
"It is difficult, but the biggest thing for the quarterback in this system is to know the concept. If you know the concept of what we are running, you can piece together where everybody is supposed to be in it."
How close do you feel you are in understanding the concept?
"I consider myself a long way off of being as good as I want to be. I think as well as the guys are running the routes and as well as the whole of the offense is picking up on it, that really helps me out a lot to get into a groove and make that adjustment."
With Fant out, has this allowed you, Aries and Justin more time to learn the offense?
"I think so. Anytime I get the chance to take a snap behind the center it is an opportunity to do something. Whether it be hand the ball off or trying to throw the ball 40 yards down the field, it is an opportunity for me perfect my fundamentals, to prefect my knowledge of the offense."
You and Justin Jenkins had two big touchdown passes against the defense today.
"That was a defensive read on both plays. Justin (Jenkins) made an excellent play both plays. I can't take credit for the play but I can take credit for knowing to get it in his hands."
Even though you have a lot of offensive linemen either out or hurt, the offense really looked good today.
"We have a lot of guys out due to injuries. It seems like everybody has some kind of nick, but we are having to push through it and do the best that we can."
I've noticed that you guys really work extremely hard in practice.
"I thing you do with Coach Campbell is you work. We are the first ones on the field and the last ones off the field. When we come out here on the football field we say we want to be a physical football team. We want to be somebody, whenever they have us on their schedule they will say we don't want to play Mississippi State because they are going to hit us in the mouth."
I've noticed the coaches want the guys to work through the minor things when they are playing. Is that a way they instill toughness in you guys?
"As you've seen there are a lot of young guys playing for the first time. They have to learn the difference between being hurt and being injured. If you are injured, you can't play. If you are hurt, you can. Football is a tough sport. If you play on the offensive line, you are going to have sore shoulders and play with broken hands. If you want to play, you have to be tough. That is part of it."
Personally, do you feel that you have picked up the new offense?
"I'm picking up the offense pretty well. They've played me at right guard and have moved me back to center also. The main thing is we know our stuff, but when we get out there, there is so much. In our offense, we have to move in one motion. If your foot movement is not down, one bust could effect the entire play. Repetition is helping us. Everyday, I see improvement."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.