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Blackwell continues long strange trip

By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
September 6, 2003
HATTIESBURG It has been a long, rough road for University of Southern Mississippi junior running back Tim Blackwell to return to the football field.
The Mount Olive native sat out the entire 2002 campaign, and he had to walk onto the team this year, with no scholarship money.
Blackwell put his turbulent background behind him against the University of Alabama at Birmingham Thursday night, and he finally made things rough an opposing defense.
In the Eagles' 17-14 win over the Blazers, Blackwell pounded out 88 yards on 20 carries to lead all rushers, and he scored USM's first touchdown of the season 4 1/2 minutes into the second quarter.
Blackwell punished the Blazers' defense for tough yards up the middle, and he exploded from behind the line for solid gains between tackles. The junior's longest run was for 11 yards.
Blackwell's performance against UAB, like most things for the running back, took some time to come about at Legion Field.
USM opened the game handing off to James Walley six times in the squad's first two possessions.
Blackwell got his first hand off of the night on the Eagles' third series of the game running for three yards.
The junior back solidified his dominance in the game during USM's first possession of the second quarter.
Blackwell ran the ball six times in the Eagles' 10-play, 77-yard drive, for 28 yards, including a two-yard touchdown run that put USM up 7-3 with 10:30 left in the first half.
Blackwell will need to keep "that look" for the Eagles to win their first Conference USA title since 1999.