State whacks Vandy to pick up first win
By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
October 5, 2003
STARKVILLE Mississippi State University did to Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon what the Bulldogs' first four opponents did to them this season start strong.
MSU (1-5, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) scored early and forced untimely turnovers in the opening quarter of its 30-21 win over Vanderbilt (1-5, 0-3).
The victory stopped a nine-game skid for the Bulldogs, dating back to last season, and it was the team's first win over a conference opponent since defeating Ole Miss at the end of the 2001 season.
Bulldogs sophomore running back Jerious Norwood led the team's charge, gaining 113 yards on 22 carries, with one touchdown. Nick Turner carried the ball 12 times for 90 yards.
MSU limited Vanderbilt to 390 yards in the game and forced four turnovers, one fumble, one interception and twice on downs. The Commodores were held to just 95 rushing yards.
Bulldogs safety Kevin Dockery led the defensive push recording 11 tackles and breaking up one pass, and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly had five tackles, forced two fumbles and recorded a sack.
MSU's defense came up with a big stop midway through the second quarter. After surrendering a 33-yard touchdown pass two-and-half minutes into the quarter, MSU forced Vanderbilt to turn the ball over on downs, with 7:35 left in the first half
Commodores quarterback Jay Cutler ran to his left on fourth-and-one on the Bulldogs' 11-yard line. MSU linebacker Marvin Byrdsong tackled the sophomore quarterback at the line of scrimmage to get the ball back to the offense, with 7:35 left in the first half.
MSU's offense stalled at Vanderbilt's 17-yard line, after being forced