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USM suspends Blackwell for breaking rules

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Oct. 21, 2003
HATTIESBURG The University of Southern Mississippi (3-3, 3-0 Conference USA) may have gained a quarterback last week, but the team has recently lost the services of a running back.
Junior Tim Blackwell, who sat out the 2002 season, was suspended from the team on Sunday, said head coach Jeff Bower during his Monday press conference.
Blackwell leads the team in rushing this season with 274 yards, and he has scored three touchdowns. The junior is averaging 54.8 yards per game.
Blackwell's suspension came on the heels of the return of the Golden Eagles season-opening starting quarterback Micky D'Angelo.
The junior quarterback had missed USM's last three games because of a concussion he suffered against Memphis on Sept. 13.
D'Angelo's return has created a three-player competition for the signal-caller's spot in the game against the University of South Florida this weekend.
While D'Angelo was out, sophomore quarterback Dustin Almond started one game and entered in the second quarter of the other two games. Almond has thrown for 490 yards this season.
Freshman quarterback Damion Carter started the last two games for USM, and he saw action in the fourth quarter of the team's loss to Nebraska on Sept. 25. He threw for 195 yards during D'Angelo's absence.
D'Angelo, who returned to practice at the start of last week, had thrown for 418 yards and one touchdown before suffering his fourth concussion in a year.
Bower said the junior quarterback is slowly getting back in playing shape, after not being able to practice for nearly four weeks.
USM had an open date on its schedule last Saturday that not only gave D'Angelo extra time to show he is ready to play, but it also allowed other members of the team to heal.
Ronald Jones and Greg Brooks were expected to return to practice on Monday after sitting out last week with ankle injuries, and Travis Cooley worked our full time for the first time last week.
Rod Davis, who momentarily left the Alabama game on Oct. 11 because of cramps, was giving time off during the open week, and Eric Scott practiced late in the week, after some time off.
USM is scheduled to kick off against South Florida at 2 p.m. Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium.