October 5, 2009 3:59:00 PM
STARKVILLE -- It was a long time coming for Tobias Smith.
Mississippi State''s redshirt freshman offensive guard from Columbus saw the first playing time of his college career Saturday in a 42-31 loss to No. 25 Georgia Tech.
Smith had been waiting for his turn after preseason ankle injuries hampered his progress the past two seasons. He had ankle surgery this preseason to repair damage from a severe sprain.
"It was kind of special, but ruined by the loss," Smith said. "Usually, I would be nervous, but I wasn''t nervous. I was hyped. I was like the Energizer Bunny because I was doing all kind of talking and was so excited to play."
Smith substituted for Craig Jenkins in the first offensive series with 13 minutes, 4 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
MSU coach Dan Mullen said during the week that there was "a good chance" Smith would play and told him to get ready.
"He said I would be in on the second or third series," Smith said.
Smith''s first series consisted of two plays and ended when quarterback Chris Relf lost a fumble.
On the second series, Chad Bumphis'' 10-yard run capped a seven-play, 68-yard drive
After the score, Smith celebrated by clapping his hands on his way back down the sideline.
"I was just excited and trying to keep the team up," Smith said. "We sometimes get down when we start to lose games. Somebody has to (keep everybody up)."
After committing to MSU in January 2008 and signing the following February, Smith sat out his freshman season after suffering a broken ankle during a preseason scrimmage.
He was a three-year starter on the offensive line at Columbus High for coach Daryl Jones.
Lee''s big night
MSU senior quarterback Tyson Lee, of Columbus, finished with a career-high 278 yards passing.
He also completed the longest pass of his career when he connected with Bumphis on a 69-yard play in the fourth quarter.
Lee''s 27-yard run in the first quarter also was a career-long.
Bulldog senior running back Anthony Dixon had his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game this season. The performance marks the 12th time Dixon has hit or eclipsed that mark. He''s tied for second in that category in school history.
After finishing with 106 yards on 18 carries, Dixon inched closer to becoming MSU''s all-time leading rusher. He now has 3,031 yards, which is 181 yards shy of leader Jerious Norwood''s total of 3,212.
Frank, Young inducted
Former MSU athletes Gary Frank and Glen Young were inducted into the school''s Sports Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony.
Frank, who was a four-year letterman in football and track from 1984-88, earned All-America honors in shot put in 1987. He won three Southeastern Conference shot put titles and one NCAA crown in 1988.
After being drafted by the Denver Broncos in 1988, Frank played two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He was also a first-round pick of the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League.
Young broke the school record for kick return yardage, and still ranks third all-time with 1,538 yards. He represented MSU in the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic and Senior Bowl.
Young was drafted in the third round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1983 and played six seasons in the National Football League.
nader commented at 10/25/2009 11:37:00 AM:
1. Bulldogs ready to forget past, focus on Texas A&M COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Ole Miss overlooks hype, readies for No. 1 Alabama COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU gets good grades for first four games COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Unbeaten MSU receives high marks on defense COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Defense delivers dominating effort for Rebels COLLEGE SPORTS