J-Rock remembers Egg Bowl 8 years ago

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Jerious Norwood — J-Rock to his fans and friends — doesn’t have to think more than a split second when asked his best Egg Bowl memory.

“It was the one we won,” Norwood said from Atlanta Tuesday. “That’s the easiest question I’ve ever answered.”

It was Nov. 26, 2005, at Scott Field, eight years ago today, and it was a performance to behold. Norwood, the former Brandon star, ran for 204 yards and and scored four touchdowns against a Patrick Willis-led Ole Miss defense in a surprising 35-14 State victory.

“I knew that was going to be the last time I ever put on that Mississippi State uniform and I knew I had never beaten Ole Miss,” Norwood said. “I just went as hard as I could for as long as I could and it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”

Midway through the third quarter, Norwood went to the locker room after suffering from muscle cramps in both his calves and his groin.

“They had IVs in both my arms and I was gulping down Gatorade as fast as I could,” Norwood said. “I wanted back out there.”

When he returned to the field, he was welcomed by a thunderous ovation and thousands of clanging cowbells from State fans. Said Norwood, “You never forget a moment like that.”

He responded by rushing for 100 yards in the fourth quarter, a performance that surely clinched him the C Spire Conerly Trophy a few days later.

What does Norwood remember most, other than the return to the field?

“I remember going at it all day with Patrick Willis,” Norwood said. “He got his licks and I got mine. He was a great player, still is.”

Norwood also remembers how much the victory meant to his coach, Sylvester Croom.

“Coach Croom worked us harder that week than we had worked all season,” Norwood said. “We had physical practices because he said it was going to be a physical game. He was right.”

Said Croom after the game: “Jerious is our horse. He’s the reason we won.”

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