Lincoln alum is solid for Eagles

ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia Southern redshirt freshman Darell Norman is ready to break out.

Listed as a backup wide receiver, Norman led the Eagles with 60 rushing yards on 12 carries Saturday in Georgia Southern's 45-21 loss to Georgia. The former Lincoln County standout posted a long run of 26 yards.

"This is my time to shine," said Norman, who played two games at Alabama-Birmingham last season before suffering a season-ending injury. He transferred to Georgia Southern in the off-season.

A key cog of Lincoln County's 2005 and '06 state-title teams, Norman gained three times as many yards as the Eagles' second-leading rusher (starting running back Adam Urbano , 20 yards).

OWENS AILING: Georgia senior starting defensive tackle Jeff Owens left Sanford Stadium on crutches with a brace around his right knee.

"He hurt his knee, and he won't be back anytime soon," Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said. "We need to take the MRI and the X-rays that we need to take and have certainty later on."

Senior backup defensive tackle Corvey Irvin is expected to take Owens' place. The Laney alum led Georgia with one sack and two tackles for loss and also tied for the team lead with six tackles.

"Corvey Irvin had a tremendous summer for us," Richt said. "(Irvin and Lincoln County alum Jarius Wynn ) both did. Usually, a junior college kid doesn't figure out what I call 'The Georgia Way' for quite a while. But these guys have done a tremendous job."

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Georgia senior safety C.J. Byrd , a North Augusta native, had two tackles. Senior defensive end Wynn had one tackle, a half sack and a half tackle for loss.

NO MORAL VICTORIES: Georgia Southern senior receiver Tim Camp wasn't pleased with the way the Eagles played. Camp, a former Harlem standout, caught four passes for 48 yards.

"We still have to hold our heads high," Camp said. "People come around talking about it was a respectable score. I don't believe all that. I don't think we played that well on offense."

GREEN'S DAY: Georgia senior golfer Michael Green was honored before the game with the Joel Eaves Scholar Athlete Award. The native Augustan holds a 3.97 GPA in finance. He has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll each of his first three seasons. Green is the male student- athlete representative on the Georgia Athletic Board for 2008-09. The award is given in memory of Joel Eaves , Georgia's athletic director from 1963-79.

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or chris.gay@augustachronicle.com.

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