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January 06, 1988 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-06

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, January 6, 1988-Page 11

Morris

does

'it

all

for

Schembechier

By RICK KAPLAN
Special to the Daily
TAMPA, Fla. - The little run-
ning back went out big.
Jamie Morris, the all-time leading
rusher in Michigan football history,
ended his collegiate career with the
best game of his four years. The 5-7,
183-pounder largely carried the
Wolverines to a 28-24 Hall of Fame
Bowl win over Alabama Saturday.
In the absence of Michigan coach
Bo Schembechler, recuperating from

heart-bypass surgery in Ann Arbor,
Morris had extra incentive against
the Crimson Tide.
"I ALWAYS wanted to end my
career by going out with a bang. But
I wanted Coach Schembechler to be
on the sideline when it happened.
One out of two isn't bad. It's a great
feeling," said Morris in the locker
room, as he peeled off wrist tape
with the word "BO" printed on it.
"This was my best game ever,
and that was for him,' Morris said.

"It was for Bo. If it was going to be
for anybody, it was going to be for
him."
After his final game in a Wolver-
ine uniform, the most prolific runner
in school history reflected on his
years with Schembechler. "It's the
greatest feeling, whether you play or
not," Morris said. "You should
cherish the moment of playing for
Bo Schembechler. I learned a lot
from him, not just about football,
but about life. He's like a father to

me."
The surrogate son ran for 234
yards and three touchdowns, both
personal highs, on just 23 carries.
While the Michigan passing attack
struggled, Morris racked up record-
breaking numbers on the ground.
The 234-yard performance was a
Wolverine bowl record, and the
fourth best rushing game in school
history. His three rushing touch-
downs broke the Hall of Fame Bowl
record.
THE ONLY record Michigan
appeared headed toward in the first
quarter was fewest offensive plays.
The Wolverines ran three plays and a
punt on their first two possessions.
Michigan ran six plays in the first
quarter, not gaining a first down un-
til midway in the second quarter.
At that point, Morris began to
take control. After a fumble recovery
gave Michigan the ball at the Al-
abama 25-yard line, the Wolverines
gave Morris the ball on a trap play.

Right tackle Mike Husar pulled to
the left side, making the key block
which~sprung Morris. The running
back blew past two Crimson Tide
defenders at the 15-yard line and raced
in for the touchdown, giving Michi-
gan a 7-3 lead.
"We had been watching films on
Alabama, and we saw that they were
vulnerable to the cutback," Morris
said. "Notre Dame had done it to
them. As much as we could, we
wanted to cut back some plays."
The Wolverines cut back
successfully again on a third down
and seven chance on Michigan's next
drive. Morris raced 24 yards behind
Husar, setting up his second TD.
Breaking off right tackle from the
Alabama 14, Morris ran over Tide
safety Mike Smith in a head-on col-
lision at the five, and proceeded into
the end zone.
After his display of power, Mor-

ris showed off his speed in the third
quarter. Taking a handoff up the
middle, he broke to the clear on the
left sideline and went 77 yards for
his third score of the game. The run
was the longest in Hall of Fame
Bowl history.
"They were in man coverage, so
once it busted, the field was open,"
said acting Michigan head coach
Gary Moeller. "God, I didn't see him
come out of there for five yards. It
looked like he hid in the crowd and
just busted through."
Morris credited his teammates
with helping him win Michigan's
Hall of Fame Bowl Most Valuable
Player trophy. "We had such a great
offensive line blocking. But I just
put a few jigga-joos in there that
Allen Jefferson don't have," said a
laughing Morris, teasing the
Wolverines' heir apparent at tail-
back.

Blue downs Bama in last minute

(Continued from Page 10)
Of the 40 passes that first-year
Alabama quarterback Jeff Dunn
threw, 23 were caught for a total of
269 yards. The Tide also gained 191
yards on the ground, including 149
by junior Bobby Humphrey.
In the first quarter the Crimson
Tide controlled the ball for 11:30 en
route to a 3-0 lead.
"Going into the game we knew
they thought that we were just going
to run the ball," Dunn said. "We had
to be very balanced and we had to
throw the ball more."
"They surprised us," said Mal-
lory. "They came out and had a lot
of success passing. But I think it
was one of the better games that the
secondary played.
"They have a great offense,

Humphrey is a great back, and Dunn
played well today. We could have
been up by even more but they
wouldn't have given up."
The decision
What would Bo have done?
That was a popular question
steered toward Moeller after the
Wolverines had pulled out the vic-
tory.
The play in question was Brown's
game-winning touchdown pass to
Kolesar with under a minute to play.
Before the play Moeller was faced
with a difficult fourth-and-three deci-
sion with Michigan a 37-yard field
goal away from tying the game.
Said Moeller after the game and
after chatting with Schembechler on
the phone: "Bo said something to
the effect that, 'Moeller better go for

the win or I'll kill him.' Then we
lined up and he saw it was fourth and
three. Then he thought, 'Oh, maybe
we should go for the field goal.'
"I. wanted to go for the win,"
Moeller added. "It's different in a
bowl game than it would be when
battling for a conference champi-
onship."
After catching the pass that put
Michigan on the Bama 27-yard line,
McMurtry said his teammates sensed
victory.
"We felt we were in great shape,"
he said. "All we had to do was move
the ball consistently. From that
point on we said let's get the win."
Said Kolesar: "It's a bowl game
- the last game. You have to go for
all the marbles. We wanted to go for
six immediately."

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