AFM RSS Feed Follow Us on Twitter       

   User Name    Password 
      Password Help

Article Categories

AFM Magazine

AFM Magazine

Stories from Statesboro

"Pray, Tim, Pray"
by: Erk Russell
© More from this issue

Click for Printer Friendly Version          

Ninteen seventy-eight turned out to be one hell of a season for us at Georgia. Not just because we won nine ball games, but more because the so-called "experts" had predicted that the Dawgs would be "underdawgs" in eight of our 11 games. During the preseason, our staff suggested to the players that we were the "wonder dogs" not the underdogs the media would've had them and anybody else willing to read their wit believe. I guess that's why pundits are writing instead of coaching.

We lost to Bill Walsh's Stanford team in the Bluebonnet Bowl, 25-22, and earlier in the season to South Carolina, 27-10, who had a guy by the name of George Rogers, a freshman who could really run the ball and showed us right off why he would win the Heisman three years later. But, in eight of our other games there was a big "W" for the Dogs over Baylor, Clemson, Ole Miss, LSU, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, VMI, Florida and Georgia Tech, plus an unfortunate tie versus Auburn.

But our bubble almost burst on an October afternoon in Lexington, Kentucky. We were behind 14-16, with 4:03 left in the game when our quarterback, Jeff Pyburn, directed a great drive that got us to their 12-yard line with three seconds on the clock. We ran our field goal team out onto the field, and as we looked out there, low and behold, we had lined up to kick with only 10 men. Well, the whole sideline was going nuts.

Now, you can kick a field goal with only 10 men in the game, but the rule says you have to have at least seven on the line of scrimmage to make it a legal play; we had six. We had no time outs remaining and we could not get a lineman out on the field in time to execute the play. It looked bad; what were we to do? Kentucky did it for us.

They called time-out to ice our kicker, Rex Robinson; you know, a little extra time to think about the task at hand. During the time out, we found out that the missing player was a sophomore tackle, Tim Morrison. We got 11 players out there and Rex made the kick and we won the game 17-16.

Naturally, Coach Dooley inquired of Morrison as to his whereabouts when we needed him. Tim's reply was, "Coach, I was on the bench praying."

Tim's prayers for the team were answered, but he would've had to do a heap of praying for his own personal safety if Kentucky hadn't called that time out. While hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, I'm certain that teammates and a coaching staff deprived of a win by a player forgetting to go into the game would give a "woman done wrong" a battle for most pissed off.

Tim Morrison was a fine young man and an outstanding offensive lineman for us for three years and he contributed greatly to our success. However, if things had not worked out the way they did, I'm afraid that he would always have been remembered as the "missing lineman" on the field goal team at Kentucky in 1978.

Tim's story is like life in general. A man can do so many good things during a lifetime and "screw up" just once. Chances are he will be remembered not for all of the good, but for the mistake he made.


AFM Videos Streaming Memberships Now Available Digital Download - 304 Pages of Football Forms for the Winning Coach


Copyright 2024,
All Rights Reserved