|COLLEGE FB PACKAGE: After near-fatal car wreck, N.C. State safety is shining|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 21 November 2007 12:56|
The junior safety leads North Carolina State with 110 tackles, a remarkable accomplishment considering he was nearly killed in high school when he was a passenger in a car that was struck by a drunk driver. The accident robbed him of his senior season and may have cost him a scholarship to Ohio State.
``I'm thankful to be here breathing,'' Morgan said. ``I thank God every morning for that.''
Morgan and brother DeAndre were riding home from practice in Riviera Beach, Fla., in August 2003 when their car was hit head-on. Both were knocked unconscious, and DaJuan dislocated his hip and broke his thumb. Ohio State backed off during the weeks leading up to signing day the following spring, so he signed with N.C. State.
DeAndre followed him to Raleigh two years later, redshirted in 2006 and this season emerged as a starter at cornerback - the first time the brothers have played for the same team at the same time.
Before each game, they take a knee in one of the end zones in an expression of gratitude for a second chance at football.
``To be out there on the field with him at the same time, that's something we've never had before,'' DaJuan Morgan said. ``For my mom to be over here to live and see that, that touches me.''
NOT LETTING UP: This would seem the perfect time for Boston College to rest and heal. The Atlantic Division title is wrapped up and the ACC championship game looms next week.
But coach Jeff Jagodzinski refuses to take it easy. Not on Senior Day, and certainly not against a reeling Miami program that the Eagles haven't defeated since Doug Flutie's famous Hail Mary pass in 1984.
``We go into every game wanting to win it, and I understand that the next week is going to be big also,'' Jagodzinski said. ``I'm not going to put guys at risk, but we do want to win this ball game because it's Miami, the number of wins, the bowl implications it could have.''
LOPSIDEDLY CLOSE: Georgia Tech has lost six straight to Georgia and trails the series 58-38-5. But for such a one-sided series, recent games have been tight.
The last three each have been decided by seven or fewer points. Georgia beat the Yellow Jackets 15-12 last season by scoring a touchdown with 1:45 left.
The No. 6 Bulldogs are rolling with five straight wins, leading many to expect a rout. Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey said last year's result provides no confidence boost for his team this time, but that Georgia's ranking doesn't have much bearing on the game either.
``Rivalry games are those games where you look at statistics, you look at records, and sometimes everything doesn't fall into place the way you think they should,'' Gailey said.
``There's so much emotion in those ballgames, a lot of things can happen. I don't think our guys are looking at last year as a plus or minus. I think they take this year for what it is and what they think we're capable of doing.''
Georgia Tech's last win in the series came in 2000 in Athens. It last beat Georgia in Atlanta in 1999, 51-48 in overtime.
BOWDEN'S ATTITUDE: When Tommy Bowden arrived at Clemson, he never wanted rival South Carolina to win a game.
``A couple of years ago, I'd just as soon them go 0-and-10 and us be 10-and-0 and go play,'' Bowden said. ``Be kind of like Coke hoping that Pepsi has a good quarter. Coke's usually not a big fan of Pepsi and hopes they probably go under.''
But these days, Bowden believes that for the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry to have an impact outside the Palmetto State, ``we've both got to have success.''
If the No. 21 Tigers and Gamecocks do well, ``the more national exposure you get. As far as recruiting, you expand the recruiting areas.
``Until we're both having success on a consistent level, the rivalry's not going to get the respect it deserves,'' Bowden said. ``So I changed my tune maybe two or three years ago.''
Bowden has had success his eight previous seasons against the Gamecocks, with a 6-2 record. He was 5-1 against former South Carolina coach Lou Holtz and has split two meetings with Steve Spurrier.
While Bowden has changed his opinion, he said that isn't the case with Clemson and South Carolina fans.
``I've gotten mail that some of them do'' wish both teams are successful, Bowden said. ``I don't think they went to school in this state. I think they are from the north and moved here.''
AP Sports Writers Charles Odum in Atlanta and Pete Iacobelli in Clemson, S.C., contributed to this report.