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Irish Insider: Morton leads team in Victory March

Mike Gilloon | Monday, September 4, 2006

ATLANTA – He felt him at the opening snap. He felt him as he surged ahead for the game-winning first down. He felt him as he led his teammates in a post-game Victory March.

Irish offensive guard Bob Morton said Saturday that his father’s presence was always on his mind as he helped lead Notre Dame to its season-opening, 14-10 victory at Georgia Tech.

“There are not many things in this world that I can’t put into words,” said Morton, when asked about how he felt walking off the field a winner less than two weeks after he lost his father, Robert, to stomach cancer. “This feeling is one of them.”

“Part of me wishes my dad’s face would have been there on the sidelines,” he said to reporters after the game. “And part of me is really happy that I know he had a better seat.”

Morton spoke of the support he has received from his teammates’ parents and also a post-game hug from his coach.

“It was … a well of emotions that was only heightened by Coach Weis opening his arms – which he doesn’t do very often. I don’t know where I would have been without him and some of the guys on this team.”

It’s raining bottled water

– Georgia Tech’s public address announcer twice had to ask Yellow Jacket fans – mainly students – from throwing plastic bottles and trash onto the field.

The uproar began in the third quarter when Tech linebacker Phillip Wheeler was whistled for an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit on Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn.

“He was in bounds, I hit him,” Wheeler said. “I do not think it should have been a penalty.”

Neither did his fellow students.

When the referee announced the personal foul penalty, a plastic water bottle flew out of the stands and landed right at his feet.

Negative news

– Notre Dame’s Carl Gioia will probably receive more media attention than usual this week after the senior kicker missed two field goals Saturday night. But he won’t any negativity from Weis.

“I talked to Carl about it,” Weis said. “I said, ‘You missed two field goals, you’ll go and make the next one.'”

Four x 100

– Irish receiver Rhema McKnight finished with 108 yards on eight receptions – the fourth 100-yard receiving game of his career.

His career high came in 2003 against Boston College, when the then-sophomore racked up 121 yards on just four receptions.

Walking tall

– Darius Walker reached the 2,000 yard rushing mark for his Notre Dame career Saturday night.

The Irish running back entered the Georgia Tech game with 1,982 yards after two seasons. His 99 yards on 22 carries now gives him 2,081.