Morton Hoping to be Ready Saturday

<P>Sophomore offensive center Bob Morton sat out last week with an injury. Morton entered the interview room in full gear and full of sweat—a good sign for Irish fans. Morton says he hopes he'll be available this Saturday. </P>

Morton's absence last Saturday forced the Irish to shuffle some players in that hadn't had much playing experience. Morton is considered the next guard to play if Sean Milligan can't play with his injured back. With both Morton and Milligan out last week, Darin Mitchell and Jamie Ryan were forced into action. Having Morton back would be a big boost for the offensive line.

Morton says he's hoping he can play on Saturday. "I feeling a lot better," said Morton. "There's a lot of things that kind of come in when you have an injury or you're hurt. You can either feel weak or you can be in pain. Last week I felt weak. Every time I hit somebody I felt like I was real weak. This week I the feel pain but I feel like I'm strong. I can grit my teeth and bear through it. I'm hoping I'll see some time on Saturday."

Having been injured, Morton says he's limited in how much he can practice this week and it's taken him a little time to get back into the swing of things. "I'm working the same way I was before I was hurt but fewer plays. Just kind of getting back in the mix—a little rusty, made some really ugly calls and plays today. Just trying to get back into the mix and shake the rust off."

The offensive line has had some problems and Morton feels they just need to finish every play and every block to be successful. "We need to play every play. We need to play from the first whistle to the last whistle of every play. We need to finish our blocks, make our assignments and we'll be successful."

The 1-2 Irish haven't had much to feel good about lately dropping their last two games. Morton says coach Tyrone Willingham has done an excellent job of motivating this team to turn this around. "Its human nature when things are going bad, looking at how bad things are going. I think he's kind of letting us know that there's nothing stopping us from putting a string of games together and being right back in the hunt to where we want to be in. I think that kind of positive attitude around this team can really be a powerful force for the rest of the year."

Willingham is the same guy on the field that we see every day in the media room according to Morton. "He's the same guy. The guy he is with the press is the guy he is with the team. I know he's an emotional guy and doesn't like losing and loves to win but when it comes to motivation, when things are going well or things aren't, he motivates the same way."

Morton believes Willingham's positive attitude can be infectious if the players respond to how he's handled the current situation. "When you see him smiling on the field, you realize that I could be smiling too. His attitude can really help a lot of people turn their attitudes around and get this program right back where it needs to go."

Morton has always been a positive guy and is always smiling. He's hoping he gets to play again on Saturday and they leave West Lafayette with plenty to smile about.


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