Former Syracuse Orange standouts Joe Morris and David Tyree have much in common. Following two productive careers in an Orange uniform, both won Super Bowl titles while playing for the New York Giants.
On September 8, the former Syracuse standouts will be reunited with their alma mater on the Giants' home field to participate in the pre-game coin toss at New York's College Classic at MetLife Stadium, where Syracuse will host Southern California.
Tyree is known most for making ‘the catch' on the Giants' game-winning drive in Super Bowl XLII. The Giants trailed the Patriots 14-10 with 1:15 left when the offense faced a critical 3rd-and-5 from their own 44-yard line. Giants quarterback Eli Manning improbably avoided a sack and then fired a pass downfield in Tyree's direction. The former Syracuse receiver cut off his route and beat Patriots' safety Rodney Harrison to the ball. Despite a furious attempt from Harrison to dislodge it, Tyree pinned the ball against his helmet and came down with the catch.
Earlier in the week, Manning implored Tyree to remain confident despite a flurry of drops in practice. The Super Bowl XLII MVP encouraged Tyree to block out the dropped catches and expressed his faith in the receiver by telling him that he was “a gamer.” Tyree dubbed the catch “David and Eliath,” while former President George W. Bush referred to it as “the Great Escape,” during the Giants' visit to the White House.
Morris, too, played a pivotal role in a Giants' Super Bowl run. In 1986, the two-time Pro Bowl running back rushed for 1,516 yards in leading the Giants' ball-control offense. In a 49-3 victory over the 49ers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, Morris rushed for 159 yards on 24 carries.
Morris, Syracuse's all-time leading rusher, earned ECAC Offensive Player of the Year honors in 1980. The former Orange running back also set school records for rushing yards in a game (252), season (1,372) and career (4,299) during his Syracuse career.
Tyree, meanwhile, was a wide receiver and special teams standout for the Orange from 1999-02. He became the 14th player in school history to amass 1,000 or more receiving yards and ended his career ranked 13th in program history in career receiving yards.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big East, follow bloggers Evan Hilbert and Matt Rybaltowski @CBSBigEast.