Looking Back on Kentucky Coach Guy Morriss' Premature Gatorade Shower

Ken CaprittoContributor IFebruary 6, 2009

I thought it was really funny when the players of Kentucky doused their coach with Gatorade and all the Kentucky Wildcat fans stormed the field, not knowing that there was a Bluegrass Miracle taking place on the other end. Fans went as far as tearing down the goal post.

Kentucky was the home team, but they were the underdogs to the defending SEC champion Tigers. During the game, LSU was ahead by as many as 14 points, but Kentucky mounted a fourth-quarter comeback.

The comeback appeared to be complete when Wildcats kicker Taylor Begley made a 29-yard field goal late in the game, giving Kentucky a 30-27 lead. Before the kick, however, a Kentucky player called an ill-advised timeout, meaning that there were still 11 seconds left on the clock. LSU would get the ball back.

But after the ensuing kickoff, the Tigers were pinned back at their own 9-yard line. On the first play of the series, the Tigers quickly got the ball to their own 26-yard line on a pass from quarterback Marcus Randall to wide receiver Michael Clayton.

LSU called a timeout after the play, but only two seconds remained on the clock. Because of the dire situation, their only chance for victory at this point was a rarely successful Hail Mary pass. However, the chances for success were even less than normal, because LSU was too far away for the pass to reach the opponent's end zone.

Kentucky players were so confident that they had won the game that they gave head coach Guy Morriss a Gatorade bath before the final play had taken place.

On the final play of the game, Randall took the ball and threw it from his own 18-yard line as far as he could downfield. Soon after Randall released the ball, triumphant Kentucky fans stormed the field around him. The pass was well short of the end zone by about 20 yards.

However, the ball was deflected off the hands of Clayton between the Kentucky 25- to 20-yard lines, into the hands of LSU wide receiver Devery Henderson and just short of the 15-yard line. Henderson broke the shoestring tackle of the last Kentucky defender and ran into the end zone with the winning touchdown.

While Henderson crossed the end zone, the Jefferson Pilot Sports television broadcast accidentally posted the graphic "Kentucky 30, LSU 27--FINAL." LSU had actually just won the game, 33-30.

Kentucky fans who were already on the field could not believe what had happened. Fireworks were shot off when the game clock read "0:00," even prior to the Hail Mary pass.

After the play, Tom Leach, Kentucky's radio play-by-play announcer, said, "how much heartbreak. Kentucky fans are up on the goal posts. I don't know why."

LSU play-by-play announcer Jim Hawthorne was equally shocked and was also at a loss for an explanation; he initially said that LSU defensive back Jack Hunt (who had converted from wide receiver in 2002), not Devery Henderson, scored the touchdown. Hunt's uniform number was 8 and Henderson's was 9.