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Alfred Morris' Thanksgiving Day performance included this 1-yard touchdown run in Washington's victory over Dallas.

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Face the nation

Former FAU running back Alfred Morris says it was "crazy" to play in one of the NFL's featured games on Thanksgiving.

Originally published on 11/23/2012

by Chuck King

When the NFL released its schedule, Washington running back Alfred Morris initially didn't realize that the Redskins' Week 12 game against the Cowboys would have national exposure.
 
It wasn't until the Redskins were well into their season that Morris realized he'd be playing on Thanksgiving.

"I grew up watching that game," Morris said on Friday. "Especially the slot we were in, everybody was going to be watching it. To get to play in it, that was crazy."

With all eyes on his game, the former Florida Atlantic running back put together one of the best performances of his young career.

After rushing for 113 yards and a touchdown, Morris picked up his phone to find about 70 messages from friends and family who watched.

"That was probably the biggest stage you can play on," said Morris, who was en route to his hometown of Pensacola for the weekend. "I just wanted to win. I wanted to go out there and give it my all."

Morris also wanted to give his former school some props. After scoring his sixth touchdown of the season on a 1-yard run in the second quarter Morris stayed with his customary scoring celebration that includes flashing his Owl fingers.

"That's my U - that's always going to be my U," Morris said. "Owl pride. I'm proud of my university."

Morris' performance leaves him 18 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark for his rookie season. He'll have the opportunity to surpass that mark in another nationally televised game. The Redskins host the New York Giants in what could be a battle for the NFC East lead on Monday, Dec. 3.

"We are in a tight spot right now," Morris said. "Every game is like a playoff game chasing the Giants."

Morris wasn't the only former Owl in action on Thanksgiving. Wide receiver Lestar Jean saw significant action in Houston's 34-31 overtime victory over Detroit, but did not catch a pass. Bothered by injuries much of the season, Jean has caught three passes for 66 yards this year.

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