BLAST FROM THE PAST – WR MATT DAVISON, 1997 AMAZING CATCH – NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
In one of the most amazing games in NCAA College Football history, a young freshman football player by the name of Matt Davison made one of the greatest catches in NCAA College Football History. In 1997, Davison was only a freshman in this crucial College Football Game with the Missouri Tigers and if he never made another catch for the Cornhuskers, this catch would send him into the annals Nebraska Cornhuskers History.
In this historical football game, Davison made a diving catch of a deflected pass in the end zone with no time remaining in regulation and allowed the Cornhuskers to tie the Missouri Tigers 38-38 and then won the game on Overtime by a 45-38 score.
“I’m hearing what everybody’s saying,” Davison said two days after the catch. “It doesn’t seem as big to me as everybody else. If we go on to win the national championship, then it will be a bigger thing.”
The Nebraska-Missouri Game isn’t quite the rivalry of an Alabama-Auburn Game, but the Cornhuskers had not lost to the Tigers since 1978. However, in this game, behind the incredible running and passing of athletic quarterback Corby Jones, the Tigers were leading 38-31 with seven seconds left in the game, and the Cornhuskers had the football on the Tigers 12-yard line, but they had no timeouts.
Before this game, Davison had only caught seven passes for 117-yards and he had never scored a Cornhusker touchdown. As a senior in high school at Tecumseh, Nebraska, Davison was a Super Athlete as he was selected to the All-State Team in Football, Basketball, and baseball. Davison also made a diving catch as a mere 14-year old freshman in a District Championship Game that gave them a 21-20 victory in the final minute of the game. By this game, Davison had become the fourth team receiver on a running team, but he was getting a little more playing time as a Cornhusker freshman.
On the game-tying play, Davison lined up as one of two receivers on the left side; two others lined up on the right. Quarterback Scott Frost looked over the middle and threw hard to wingback Shevin Wiggins, who looked like he momentarily was going to make the catch, but then the football unbelievably slid down his leg as Tigers free safety Julian Jones tackled him. As Wiggins went to the ground, one of his legs popped up and miraculously kicked the football back into the air.
“I saw the ball get deflected off Wiggins,” Davison said. “It was floating like a punt, kind of end over end. It seemed like it took forever to get there. I dived, and I guess the Good Lord was watching over me, because I was in the right spot at the right time.”
The Missouri Tiger fans didn’t wait for the call from the referee and they all ran onto the field and into the endzone to tear down the goalpost in celebration of their huge Upset victory. But then the officials signaled touchdown and the field was cleared for the Cornhuskers extra point attempt.
“My parents were sitting in the opposite endzone, way up in the stands and they didn’t even know it was me who caught the winning touchdown pass until a half hour after the game.”
The Cornhuskers scored a touchdown on their first possession in Overtime and clinched the victory by sacking Jones on fourth down of their only possession. Although the Cornhuskers fell from #1 to #3 in the polls, they still could thank Freshman Matt Davison for the victory that kept them in the running for the National College Football Championship.
Although Davison was an outstanding wide receiver for the Cornhuskers who were a run-dominated team, he made a catch in 1997 that made NCAA History and won him the 1997 ESPY at the College Football Awards and his “Amazing Catch” was the Overall Play of the Year.
The “Amazing Catch” was on September 6, 2007 and the The Amazing Catch helped Nebraska beat Missouri and led the Cornhuskers to later play in the National College Football Championship Game.
Click The Link And Watch The Amazing Catch:
Fifteen years after The ESPY Catch, Matt Davison is still making a huge difference in his Nebraska community.
Davison finished his incredible Nebraska Cornhusker career ranked second on the All Time receivers with 93 catches for 1,456-yards, trailing only Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers with 143 catches for 2,479-yards. Davison led the Cornhuskers in receptions as a sophomore (32), junior (29) and senior (21), becoming just the third Cornhusker receiver to lead the team in receiving for three straight seasons, joining Frank Simon (1949-51) and Johnny Rodgers (1970-72).
In 2000, Davison averaged 18.5 yards per catch ane he was also the leading receiver for the Cornhuskers. He set a career high with three touchdowns as a senior. The first was a 31-yarder, while the second was a 43-yarder on the final play of the first half in Nebraska’s 42-13 win over Iowa. Davison recorded two 100-yard receiving games and 22 multi-catch games in his career. In 1998, Davison caught a career-best 10 balls against Texas A&M and set the single-game school record with 167 receiving yards.
Davison earned honorable-mention All Big-12 in 1998, 1999, and 2000, and was a three-time first-team academic All Big-12 honors. He also earned a spot as an academic All-District VII selection in 1999 and 2000.
Davison played guard for the Cornhusker basketball team in the second semester of 1999. He also played in 15 games, started two games, and scored 36 points, averaging 2.4 points per game and 1.1 rebounds per game. Eight of his 12 field goals were three-pointers.