Spectacular Catch in Missouri Saves Husker Title Hopes

By NU Athletic Communications
Matt Davison's miraculous catch at Missouri preserved Nebraska's chance at the 1997 national title.
Matt Davison's miraculous catch at Missouri preserved Nebraska's chance at the 1997 national title.
Photo by Lincoln Journal Star

Columbia, Mo. (Nov. 8, 1997) - A little luck never hurts. In its first-ever overtime game, the No. 1 Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated Missouri, 45-38, in Columbia. Nebraska drove 67 yards in 10 plays in the last 1:02 of regulation to tie the score at 38, on a remarkable regulation-ending play.

Facing a third down from the Missouri 12 with just seven seconds remaining, quarterback Scott Frost hit wingback Shevin Wiggins at the goal line, but Wiggins could not control the ball. However, the ball deflected off Wiggins’ foot and into the air, before a diving Matt Davison caught the ball just before it touched the ground.

In overtime, Nebraska lost the toss, but got the ball first and scored in just three plays on a 12-yard Frost run. The defense responded, stopping Missouri in four plays to preserve the thrilling victory. Overall, Frost scored four rushing touchdowns against Missouri, tying the school record for the most rushing TDs by a Husker quarterback. He also rushed for more than 100 yards for the third straight game, with a career-high 141 yards.

I-back Ahman Green recorded his eighth straight 100-yard rushing game with 189 yards. The remarkable finish capped a see-saw battle between two offenses that kept the opposing defense off balance all afternoon. The Huskers rolled up 528 yards in total offense, including 353 yards on the ground. Missouri’s play-action passing and option running gave the Huskers fits all afternoon, as the Tigers gained 386 yards of total offense, including 233 through the air.

Mizzou quarterback Corby Jones accounted for 293 yards of total offense and four touchdowns. Although the narrow victory cost Nebraska the top spot in the polls, it ensured the Huskers’ 29th consecutive nine-win season and kept alive NU’s hopes of a national title.


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