No. 2: The Flea-kicker

Nebraska’s Matt Davison (3) cradles the ball after catching a pass that deflected off teammate Shevin Wiggins’ foot with no time left in the fourth quarter of the 1997 game at Missouri.

the Lincoln Journal Star

Nov. 8, 1997

Matt Davison tells the story of the first words he heard from Nebraska coach Tom Osborne after Davison’s miraculous catch helped Nebraska to an improbable overtime victory at Missouri.

Davison, a true freshman receiver from Tecumseh, was sitting on the team bus, when Osborne later boarded and spotted Davison.

“Nice catch, Matt.”

Three deadpanned words that couldn’t be more understated.

In what became famously known as The Flea-kicker, Davison dove and barely got his hands underneath a Scott Frost pass that had deflected off the foot of NU receiver Shevin Wiggins in the end zone. Ruled a catch, Davison’s reception with no time remaining in the fourth quarter, combined with Kris Brown’s PAT kick, forged a 38-38 tie. Nebraska dominated overtime, with Frost scoring on an option keeper, and the Blackshirts sending Missouri and quarterback Corby Jones backward on the Tigers’ ensuing possession.

Nebraska won 45-38 to remain unbeaten, yet lost its No. 1 ranking. The Huskers, though, finished undefeated and shared the national championship with Michigan. All because of a nice catch.

— Brian Rosenthal