A piece of advice for TCU running back Aaron Green, if his fateful catch Saturday to beat Texas Tech develops into the catalyst for a magical season:
Embrace the significance of your play, because no one will forget it anytime soon, said a man uniquely equipped to understand the ramifications of such a moment.
“I saw it live, sitting in my living room,” former Nebraska receiver Matt Davison said Monday. “Obviously, there were a lot of things that were similar to my play.”
Nice catch, @AaronGreen22
— Matt Davison (@Matt_Davison) September 27, 2015
Green, a senior running back, dove in the back of the end zone to snag Trevone Boykin's fourth-and-4 pass, tipped by receiver Josh Doctson. The touchdown, with 23 seconds to play, provided the Horned Frogs’ winning margin of 55-52.
Nearly 18 years ago, Davison, as a true freshman, dove to catch a tipped third-down pass by Scott Frost in the end zone as time expired at Missouri. The touchdown forced overtime, and Nebraska won 45-38 win to move to 9-0 -- a season that ended with a national championship in coach Tom Osborne’s final season.
Never does a week pass for Davison, 36, without talk of that 1997 catch.
“For a few years, I got asked about it nearly every day," Davison said. "But that’s a good thing.”
The Davison-Green connection runs deeper. They met briefly a few times, Davison said, as Green began his career at Nebraska in 2011. He was caught behind star back Ameer Abdullah and transferred to TCU.
If the fourth-ranked Horned Frogs continue to win, the buzz around Green’s catch will grow, said Davison, now a radio broadcaster for Nebraska football and basketball and founder of Creating Captains, an organization that fights childhood hunger in the state.
“Every team that wins the title is going to have a couple of moments during the season where it has to overcome a close game,” Davison said. “So this was a distinct moment, obviously, where it looked like they had a chance to lose.
“And for about half a second, it really looked like they were going to lose.”
Davison’s former coach, Osborne, now sits on the College Football Playoff committee. He participated in the discussion that left once-beaten TCU out of the four-team playoff a year ago. If a similar scenario arises this season, Davison said he would not expect Osborne to hold the unlikely win over Tech against the Horned Frogs.
After all, Osborne benefited from a similar bounce.
“If I were to speak for him,” Davison said, “I’d say, 'Well, it took a great play call to make that happen.' But he wouldn’t say that. He would have a much smarter answer, I’m sure.
“But look, your record has to be such that you’re deserving to get in the playoff or to be a national champion. People can see if TCU, at the end of the year, is deserving to be there. It’s more than just one play. I don’t think any committee member can sit there and say it was luck. At the end of the year, your record is what it is, and sometimes things like this happen.”