ST. LOUIS — Wide receiver T.J. Moe led the Missouri football team with 13 receptions against Illinois on Saturday. Which grab did he think was the best of the afternoon?
Cornerback Carl Gettis’ fourth-quarter interception.
With about 13 minutes remaining in the game and Missouri leading 17-13, Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase dropped back and lofted a deep pass.
Gettis ran stride for stride with the Illinois receiver, but he appeared to lose half a step as the ball floated closer. With no safety support over the top, Gettis was on his own.
As Gettis took his final stride, he fully extended his right arm toward the Edward Jones Dome roof.
The football landed softly in his hand.
“Carl could play receiver if he wanted to,” Moe said. “He’s got some of the best hands on the team … Obviously, you saw today that he’s got some serious hands.”
The interception came on the drive after Missouri took its first lead of the game, giving the momentum to the Tigers and leading them to a 23-13 victory.
“It’s a great feeling because I want to do whatever I can for this team to be successful and win,” Gettis said. “To be able to make a play like that and just shift the whole momentum, that’s the best feeling for me.”
Although it took all of his athleticism to make the play, Gettis was quick to share the credit.
“They were some great gloves,” he said. “It was a combination. I had great gloves – they were sticky, and I was able to bring it in and get my hands on it.”
The jaw-dropping catch even prompted coach Gary Pinkel to make one of the most unlikely comparisons possible.
“He made that interception and I thought Chase Coffman was out on the field,” Pinkel said.
While the interception wowed Gettis' teammates, no one seemed surprised.
“I saw him in practice do the same thing a couple of days ago,” linebacker Andrew Gachkar said. “He one-handed one in the end zone, so we’re pretty used to it. It’s not a surprise.”
Gettis was no doubt proud of making such impressive plays lately, but he’d rather they require less flash.
“I don’t want it to become a knack,” Gettis said, “I want to get two hands on it, if possible, but if we get the interception, we get the interception.”
Gettis admitted that as he chased down the receiver and made a play on the ball, he wasn’t sure if he’d come down with it.
“It came up on me rather fast,” Gettis said. “I didn’t see it when I jumped. It was coming down out of the light.”
There’s one more thing Gettis isn’t sure he’ll be able to catch tonight. But if he misses this one, he knows he’ll have a second chance.
“If I get a chance to catch SportsCenter, I’ll see it, but if I don’t I’m sure somebody will tell me about it.”