COLUMBIA — Bud Sasser waited all week for his big moment against Georgia.
Missouri coaches decided to reinstall "Colt .45," a double pass the Tigers used in the 2011 Independence Bowl, and Sasser was to be the man with the ball in his hands.
Click here to see Bud Sasser's throw.
"We had been joking around during practice all week," Sasser said. "They were saying, 'Bud, you better make this play,' and joking like, 'Don't mess it up.'"
The play went uncalled for the first three quarters. It wasn't until starting quarterback James Franklin went down in the fourth that offensive coordinator Josh Henson decided to use it, and Sasser definitely didn't mess it up.
With Maty Mauk in the game, the Tigers had the ball on the Georgia 40-yard line with a two-point lead and 9 minutes, 34 seconds left on the clock. On second down, Missouri needed just 1 yard to move the chains, but Henson decided to go for the highlight reel.
A scene from practice ran through Sasser's mind as he prepared to catch the ball from Mauk and chuck it to L'Damian Washington.
"I had overthrown him a couple times in practice," Sasser said. "He was kind of iffy like, 'I don’t know what you want me to do.' I told him to just run. I'm gonna throw it. Even if I see him barely on you, I'm going to let it go. He was ready."
Sasser caught the backwards throw from Mauk and then set up to throw. He held the ball for a full two seconds, an eternity with defensive players bearing down on the fake screen.
But fellow receivers Marcus Lucas and Jimmie Hunt executed good blocks on the edge.
"I sat back there for a while," Sasser said. "You would think I was just scanning the whole field, but I had one receiver to throw to. Those guys blocked so great on that play."
Finally deciding to throw, Sasser planted his feet without crow hopping for extra momentum and released the ball high above his head.
"He was covered," Sasser said before letting out a laugh. "They actually defended the play really well. It was just the fact that it was a fifth-year senior (Washington) on a freshman (Georgia defensive back Shaq Wiggins). I believed in L'Damian, I gave him a shot and he came up big."
From where Sasser threw behind the line of scrimmage to Washington behind the goal line, the toss sailed 52 yards in the air. Washington reached over Wiggins and grabbed it for an eight-point lead. Georgia’s Sanford Stadium fell silent as a mob of white-uniformed players congregated in the end zone to celebrate.
Later that night, highlights from Missouri’s 41-26 upset win flashed across televisions around the country. "Colt .45" was the biggest offensive play of the contest, and a key play when Georgia seemed to have gained momentum in the waning minutes.
"I joked around all week saying I hope this is called on the opposite 20-(yard line)," Sasser said. "I want this to go far. I want this to be an amazing play. It just so happened to get called at that down and distance. I don't think it really mattered how far away we were."
Asked if he could ever top that moment in his football career, the redshirt junior smiled.
"Probably if I could throw it and run down there and catch it," Sasser said, setting off off a chorus of laughter. "I felt like it was just another play. I didn't think it would honestly be this big."
Supervising editor is Erik Hall.