COLUMBIA — Sporting News called it “spectacular.” SBNation called it “amazing.” ESPN named it one of its Top 10 plays of the weekend.
But the biggest compliment after Dorial Green-Beckham’s third touchdown catch Saturday might have come from ESPN announcer Clay Matvick.
“He looked like Randy Moss on that play,” Matvick said during one of several replays.
The clear offensive play of the day occurred in the third quarter of Missouri’s 48-17 blowout win over Kentucky. The Tigers had the ball on the Wildcats’ 22-yard line and held a 28-10 lead. Linebacker Andrew Wilson had just made a great play to force a fumble, and Missouri had a chance to put the game out of reach.
Quarterback Maty Mauk was in a shotgun formation with Henry Josey to his immediate left. Green-Beckham was split to the left sideline 1-on-1 against Kentucky cornerback Nate Willis.
Mauk saw the coverage and decided to check a new route based on the play offensive coordinator Josh Henson called.
“When we had trips to one side and a single receiver, we were going to take advantage of that the whole game,” Mauk said Saturday. “We did a great job of it today.”
Willis blitzed right at the snap, leaving the safety to cover Green-Beckham.
“We talked about — since they were playing man — giving them a little bit of a double move,” Henson said. “So (Green-Beckham) ran a double move, which is actually perfect for a corner blitz. I didn’t know they were corner blitzing. It just worked that way.”
Green-Beckham’s new job was to perform a double move (the act of faking one route before running a different one), so the sophomore took a few steps before turning back to the ball. Mauk pump faked and then lofted the ball deep as Green-Beckham broke for the end zone with Kentucky safety Eric Dixon racing next to him.
“That was one of their game plans,” Green-Beckham said, “to key on me.”
Dixon didn’t really bite on the pump fake, and he had the Missouri receiver covered well, but he never turned his head around. The ball was slightly underthrown, but Dixon couldn’t see it.
Green-Beckham leaped into the air and reached over Dixon. As the ball reached its target, the receiver trapped it against the safety’s helmet before cradling it and holding tight as he slammed against the ground.
The referee signaled touchdown, and the Internet was quickly ablaze with tweets, gifs and video clips of the play.
“I just felt like I came out there and just beat their defense myself and just went out there and made plays,” Green-Beckham said. “As of right now, this is the breakout game of the year for me.”
Supervising editor is Erik Hall.