Chris Conley had two words go through his mind when he saw Reggie Davis reel in a catch at the Georgia 40-yard line.
AJ Reynolds/Staff, @ajreynoldsphoto
Georgia wide receiver Reggie Davis (81) runs for a touchdown after a catch during the first half of the NCAA college football game between Georgia and North Texas in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013.
“He’s gone,” Conley said of Davis’ 98-yard touchdown in the second quarter of Georgia’s 45-21 victory over North Texas. “He’s one of the fastest guys on the team coming in here as a freshman. … I knew that was to the house.”
The Mean Green had pinned the Georgia offense on its own 2-yard line and Aaron Murray let it fly from near the back of his own end zone.
The last thing the quarterback wanted to do was underthrow the 6-foot, 159-pound receiver.
“You just got to let it go and let it fly and let him run under it because he’s going to catch up to it,” Murray said. “He ran a great route, made a great catch and he’s too fast for anyone after that.”
Davis avoided the North Texas safety’s tackle attempt and ran like a gazelle into the end zone to put Georgia up 14-0.
Oh, the play was also Murray’s 100th career touchdown pass. And the longest touchdown pass in Georgia history. And Davis’ first career catch and first career touchdown.
“I wasn’t even expecting to be in, honestly,” said Davis, who finished with two catches for 134 yards and the record-setting score. “Just waiting to get in at Z. … They split down and called the play and I was happy. The main focus I was doing was just trying to catch the ball. Once I caught the ball and saw the safety dove and missed, then I knew I was out of there.”
Murray, a redshirt senior who has been in Georgia’s program since January 2009, put another record in his file at the hands of a freshman, who came in just more than a month ago.
Davis wasn’t aware of the milestone and the record until the start of postgame interviews. As reporters made the rounds asking about the play, Davis had a better grasp on it, calling it an honor.
Georgia coach Mark Richt overheard Davis talking about the play during a postgame radio interview.
“It was kind of neat just to hear him say that,” Richt said. “Here’s a freshman, just starting out and Murray’s been around here forever and those guys hook up on a big play.”
But Murray, who finished with 408 yards on 22-of-33 passing, three touchdowns and an interception, said what he has said each time he achieves a new statistical feat, liking passing Georgia’s all time total offensive yards leader David Greene or bumping Peyton Manning out of the top of five in total passing yards in Southeastern Conference record books.
“It’s an honor to be alongside those guys, but I didn’t come here for stats.” Murray said. “I came here to win game and it was a great win. That’s the most important thing we took out of today.”
And as far as Davis goes, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said the Bulldogs have been trying to use him more in the offense. Davis’ performance Saturday was a good use of his playing time.
“Reggie’s a baller. He’s a playmaker,” Conley said. “We’ve been kind of holding onto our chance to unleash him. … I think he’s only going to get better. You’ve only gotten a little bit of taste of Reggie Davis.”