Auburn wide receiver Kyle Davis’ sure-handed catch in the first quarter didn’t count for any points, but it should have for sheer degree of difficulty.
The true freshman made his second career catch falling backwards blanketed by a pair of defenders.
Oh, and he only used one hand.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The future SportsCenter Top 10 play was the catalyst for Auburn’s most productive half of offense in years.
Auburn went into halftime with 38 points on 452 yards of offense. Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway both ran for more than 100 yards in the half while quarterback Sean White threw multiple passing touchdowns in a game for the first time in his career.
It all started with Davis.
Auburn had a slim 7-3 lead when White saw Davis streaking down field. Davis emulated Michael Jordan to get in position for the catch.
When the freshman popped up, he showed very little emotion content to confidently flex and flip the ball to towards the official.
After the game, coach Gus Malzahn called it a “circus catch” while White described it as an unbelievable. Fellow wide receiver Tony Stevens wasn’t in the game at the time
“That’s Kyle,” Stevens said. “I wasn’t shocked cause he do it in practice, but when he did it in the game? That whole moment fits Kyle.”
Three plays later Kerryon Johnson scored on a direct snap from the wildcat formation.
Davis made a 43-yard catch in his debut against Clemson. The Georgia native is the first freshman since 2002 to make a 40-plus yard grab.
The freshman has been a surprise contributor for Auburn considering he missed spring practice recovering from shoulder surgery and missed three weeks of fall camp thanks to a separate procedure on his foot.
Luckily for Auburn, Davis showed he was in game shape the minute he stepped back onto the field.
“I really haven't seen any side effects to the injury,” offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said.
Neither did Arkansas State.