All the Kansas State Wildcats had to do was get a stop.
They got one from sophomore wide receiver Matt Bumgardner.
Matt Bumgardner’s Incredible Catch vs. K-State
The Aggies were down 27-19 and had driven to midfield. Two minutes and 16 seconds remained in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Branndon Stewart snaped the ball, did a little play action and looked downfield.
He saw Bumgardner in single coverage on the outside. He fired.
It’s an all-around beauty. Stewart placed the ball on Bumgadner’s outside shoulder in a place that only he could catch it. Bumgardner outstretched himself to haul in his only grab of the game. It couldn’t have come at a bigger time.
The rest is history.
Sirr Parker tied the game in regulation and later scored perhaps the program’s most legendary touchdown in double overtime to secure a 36-33 win.
K-State’s coverage wasn’t concerned with Bumgardner. Why would they be? He hadn’t made a catch all day.
It ended up costing them college football glory. Who knows what K-State head coach Bill Snyder would’ve done in the national title game?
Bumgardner’s set-up catch personified Texas A&M‘s never-say-die attitude. By the time of the grab, the Aggies cut a 15-point deficit to eight and had taken all the momentum. Anyone on the roster was expected to make a play.
By all means, Parker’s late-game heroics deserve the recognition. But let’s not forget the play that put him in position to become a legend.
Matt Bumgardner is just a guy who set up another guy who set up his team to win a conference title.