With 9:24 remaining in the first quarter of then-No. 23 Texas’ 34-29 loss to the unranked Maryland Terrapins, the Longhorn offense showed what could possibly be in store down the road.
Sam Ehlinger dropped back as junior Devin Duvernay flew past the Terrapin coverage. Ehlinger saw Duvernay open down field and fired the ball, but the sophomore quarterback thought he might have overthrown the wide open receiver after he released the ball.
“He ran like 23 miles (per) hour on that play,” Ehlinger said. “I’ve seen him do that before. When it left my hand I was like, ‘Oh God. He’s too open.’ It’s always the ones that are too easy that you’re worried about.”
Duvernay is known as one of the fastest players on the team, and he showed it. He found an extra gear, laid out and completed a diving catch for a touchdown, to put Texas in position to tie the game pending the successful extra point by freshman Cameron Dicker.
“It was epic,” Duvernay said. “It was fun. It was a big-time catch. That’s what you work all off-season for. I was just running and it was kind of out there so I just dove and tired to make a play.”
Duvernay said the 39-yard touchdown is probably the best catch of his athletic career. He eventually finished with four catches for 58 yards and one touchdown.
While Duvernay may have turned heads at FedExField, head coach Tom Herman has been aware of his electrifying speed for well before Saturday’s game.
“I thought the deep ball touchdown to Devin was an unbelievable catch,” Herman said. “But it’s also one that we have told Sam, you know, launch that son of a gun, because that dude is really fast out there, and he did, and Devin went and tracked it down.”