It's a mystery.
"I don't know," said Georgia coach Mark Richt when asked the
"Michael's a physical receiver. He handles their coverage very well. I'm
glad Michael is showing up against Auburn. We've needed him every time."
Michael Johnson made his mark last year against the Tigers when he caught
David Greene's game-winning touchdown pass in the game's closing moments
to give the Bulldogs a victory.
In that game, Johnson had career-highs of 13 catches for 141 yards
after coming into the contest with 11 catches for 130 for the season to
Saturday's contest was no different. Johnson has been inconsistent
this season, missing time with injuries. He entered the game with 16
catches for 186 yards and a touchdown.
But Johnson found the magic once again against the Tigers, leading
Georgia with five catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. Johnson also
provided the offensive highlight of the game, taking the ball off a
reverse and throwing a 40-yard pass to Fred Gibson that gave the
Bulldogs a first down at the Auburn 19.
"I saw Fred and just threw it up and let him make that play,"
senior from Tulsa, Okla. "I had the easy part."
The ball floated with a wobbly spiral and Gibson was able to time his
leap to make a one-handed grab with a defensive back tangled up with
"He looked good, didn't he?" Greene said of Johnson. "He
Greene then pointed to Gibson, who was sitting next to him.
"This guy, he made a great play," Greene said. "He had one
up and he made a great catch."
Gibson, who also plays on Georgia's basketball team, had a good laugh
when asked about the play.
"I knew the ball was going to be up there forever, because he was
throwing it," Gibson said. "I used my basketball technique and blocked
(the defender) out."
According to Richt, it's a play that Georgia has been practicing for
several weeks with both Johnson and wide receiver Reggie Brown.
"It was set so that Reggie Brown would throw it if it was on the
hashmark, and Michael would throw it if it was on the right. ...
Michael's been lobbying it for a long time."
That play set up Johnson's own touchdown 19-yard touchdown catch two
plays later when Greene found him in the left corner of the end zone on
a play that was remarkably similar to last year's game-winner against
In fact, the play - called 'Colt Takeoff' - is similar to last year's
play, except Greene was working from under center and didn't pump-fake
before throwing it to Johnson."
"It felt great," Johnson said. "It felt the same for me
(as the one