South Carolina (3-1, 1-1) running back Mike Davis has come a long way since last season. When star Marcus Lattimore went down in 2012, Davis was thrust into a role he admitted he wasn’t ready for. But when starting quarterback Connor Shaw left last week’s game with an injury, Davis was ready and he delivered. He took over the game, rushing 26 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns as the Gamecocks overcame injuries, four turnovers and a 10-0 halftime deficit to beat UCF 28-25.
The 5-foot-9, 210-pound sophomore leads the SEC in rushing with an average of 127 yards per game (508 yards). He’s averaging 7.2 yards per carry and has scored six touchdowns. With his 53-yard touchdown run last week to trigger South Carolina’s come-from-behind win, Davis heads into Saturday’s game against Kentucky with three runs of 50 yards or longer this season, including a 75-yarder against North Carolina and another 75-yarder against Georgia.
What to look for in Week 6: Quarterback play won’t affect the outcome, at all. South Carolina’s 169 rushes are the most the Gamecocks have recorded through four games since Steve Spurrier was hired as head coach prior to the 2005 season. They’ve rushed for at least 220 yards in each game and are averaging 5.32 yards per carry, which is tied for 24th in the country.
Furthermore, Spurrier has been extremely successful against the Gamecocks’ opponent this week, Kentucky. He owns a 19-1 career record against the Wildcats.