South Carolina/North Carolina Play of the Game
South Carolina was able to take an early lead on the North Carolina Tarheels in the season-opener to come away with a 27-10 victory.
One of the big players in Thursday night's game was South Carolina running back Mike Davis. Davis took over the starter's role in fall camp and opened up the season with a bang. Davis rushed the ball 12 times for 115 yards and one touchdown.
That one touchdown was my play of the game for South Carolina.
Here's the video:
On this run, Davis takes the handoff and heads to the right side. The left guard for South Carolina, A.J. Cann, pulls to the right and picks up the UNC defender opening a running lane for Davis. The fullback, Connor McLaurin, has helped open up the running lane some more with his blocking on his UNC defender. Davis sees the hole, hits it hard, bounces off McLaurin and makes the cut to the outside. UNC's defender, Jabari Price, tried to make the tackle on Davis but he overpursed and Davis was able to make the cut and get towards the sideline. From there, it was a foot race. Davis was running hard down the sideline while the UNC defenders chased him the entire way. However, it wasn't enough as Davis made it into the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown run.
There are a few things that stand out on this play. Davis showed good vision to follow his lead blockers and let the play develop in front of him. The run came at a much needed time when it seemed UNC was starting to gain a bit of momentum after bringing the game within 10 points midway through the third quarter. I think the most impressive thing on this run was the display of speed that Davis showcased on the run. Davis has always been a quick running back but one you never expected to showcase top end speed like that. It wasn't like this was against a lesser opponent. UNC is a quality team with talented defensive players and for a bit of a bigger back to break off a long run like that, it was quite impressive.
South Carolina performed well on the ground with Mike Davis, Brandon Wilds and Connor Shaw but Davis turned out to be the star performer. His touchdown run looks like it could be just the beginning highlight of what may be a special season for South Carolina's new star running back.