“I was getting kind of upset,” Davis said of the announcer’s constant miscues. “But that’s alright, I’ll be Quinton for tonight.”
Getting his name wrong didn’t stop Davis from setting the UNC freshman single-game record in yards (178) and receptions (16). The previous freshman highs were nine catches by Octavus Barnes in the 1994 Sun Bowl and 171 yards by Hakeem Nicks against Notre Dame in 2006. The 16 receptions ties the all-time ACC single-game record.
Davis didn’t stop there – he broke the record for receptions by a freshman previously held by Gio Bernard, who had 45 a year ago, with 52 catches on the season.
How did he do it?
“They weren’t playing the perimeter a lot so coach said, ‘If they’re not going to play it, we’re going to throw screens then.’ (Sean) Tapley and Erik (Highsmith) were out there blocking their butts off,” Davis said. “A lot of other teams play man – they jam us. But they played a lot of soft man and they gave us a lot of opportunity to get the ball on the edge”
Head coach Larry Fedora was effusive in his praise of the true freshman but, as Davis did, credited the blocking ahead of Davis’s catch-and-runs, and the guy throwing the ball.
“A tremendous effort," the coach exclaimed. "We got a lot of perimeter screens for him that were there off a blitz, and Bryn (Renner) did a nice job with those, and recognized it and got the ball out to him, and those guys did a great job of blocking in front of him.”
Setting the records was a surreal accomplishment for the freshman.
“It feels amazing. Coming into the game I wasn’t even thinking about it, and it hasn’t hit me yet,” Davis said.
For future defenses, the scary part is that Davis can get better.
“The kid is going to be a really good football player,” Fedora said. “He’s not even close to reaching his potential yet.”
Davis agrees, “I think I can get better in route-running, work on getting a little bit bigger, and get my speed up a little bit,” Davis said.
With back-to-back games of 100-plus yards (7 catches, 104 yards vs. Georgia Tech), Davis is emerging as one of the top threats in the ACC as a true freshman. Two factors contributed – maturity and comfort level.
“He’s just maturing,” Fedora said. “He gets better each week. He’s brimming with confidence right now, he really feels good about what he’s doing.”
“I’ve just gotten comfortable with the offense,” Davis added. “At first it was kind of hard, but now I am comfortable in the offense, and I can make plays in this offense.”
Davis has certainly proven he can make plays in this offense, and from this point forward it's unlikely he'll have any more problems with a public address announcer.
Everybody will know his name.