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November 2, 2013
Mike Davis came to South Carolina to impress.
That he has already isn't much of a surprise for a four-star recruit with a star older brother who played in the NFL.
That he has so significantly, so astonishingly, has to be for anyone who doesn't have garnet-colored glasses sewn to their face.
In just nine games he's become only the eighth player in school history to surpass 1,000 yards in a season and is the first SEC back to do it this year. His seven 100-yard rushing games in a season already is good for third all-time.
And yet, the most impressive about Davis' day wasn't breaking the 1,000-yard mark or even helping South Carolina extend a school-tying 15-game winning streak with its seventh-straight win over Mississippi State.
Instead, Davis said he was more pleased with himself for his acrobatic 30-yard catch in the third quarter than any single run, including his 43-yarder the play before.
"The catch (was most impressive)," Davis said. "I probably turned my body around like twice and came down on my shoulder hard."
Still, Davis was well aware of what was in front of him today. In fact, he said he was aware of the possibility of hitting the mark last week against Missouri, but against the Tigers he rushed for a season-low 51 yards, only the second time this year he hasn't rushed for more than 100 yards (the other was against Vanderbilt when he ran for 77 yards).
"Going over 1,000 yards means a lot. I'm proud of myself that I was able to become like, the eighth person to do that. It's a great feeling."
With 1,058 yards on the year, he's only 139 yards behind besting Marcus Lattimore's best season, his freshman year in 2011 when Lattimore ran for 1,197. If he eclipses Lattimore, the only man standing in Davis' way is the school's only Heisman Trophy winner, George Rogers (1,894 yards in 1980, 1,681 yards in 1979).
"I would love to pass it," Davis said. "I didn't target that or even know I was close to it. But since you brought it to my attention, of course I'm going to go after it."
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