LOS ANGELES — When people ask Justin Davis how he does what he does on the football field when he’s carrying the ball, he usually has no answer.
“I just let my body takeover, my natural instincts,” Davis said. “If they ask me ‘what did you do there?’ I can’t remember. I’m just running the ball. I just make my read and takeoff from there.”
Those natural instincts were on display last Saturday in USC’s 35-7 win over Boston College. Davis rushed for 96 yards on 10 carries and scored his first touchdown inside the Coliseum.
This came on the heels of Davis getting just two carries the week prior. He watched from the sidelines as fellow tailback Tre Madden had his number called 32 times.
Davis was healthy but USC head coach Lane Kiffin decided he’d just stick with the hot hand in Madden leaving people to ask “Where is Davis?”
Kiffin promised Davis would be more involved against Boston College and the freshman delivered.
The vision and footwork of Davis put the Coliseum crowd in a frenzy.
Kiffin has been very complimentary of the new coaches on his staff including running backs coach Tommie Robinson. The running game through USC’s first three contests has been the strength of the offense.
The Trojans are averaging 4.5 yards per carry and nearly 200 yards on the ground per game. However, Robinson says he can’t take credit for the moves Davis used to wow folks on Saturday.
“The kid has good natural running ability,” Robinson said. “That’s not something I did. I didn’t coach that.
“When a kid can do that, has that kind of natural running ability, those kind of runs are going to occur.”
Davis is a kid. He’s still just 17-years-old but ever since he began carrying the ball for USC in spring practice, he’s shown skills that have led Kiffin to believe he will be a special back for the team some day.
Trojans fans were able to get a sneak peek of that last week, however that was just the beginning. The freshman says there’s still more to come.
“I’m planning on improving every game,” Davis said. “I’m never satisfied with any performance. I’m going to try to top every performance I do the next game.”