True freshmen running back Justin Davis enrolled early last January and was expected to contribute early and often in his first season.
Although his season was cut short due to an ankle injury he was still able to get Trojan fans excited about his future.
By the numbers: 53 carries, 361 yards, and 6 touchdowns
What went right: With Silas Redd injured early in the season Justin Davis emerged as the number two back behind Tre Madden.
Davis brought another element to the run game with his blend of speed and strength which was needed early in the season with the struggles of the USC passing game. He led USC in yards per rush as he averaged 6.8 yards a carry, and finished fourth in rushing yards despite playing only seven games.
Davis had his biggest game in a losing effort to Arizona State when he carried the ball 10 times for 122 yards and three touchdowns. He had touchdown runs of 26, 15, and 58 yards.
What went wrong: Obviously Davis’ injury left a huge hole in the Trojan’s rushing attack as the top three running backs were all hurt.
If not for the emergence of Buck Allen the Trojans would have been doomed. Had Davis been healthy the entire season, he would have been a great combination with Buck Allen.
Even though Justin Davis played in seven games he only had double-digit carries in three of those games.
In the horrendous loss to Washington State he had two carries for two yards and you have to think if he was given the rock a bit more maybe the outcome could have been different.
What’s next: Justin Davis returns for his sophomore season and he is expected to be an integral part of the rushing attack.
USC is very deep at running back with Davis, Tre Madden, Buck Allen, and Ty Issac so he will have to have a strong offseason in order to get the carries he wants.
Steve Sarkisian plans to have a run first high-tempo offense which is perfectly suited for Davis. If he can stay healthy Justin Davis has a chance to emerge as one of the best running backs in the PAC-12.
Final Grade: B
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