After a good day of work at the Eagles 5th day of Spring Practice, including being under the watchful eye of Brett Favre, Davis talked with us about his preparations for his final year.
Last season, the reigns were turned over completely to Davis, and he responded with another huge year in the spread offense. He was 278-442, with 3103 yards, 20 TD’s and 6 INT’s. He also was the team’s third leading rusher.
You might think he’d be tempted to take it easy during spring drills, but anyone who has followed Southern Miss knows that is not the way Austin Davis plays the game.
“Knowing that everything I do from this point forward will be the last time I do it here at Southern Miss as far as spring workouts, running with the coaches, and everything I go through I realize this is the last time I’ll get to do it,” he said, speaking on the question of if he has a sense of urgency.
“My main goal of playing is to win a conference championship and that is something I haven’t accomplished yet as a quarterback. I have a lot of urgency, and I am really, really looking forward to this season.”
And why wouldn’t he? With Davis, the well oiled machine that is the offense under Fedora continues to rack up big time yards and plenty of points. Davis talked about his off-season and the areas he’d like to see improved.
“Well I continued to try and work on my foot which I hurt,” he said. “I am trying to get it to the point where I don’t even think about it anymore. Also just to continue to study film and stay in timing. It is easy to take those things for granted when you play for a couple of years.”
“For me, it is all about getting back to the basics and then build from there each and every year no matter if it is my first year, or if I’ve played for four years,” he added. “Then, I always work on body control, flexibility, and eating right. I wanted to get my body in the best shape as possible.”
He offers his wealth of experience to the two guys who will be vying for the backup job, Chris Campbell and redshirt freshman Arsenio Favor.
“There are things that you will experience that when you’ve played a couple of years a guy that hasn’t gotten in a game may not know,” Davis said.
“There are certain things you can’t experience just in practice. The main thing I try and do is when we make a mistake I tell them ‘hey, this is what I saw’ and we just talk it through.”
Davis said it will be a healthy competition for the job.
“Both of these guys are doing great,” he said. “They are making throws this spring that I didn’t make until this last year. They are making reads and going through their progressions.”
“I don’t think losing Marteveous Young will be as tough of a blow. No one worried if I went down with him, but people don’t have to worry this year either. Both of these guys can play, and it has been a very good competition.”
Davis came in with Fedora, and one coach has really made quite an impact on him since arriving at Southern Miss. In Coach Anderson, Davis has found the guy responsible for bringing him to this point in his career.
“I think the biggest thing is that he has been here my entire career,” he said of Anderson.
“Saying that, he has taught me everything I know. Everything from college football to reading defenses to playing quarterback at a Division One level.”
Anderson made the move to offensive coordinator last year. “I was very, very impressed with him last year with his play calling,” Davis said.
“We did some really good things that we were really limited at times with injuries. We still were top 20 in the nation with our offense, and our personnel was rarely 100%. He did a great job with play calling and just knowing what to call in the right situation. I am so confident in him, and he has been such a blessing to me in my four years.”
Davis and his teammates return to practice Wednesday, before heading to the coast for a scrimmage in Biloxi on Friday.
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