Austin Davis game tape vs Houston

As I mentioned yesterday, this isn’t what you’d call ‘picking apart’ an offense. It was far from a perfect performance, and I’ve seen Davis perform a lot better.¬†However, the conditions were very windy and Southern Miss were big underdogs on the road against #6 Houston. Davis had four touchdowns on the day and helped his team to a big victory. If you look at the plays at 2:53, 3:49 and 6:18 you’ll see why I think there’s something to work with here. For more of a breakdown, see my article from yesterday.


  1. troy

    How does Davis compare with Andy Dalton? To my untrained eye they seem like similar players. They’re both around the same size (around 6-2, 220) with similar athleticism, they both have good but not great arm strength, both played out of the spread, both seem like smart, good guys, and like Dalton, Davis knack for avoiding turnovers.

    Dalton, of course, put up much better numbers and had a more successful college career. But at the same time Dalton’s team was much more talented and I think an argument could be made that Davis played a much bigger role in his team’s success than Dalton did at TCU.

    I’m curious to hear your opinion, Rob.

  2. Rob

    I think they’re different types of quarterbacks with some similarities, Troy. TCU’s offense is very different to the Southern Miss offense, with the TCU attack looking at more go-route’s and quick hitting plays, while Southern Miss is more ball control – heavy run style and Davis is more of a supplier. Both plus athletes, although I think Davis has the edge there. Similar issues with the deep ball but both capable at hitting certain throws that do translate to the pro’s.

    Dalton bothered me because I felt he had limited upside, but he’s done better than I expected this year I just don’t think he’ll ever take the next step. He’s also benefited a lot from AJ Green’s stunning rookie season. Davis has a higher ceiling in my eyes but may never be fortunate enough to play with a receiver like Green. I was dubious Dalton could start quickly especially in a short camp but he’s beaten the odds – so I could be wrong for believing Davis can’t start early. Out of all the players slated to go after the ‘big three’, Davis is my preferred option. I suspect a lot of teams felt that way about Dalton.

  3. Kip Earlywine

    Love the play at :57. As Marshawn Lynch would say, it was a nice “baby stiff arm.”

  4. Rob

    I like the play at 1:48… first read let’s it develop, rejects it, comes back across to the second option and makes a nice quick decision to get the ball out for a first down. That’s what I first noticed about Davis originally. It’s not a perfect performance, but there are enough throws there to showcase what he’s capable of and all four TD passes are very well executed.

  5. Rob

    Watching the tape in this format, I may have originally undersold the performance. He’s made several throws there of real pro-quality. There are some passes he’d like to have back, but then this it the biggest game of his life so far on the road against the #6 team, that’s perhaps expected. The third TD on the skinny post is picture perfect, hitting the receiver in stride to allow him to make that big TD. The first two scores are well executed, the second is well sold on the bootleg switching to a wheel route and the final touchdown – again, good awareness, ideal placement, slightly under thrown but made nonetheless. The guy can play.

  6. Aaron

    Kip: I totally agree with that play, Beastmode would be proud of that.

    Rob: At 5:57 Davis made a good, solid decision (QB sneak), which kinda impressed me considering the situation Southern Miss were in.

    Does Austin Davis remind of you of Colin Kaepernick by any chance (The fake handoff at 1:01)? They seem quite similar (ironically Southern Miss are playing Nevada at the Hawaii bowl) and this is why I think he will go in the 2nd/3rd round in the 2012 draft. I wouldn’t be saying this if you didn’t touted him as a perennial sleeper though so well done Rob! Always appreciate your efforts in scouting, it’s made me appreciate the scouting aspects of football (and I have a better understanding of scouting thanks to this blog).

  7. Doug


    I am not digging this kid as much as you guys. I saw a few good throws for sure, and he seems to have a lively arm, but I saw a lot of throws that basically were bad, and a few others that would be picked in the pro’s.
    To me, a 3rd rounder at best…
    I guess I’m in the school of thought that we don’t reach, just because a lot of people think we need a QBOTF.

    But, one of the aspects of a young player (QB esp.) that is impossible to judge is how will he grow into the NFL because he is right at the age that is impossible to tell how he will transform from a boy into a man. Will the game slow down enough for him to compete in the bigs? I do find myself watching the odd wrist flick he has on his release that seems to be present on his zippy throws that are right on target. This to me seems to be an unconscious move delivered when not thinking about the throw, but rather just throwing it. And that part I like. It’s like he knows it will get there. When he isn’t sure about the throw, it doesn’t have that flick…
    I dunno, maybe I’m just imagining that…

  8. Doug

    Luck just “unoficially” declared he will go to the NFL, from the NFL Channel ….

  9. JC

    My beloved Wolfpack play Rob’s QB mancrush?! Sorry, but I hope Davis stinks up the joint. Damn you, Blind Loyalty!

  10. Rob

    I agree it was far from a perfect performance, Doug. I think from day one I’ve stated that I like Davis as a later option – not necessarily someone I’m championing in the first two rounds. There’s something about Austin Davis I like – on and off the field. Great attitude, talented, has dragged his team to success after years of anything but. He’s an infectious type, people will gravitate to him. He’s the kind of player who if he doesn’t end up working out, in won’t be for a lack of trying. And he’s better than a lot of people think, he deserves more attention than he’s received. But I’m not suggesting him as a round one pick or a second round consolation prize.

  11. Doug

    Ya know what i do like about him is his release. Not sure if pro scouts like it or not, but he seems to have a second gear on his velocity with the “flick”

    Understood on your position with him as a possible 3rd or later.

  12. Peter

    Two things I noticed from watching these highlights and RGIII Highlights, both Quarterbacks seem to deliver some seriously ugly play action. I’m not saying that’s the end all be all, but it is an important skillset. Maybe to my untrained eye it’s just part of the scheme where they play, but both Qb’s to me seem to need to work on that.

    I think I’m warming up to the idea of Austin Davis in Round two. It seems conceivable that the Seahawks will be playing in the playoffs or at the very least go 8-8 and put them somewhere at the 16-19 pick. I agree with you Rob that there is something there to work with, and watching Davis, I kept thinking, “if that guy had a security blanket, even someone small like Baldwin, he’d be cooking.” His Receivers didn’t seem to do him any favors at least in the early part of the video.

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