UNC Football, Davis deliver against UVa

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Eric Highsmith (right) and A.J. Blue celebrate after Blue scored a touchdown in the first half.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — According to the Virginia announcing crew, North Carolina’s Quinton Davis had a record-setting night in UNC’s 37-13 win.

But there isn’t a Quinton Davis listed on the North Carolina football team’s roster.

There is, however, a Quinshad Davis, and it’s likely that after his 16 receptions for 178 yards, the Cavaliers won’t be forgetting about him anytime soon.

“He had a tremendous effort,” coach Larry Fedora said. “That kid is going to be a really good football player. He’s not even close to reaching his potential.”

The true freshman’s 16 receptions tied an ACC record for most receptions in a single game.

But he didn’t need the entire game to ink his name in the record books.

Even without a touchdown, Davis was central to North Carolina’s offense on his record-setting night.

In the first half, Davis already eclipsed his previous career high of seven receptions for 104 yards. His 10 catches in the half put him over the North Carolina single-season record for most receptions by a freshman.

And that wasn’t the only record Davis broke before halftime. His 46 catches also broke the record for passes caught in a single season by a freshman, a record previously held by Bernard.

“He’s just matured,” Fedora said. “He’s what, 18 years old, he gets better each week. He’s brimming with confidence right now. He really feels good about what he’s doing. He expects to make plays now.

Davis kicked things off for the Tar Heels with the first reception of the night, good for six yards.

The rest of that drive was fruitless for UNC, but on the Tar Heels’ next possession, Davis picked right back up where he left off.

He converted three first downs, including a 20-yard reception from quarterback Bryn Renner to set up a Erik Highsmith touchdown two plays later.

Davis had five receptions in the first quarter for 66 yards, and then more than doubled his total in the second quarter, ending the half with 10 receptions for 130 yards.

Before the night ended Davis hauled in 16 catches, tying the UNC record for receptions in a game.

Davis earned six of UNC’s 13 first downs in the first half.

“He’s a great kid, a great young kid, and he’s doing a lot of good things for us this year,” Bernard said.

Though Davis wasn’t a starter for the first two games of the season, he’s been gaining momentum since inserted in the starting lineup against Louisville in place of Mark McNeill.

Davis came on strong in his third and fourth starts by putting up 67 yards against N.C. State and 104 last week against Georgia Tech.

“At first it was kind of hard, but now I’m comfortable and I can make plays,” Davis said. “Just coming out there from high school, transitioning to college, it was a faster pace.”

Fittingly, as time expired off the clock, Davis’ name was the last announced, albeit incorrectly, as he made the last reception of the game.

“I was getting kind of upset,” Davis said. “But it’s alright, I’ll be Quinton for the night.”

Contact the desk editor at sports@dailytarheel.com.

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