April 26, 2007

One-two punch

Analysis and commentary by Keith Allsep.

Overshadowed for much of the 2006 season by other more publicized running backs, Cory Boyd and Mike Davis proved to be a deadly one-two punch down the stretch for the Gamecocks. Each shined down the stretch in 2006, and they will be a big part of the offensive package in 2007. In today's report, we will take a look at how the running back position could shake down heading into fall camp.

While Davis was forced to sit out spring practice to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery, Boyd received most of the work with the first team and consistently performed at a high level. Arguably the most talented player on the team, Boyd was rarely brought down by a single tackler, constantly breaking tackles and fighting for extra yardage. The 6-foot-1, 214-pound senior is primed for a big senior season after leading the 2006 Gamecocks in rushing with 823 yards. Boyd was strong against Clemson, rushing for 106 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. He followed that up with a 94 yard performance in the Liberty Bowl.

Boyd also led all SEC running backs with 35 receptions. His longest play of the season came in USC's season opening victory at Mississippi State, as he was on the receiving end of a 52-yard touchdown pass from Syvelle Newton.

Davis, who missed all of fall practice with a leg infection got off to a slow start in 2006, but came on strong toward the end of the season to finish with 474 yards rushing with six touchdowns. The 5-foot-9, 212-pound sophomore had a season high 94 yards on 16 carries in the Gamecocks heart-breaking 17-16 loss at Florida.

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