Davis’ role on offense growing despite dropped passes


Lawrence Peart


While junior wide receiver Mike Davis leads the offense with 34 catches and four touchdowns this season, his recent dropped passes have been cause for concern.  Davis dropped two passes against Baylor, but also managed a 67-yard catch in the same game.  

Lauren Giudice

Mike Davis has become David Ash’s go-to guy. He leads the team with 34 catches for 559 yards and four touchdowns but has struggled with dropped passes.

He’s averaging 16.4 yards per catch, but many of his missed catches have not required much skill and a few of them have been on potentially game-changing plays.

During Texas’ 56-50 win over Baylor, Davis had two drops, including one on a 3rd-and-14.

“Sometimes you have to talk to Mike,” Ash said. “When Mike makes mistakes, it’s not like he doesn’t care. It bothers him. He’s a competitor, and he works hard for what he does, and whenever he messes up it bothers him.”

After a drop against Oklahoma State, Davis caught a 32-yard pass to get the Longhorns on the OSU 5-yard line with less than a minute left.

Despite the drops against Baylor, he also had a career-high 148 yards and a career-long 67-yard catch, a testament to the short memory he seems to have.

“I just felt like whenever I don’t do my job I let my team down, and I want another opportunity to make  it right,” Davis said.

During practice the coaches have players repeat plays where mistakes were made. Head coach Mack Brown said Davis does not drop passes during practice and his drops surprised the coaches.

Davis needs to get back to basics and focus on catching the ball before attempting to make a bigger play.

“Sometimes you just have to catch it and go down,” co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said. “It’s just repping it and making that point again and saying it’s okay in that situation to do that, because he’s been drilled so hard [on] the other way of catching and running with it.”

During his sophomore campaign, he struggled with dropped passes and only scored one touchdown. But as a freshman, his future looked bright. Davis’ up-and-down career at Texas mirrors his inconsistency when it comes to catching the ball.

Although his reliability has been questioned, in the past three games Davis was far more productive than both Jaxon Shipley and Marquise Goodwin.

Shipley has eight receptions for 84 yards, and Goodwin has caught four passes for 68 yards, while Davis has 15 receptions for 296 yards with two touchdowns during that stretch.

Davis, now a junior, is clicking with Ash.

“We’re on the same page most of the time,” Davis said. “We click great. It’s also that way with Ship [Shipley] and Quise [Goodwin]. We’re all on the same page with this group.”           

Texas Tech is 12th in total defense and 15th in passing defense in the country. Davis will need to be a dependable threat downfield for the Longhorns as they take on the Red Raiders.          

“He’s always saying, ‘Give me another chance. I’ll catch it the next time. Don’t give up on me.’ And I never will, because he’s worked hard and he deserves to get the ball,” Ash said.

Printed on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 as: Drops don't get to Davis