Bob Davis to Have Jersey Retired Saturday at UVa-UNC Game
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Former Virginia football standout Bob Davis will have his jersey retired Saturday at halftime of the Virginia-North Carolina football game. Davis will become the 14th Cavalier to have his jersey retired.
After setting 13 school and nine ACC records in his career, Davis cemented his legacy as one of the premier student-athletes ever to wear a uniform at UVa and in the ACC. He accounted for 4,025 yards in his career – 3,095 passing and 930 rushing. Davis led the ACC in total offense in 1966 with 1,688 total yards as he became the first Cavalier to earn ACC Player of the Year honors. He also was responsible for 39 touchdowns in his UVa career, also an ACC record at the time.
The former Cavalier quarterback still ranks among the top 10 in school history in total offense, despite only playing three seasons (freshmen were not permitted to play at the time) and having just 10-game seasons.
Davis, in his first college game in 1964, combined for 334 yards of total offense – a school- and ACC-record performance at the time – in a brilliant outing against Wake Forest.
Standing 6-feet-2 and weighing 195 pounds, with his elusive, scrambling abilities, Davis was a daunting task for opposing teams. After a record-setting 376-yard total offense performance in a near-upset of No. 5-ranked Georgia Tech in 1966, Davis was given a tremendous compliment from legendary Georgia Tech coach Bobby Dodd, who said Davis was “the best back we have seen in 22 years at Grant Field.”
Davis was extremely versatile. As a junior, he was moved to halfback for several games in order to fill a need at the position while allowing Tom Hodges to play quarterback. During the switch he also proved to be an adept receiver and caught 22 passes while showcasing his breakaway speed. An injury to Hodges in the eighth game of the 1965 season shifted Davis back to QB.
At the time Davis did not receive as much notoriety nationally as other standouts at the position, simply because the Cavaliers did not have the success that other teams did. Virginia did not post a winning record during Davis’ three seasons, but it certainly was not for a lack of effort on Davis’ part.
He was overshadowed nationally by standout quarterbacks Steve Spurrier of Florida, Garry Beban of UCLA and Bob Griese of Purdue, but when he graduated, Davis had racked up 39 touchdowns, the most career TDs of any ACC player.
Davis earned a degree in economics from the University. He was the second-round draft pick of the Houston Oilers in 1967 and spent three years as quarterback of the team before moving to the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints in 1973 and eventually to the World Football League.