While running the goal line offense against the Blazers, the Meridian native broke his left foot and missed the rest of the season. It was left up to quarterback Martevious Young to move the team forward.
Sitting on the bench with his foot in a protective boot was tough for Davis, who broke several freshman passing records in 2008.
It was also a learning experience since Davis had thrown for 1,165 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions in six games. To add to his impressive stats, Davis completed 69.2 percent of his passes.
"It was tough,'' Davis said. "But I learned a lot, too. I learned that I enjoy playing football and I do not enjoy watching. I went back to the basics and watched a lot of film. I might have overprepared.
The injury "made me realize that when I do have the opportunity to play, I need to have fun. The most important thing is to enjoy it. When you enjoy it, you seem to play better.''
After limited action in spring dills, Davis' return comes full circle Thursday when the Golden Eagles open the 2010 season at South Carolina.
Before an ESPN TV audience and more than 80,000 fans in Williams-Brice Stadium, Davis admits the foot will be on his mind before taking the first offensive snap.
"Yeah, I would be lying if I said it would not,'' Davis said. "I have to go out there and compete. I have no answer because I have not been hit.
"I haven't had problems with my foot during camp so I don't think about it. But I can't answer anything. I think it will be like my freshman year and part of my sophomore year.''
A few days after fall drills began in early August, Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora spoke with Davis about trying to do too much, too fast. He told Davis to settle down and let the game come back to him.
Fedora, entering his third season at Southern Miss, said the game has started to come back to Davis. Fedora does not expect Davis to be overhyped against South Carolina.
"He has really progressed as we have come through camp,'' Fedora said. "Maybe early on, he was feeling comfortable trying some things that he hadn't done in the past, trying to press some things a little bit and making a few mistakes that are very abnormal for him. As we have gone on through camp, he has improved tremendously from that area.''
For Davis, the long wait is about to be over. Yes, he admits the first play will be tense. However, as far as being hit, a blow by All-Conference USA middle linebacker Kory Williams has eased his mind.
"Kory hit me pretty good,'' Davis said. "He said he could not stop his momentum and he's a big guy (at 240 pounds). But that (not getting hit on daily basis) is part of being a quarterback wearing the red shirt in practice.
"After the first hit, I will feel better. I am always tight on the first play. That's why I like a little rollout on the first play. After the first play, I'm ready to play. I have been looking forward to this game for a long time. I won't let nerves hold me back.''