Gators RB Malik Davis scores first touchdown in two years: "I finally got my feet wet"
707 days separated Malik Davis's touchdown against the UT-Martin Skyhawks and his previous score: A 124 yard, two-touchdown game against the Vanderbilt Commodores on September 30th, 2017.
"That's a long time", Davis told the media following Florida's 45-0 win over the Skyhawks on Saturday. He was unaware of the span until a member of the media told him.
For Davis, his return to the endzone was refreshing, especially after realizing just how long it had been.
"I finally got my feet back and wet," Davis said. "I'm feeling comfortable. It's exciting to have my first score back in The Swamp."
The redshirt sophomore put on a show to begin his true freshman season in orange and blue, recording 526 yards on 79 carries and those two touchdowns in his first seven games as a Gator. However, Davis went down with a knee injury that abruptly ended his impressive campaign.
Fast forward to 2018, and more bad news came Davis' way. He suffered a season-ending broken foot on the third game of the year against Colorado State, after recording 94 all-purpose yards to start the season.
It's been a long road to recovery from numerous injuries for the agile back, but he's happy to be back in full health and contributing to Florida's offensive attack.
Davis called his return to action given so little reps since his first injury "pretty challenging", stating "You come back and practice all camp and you're doing well, but it's a different feeling to get those reps in a game."
In Florida's first two games, Davis has received six handoffs as he's eased back into action. Against Miami, things didn't go too smoothly as he lost nine yards on three carries and fumbled a pitch. The UT-Martin game was Davis' opportunity to find his stride, which he did, recording 18 yards on three carries and his score.
Now, we will see just how Florida plans to expand upon Davis' role. As he continues to get his feet wet and back into rhythm, his ability to break free outside with a combination of speed and agility should earn 5-11, 195 lb. back an increased workload in Florida's talented backfield.
Expect Davis to see consistent time as Florida's third-down back going forward. There, he can contribute when his speed is needed in the run game, as well as in the passing game as a receiver or blocker in protection.
"I was out for a while. I'm just happy to finally be back out there."