CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – When Larry Fedora recruited wide receiver Quinshad Davis in 2012, he often had trouble reaching him on the phone, because Davis was always sleeping.
After Saturday’s 48-14 victory over Illinois, Davis can rest easy knowing he’s cemented in North Carolina’s record books.
“He hasn’t changed, either,” Fedora said in his postgame press conference. “And he, his mom, his grandmother they’re wonderful people, and yes, we do have a great connection.”
Davis caught his 22nd career touchdown on a 9-yard pass from Marquise Williams in the second quarter, breaking Hakeem Nicks’ record for most touchdown catches in a North Carolina uniform.
“We’ve been playing ball around here for a long time, right?" Fedora asked. "A long time. And to own a record like that, that’s pretty cool.”
The Gaffney, S.C. native is still leaving his mark at North Carolina. Davis is sixth all-time in school history in career receiving yards (2,124) and catches (163). He trails Na Brown for fifth in receptions by just two catches.
Despite the individual accomplishments, Fedora had high remarks for Davis’ dedication to his teammates.
“He is the epitome of a team guy,” Fedora said. “His No. 1 thing is to win football games.”
“I thought we had a tremendous team effort today, really in all three phases of the game, I thought our team really played well. Obviously we made some mistakes out there today, but the way we recovered, the way we played, the way we pulled for each other I was impressed with, and that’s the way we practiced all week. So I’m proud of those guys for that, and I thought the defense kind of set the tone for the day, we gave it up, gave it up, gave it up in that first series, then we got down there inside the 5-yard line and stiffened up and didn’t give any points, so that kind of set the tone for the day, and everybody responded, so I’m proud of them.”
Why do you think your team played such a complete game?
“I think we can still play a lot better than we played, but I am proud of the fact that we did play a complete game, and we had game-changing plays on special teams, offensively we did a nice job at times, defensively we stiffened up when we needed to, and created some takeaways, so it was a good team effort.”
Marquise ran the ball more today than in the first two games. Is that him getting back to his preferred style of play?
“Those weren’t designated plays, actually, they were reads for him, and he reads it, and if he decides to pull it, he pulls it. There was probably one time that he didn’t get it where he pulled it, he got a little greedy there, but, we’ve always said he can beat you with his arm or he can beat you with his legs, and he knows he’s going to get a few of those opportunities in the game, and it was like before the game, I just said ‘When you do run, run to score. Don’t just run to get a first down, run to score.’ Now, I would like for him to just dip out of bounds out there on the long one, we talked about that afterwards, but that’s just his mentality, so I’m not going to take that away from him.”
Was Ryan Switzer frustrated before his 71-yard return in his first half?
“I think he was more frustrated there, because he didn’t score, and he knows he should have. That probably frustrated him more. He probably would have been real frustrated if he doesn’t get the (85-yarder). But he has been frustrated. But today, though, he had some opportunities to return balls. There was not a lot of hang-time on those balls, and those other 10 guys were doing a great job up front, and so he had some opportunities today.”
Is there some reilef in finally beating a nonconference Power Five opponent at North Carolina?
“I think every time you win, it’s a boost of confidence. It doesn’t matter who you play. We really don’t look at guys as who we’re playing each week, it’s the next game is the biggest game we’ve got. We really do. I know y’all think that’s coach-speak, but that’s the way we coach, that’s the way we (try to coach them) to believe, because if we don’t, they’ll be like fans and everybody else. They’ll be up-and-down, up-and-down, and I don’t want that. I want them to approach the game every day the same way. And if we can do that every week, we’ll be okay.”