Lots of people have weighed in on Steve Davis, the iconic OU quarterback who died Sunday in a plane crash at the age of 60. But I heard from Sam Muzny, a reserve lineman in the early 1970s who now lives in Prague and emails me from time to time with tales from the old days. Sam always has interesting things to say, so I thought I would share them with you.
“He was a termite,” Muzny said. That’s the term used for the scout team. “In 1972, he was listed as the No. 6 or 7 QB. Dave Robertson was our starting QB and Kerry Jackson was amazing. Steve Davis was behind Scott Hill. I cannot remember the QB from Enid (Jeff Mabry), who could really throw the ball, but he was ahead of Steve Davis. Scott Hill was moved to defense because of Kerry Jackson. Steve in 1972 took almost every snap as the Termite Squad QB running the scout team offenses.
“Davis never bitched or whined, he just did it, and was solid. In the spring of 1973, OU had to look for a starting QB. Others were faster, more talented and could throw better. Steve Davis did not (screw) up! From his Termite days on busted plays, Davis would eat the ball, just fall on it and cut his losses. All the other QBs would force a bad play, causing a turnover. Davis quickly moved to the top of the roster.
“With all the talent at running back, OU did not need a superstar at QB. We needed someone that was steady and sure to be on the throttle of the most high-powered offense in college football history.
“Steve Davis was a Holy Joe. An ordained Baptist minister and we gave him (crap) about it, but he took that in stride too!
“Landry Jones won more games than Steve Davis, but he lost more games, too. We should have won the 7-7 tie with USC, and no way we should have lost to Kansas. Then again, in 1972, Steve Davis was a Termite.”