But Davis quickly moved up the depth chart. He wasn't OU's flashiest optioneer, but he rivaled Jimmy Harris, Bud Wilkinson's unbeaten quarterback from the 1950s, as the most efficient.
Davis' only defeat came in 1975, a 23-3 setback to Kansas at Owen Field, when Davis heard boos.
“People said, ‘Steve, the boos weren't that bad,'” Davis told The Oklahoman a few years ago. “Well, it was bad enough for my parents to hear it. It was bad enough for the entire team to hear it.
“It was very painful, and I remember shaking my fist at them. It was a defiant moment on my part, but it also was a defining moment for our team. We made a conscientious effort that for the rest of the way, we were playing for us.
“The Kansas loss was one of the greatest lessons that athletics ever gave.”
After his OU career, Davis became a television analyst for ABC sports. He was involved in a variety of Tulsa business ventures over the years.