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Clarence Davis

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Title: Clarence Davis  
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Subject: Super Bowl XI, 1974–75 NFL playoffs, 1970 All-Pacific-8 Conference football team, Ghost to the Post, Sam Cunningham
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Clarence Davis

Clarence Davis
No. 28
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1949-06-28) June 28, 1949
Place of birth: Birmingham, Alabama
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High school: Los Angeles (CA) Washington Prep
College: Southern California
NFL draft: 1971 / Round: 4 / Pick: 97
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Stats at
Stats at

Clarence Eugene Davis (born June 28, 1949) is a former American football running back who played with the National Football League's Oakland Raiders from 1971 to 1978.


  • College career 1
  • Professional career 2
  • 1974 Sea of Hands Catch 3
  • References 4

College career

Davis graduated from the University of Southern California and was a 1969 All-American. Davis played at East Los Angeles College and Washington Preparatory High School in Los Angeles prior to that.

In 1970 he was part of USC's "all-black" backfield (the first one of its kind in Division I (NCAA) history), that included fullback Sam Cunningham and quarterback Jimmy Jones. Davis was one of the five USC African American starters (along with Sam Cunningham, Jimmy Jones, Charlie Weaver and Tody Smith), that played against an all-white University of Alabama football team, winning 42-21 in Birmingham on September 12, 1970. This game was historically significant, because it played a key role in convincing the University of Alabama and its fan base to accelerate the integration of its football team.

Professional career

In Super Bowl XI, he played a key role in the Raiders' 32-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, he rushed 16 times for 137 yards, an average of 8.6 yards. Davis, who had been plagued by a knee injury for three years, had runs of 20, 35, 13, 18, and 16 yards, part of a Raiders team that gained for 429 yards, a Super Bowl record at the time.

1974 Sea of Hands Catch

Clarence Davis' catch in a Sea of Hands ended one of the greatest NFL games of all-time, pitting the Oakland Raiders against the Miami Dolphins in the 1974 NFL Playoffs. With 4:54 to play, Kenny Stabler completed a 72-yard touchdown pass to Cliff Branch. Branch went to the ground to make the catch, but being untouched by Dolphin defenders, he popped upright and ran the remaining 27 yards to complete the play. With 4:37 to go, the score was Raiders 21, Dolphins 19. A mere two minutes later, Miami had responded with a touchdown that gave them the lead again by five. With two minutes left in the game, the Raiders had one last chance. Stabler drove the Raiders to the Miami 8-yard line with 35 seconds left. On 1st and goal, Stabler called a pass play, took the snap, and scrambled to his left. Miami defensive end Vern Den Herder tripped Stabler from behind, but Stabler got off a floating pass toward Davis in the end zone before going down. Davis, Miami defensive back Charlie Babb, and linebacker Mike Kolen all leaped for the ball at the same time and each got their hands on it. Davis, however, out-wrestled Babb and Kolen for the ball and the winning score. This 28-26 victory, with a combined three touchdowns scored by both teams in the final 4:37, made this Raiders comeback one of the most unforgettable in Dolphins-Raiders history.

The irony of the "Sea of Hands" catch lied in the nickname teammates had bestowed on Davis, "Hands of Wood," for his supposed inability to catch balls out of the backfield.[1]


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