Players to watch: Maclin vs. Davis

Vontae Davis celebrates during the game against Missouri St. Louis on Sept, 1, 2007. Erica Magda

The Daily Illini

Vontae Davis celebrates during the game against Missouri St. Louis on Sept, 1, 2007. Erica Magda

By Daniel Johnson

The premier match-up to watch will undoubtedly be that of 2008 Playboy All-Americans, Vontae Davis and Jeremy Maclin. The two have been arguably the most important player for each team. Maclin, a 6’1″ burner, may be the most dynamic player in all of college football – let alone the Big 12 – after totaling 2, 776 yards last year – the most ever by a freshman. He also was the only player in the nation to record a touchdown via receiving, rushing, punt and kickoff return.

Davis is another physical specimen at 6’0,” 204 pounds and is also a multiple-threat player on kickoff returns, defense and special teams coverage.

Davis made his presence know in last year’s Arch Rivalry game, with six tackles, a pass defended and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown.

While head coach Gary Pinkel will undoubtedly be moving his star receiver around, one would assume that Ron Zook will have Davis shadowing him for the majority of the game. Although Maclin was limited to only two catches for 43 yards last year, one of those was a 23-yard touchdown strike.

The match-up will not be the only one that will determine the outcome, but if Maclin can get the best of Davis, that will likely mean that quarterback Chase Daniel will also be having himself a game.