- This article is about the former professional football player. For the blues musician see Bluesman Davis.
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 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.
Clarence Davis' catch in a "sea of hands" ended one of the greatest games of all-time. This was in a Raiders game 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.
- "Clarence Davis" (December 21, 2007) Wikipedia - accessed December 26, 2007
- Clarence Davis Profile at USC Legends