Glenn Davis, the 1946 Heisman Trophy winner who teamed with Doc Blanchard on the undefeated Army teams of the mid-1940's to form college football's most celebrated backfield pairing, died yesterday at his home in La Quinta, Calif. He was 80.
The cause was complications of prostate cancer, said his stepson, John Slack III.
Davis, a speedy and elusive halfback, was known as Mr. Outside. Blanchard, a bruising fullback who won the Heisman as college football's top player in 1945, was Mr. Inside. Each captured all-American honors three times, and they were pictured together on the covers of Time and Life magazines.
Davis scored 59 touchdowns (43 rushing, 14 receiving and 2 on punt returns) playing from 1943 to 1946. His career rushing average of 8.26 yards a carry (358 carries for 2,957 yards) remains a collegiate record, and he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1961.
''He had an elusiveness about him, a kind of fifth speed,'' Blanchard once said. ''He'd get out and look like he was running wide open and then run faster.''
Davis was perhaps the greatest all-around athlete in West Point history. He was a star center fielder on the baseball team, an outstanding sprinter, and he played basketball. He posted the highest score that had ever been attained on the academy's physical proficiency test.
During the World War II years, the exploits of Mr. Outside and Mr. Inside -- the nicknames bestowed by George Trevor, a sportswriter for The New York Sun -- were featured in homefront newsreels. ''Surely, I don't think of myself as a hero, but maybe we made people feel better at just the right time,'' Davis told Bill Pennington in ''The Heisman.''
Glenn Woodward Davis, a native of Claremont, Calif., and the son of a bank manager, was a football star at Bonita High School in La Verne, near Los Angeles, playing alongside his twin, Ralph, who became an outstanding shot-putter at West Point.
As a plebe, or freshman, in 1943, Davis scored eight touchdowns and was seventh in the nation in total offense for an Army team that was 7-2-1. He was dismissed from the academy in December 1943 for failing mathematics, then gained readmission after several months of remedial work.
The Cadets, stockpiling talent under Coach Red Blaik when many colleges curtailed or dropped football because of the war, were 27-0-1 with Davis and Blanchard playing together from 1944 to 1946.
Davis scored a collegiate-record 20 touchdowns in 1944 and was runner-up to Les Horvath of Ohio State in the Heisman balloting as Army went 9-0, averaged 56 points a game and was voted the nation's No. 1 team. He scored 18 touchdowns in 1945 and finished second again in the Heisman vote, this time to Blanchard, as the Cadets were 9-0 once more and again the national champions. Davis had 13 touchdowns in 1946 for an Army team that went 9-0-1, a third straight undefeated season spoiled by a memorable 0-0 tie with Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium.
At 5 feet 9 inches and 170 pounds, Davis was brilliant in the open field. A favorite play was to have him start off right tackle, then cut to his left, go to the sideline and try to outrun everyone. Davis was also a passing threat and a safety on defense.
Davis and Blanchard played themselves in ''Spirit of West Point,'' a Hollywood movie filmed in the summer of 1947 during their 60-day leave from military service.
Davis joined the National Football League's Los Angeles Rams in 1950 after serving in the infantry and was voted to the Pro Bowl.
But a knee injury incurred in the filming of ''Spirit of West Point'' hampered his mobility and ended his pro career after the 1951 season, when the Rams won the N.F.L. championship.
While on Army leave in 1948, Davis dated Elizabeth Taylor, and he married the actress Terry Moore in 1951. They were divorced two years later.
After leaving pro football, Davis was a longtime promotional executive for The Los Angeles Times.
Davis is survived by his third wife, Yvonne; his son, Ralph, of California; his stepson, John Slack III, of Baton Rouge, La., from his marriage to the former Harriet Slack, who died in 1995; a sister, Mary Gammons, of Pomona, Calif., and four grandchildren. Yvonne Davis, whom he married in 1996, was formerly the wife of Alan Ameche, the Wisconsin fullback who won the Heisman Trophy in 1954 and died in 1988. Glenn Davis's twin, Ralph, died in January 2005.
Blaik paid Davis a supreme compliment in his memoir ''You Have to Pay the Price,'' written with Tim Cohane.
''Anybody who ever saw Davis carry the football must realize there could not have been a greater, more dangerous running back in the history of the game,'' Blaik said. ''He was emphatically the greatest halfback I ever knew. He was not so much a dodger and sidestepper as a blazing runner who had a fourth, even fifth gear in reserve, could change direction at top speed, and fly away from tacklers as if jet-propelled.''