UC Davis student-athletes and coaches found ways to give back to the community, and were honored by the University's Community Service Resource Center for their part in contributing more than 100,000 hours to helping those in need through various projects.
SAN DIEGO - UC Davis opened the 2017 season in dramatic style when Jake Maier connected with Keelan Doss for 41 yards on the first play of Saturday's road game at San Diego State, Max O'Rourke recorded the first points of the season when he nailed a 23-yard field goal, and the Aggies marched down the field late in the second quarter, a drive that started when Ryan Bua recovered a fumble on his team's 40-yard line and was tackled on San Diego State's 43 moments later.
Later in the game, UC Davis scored touchdowns on consecutive possessions, scoring drives that were capped by a 32-yard screen pass caught by Doss and Logan Montgomery's first TD as an Aggie respectively, scored midway through the fourth quarter.
But two rushing touchdowns from the Aztecs' Rashaad Penny, a Maxwell Award Watch List (college player of the year), combined with two SDSU scoring drives that took place throughout the third quarter, helped the home team, which entered this game receiving votes in both FBS national polls, down the Aggies, 38-17, in front of an announced crowd of 46,132.
"When you play a team like this, your margin for error is very small," head coach Dan Hawkins said. "I was really proud of our guys' effort, how they battled and never quit. We knew (San Diego State) was a good running team, but I don't think we were able to tip the scales enough to get them out of their game plan.
"Our attitude was great, the spark in their eye was great, their togetherness was great, their work ethic was great, all that was awesome, and we can build on that. We have a chance to be a good football team, we've just got to hang together."
UC Davis will enter its Sept. 9 home opener vs. San Diego (6 p.m. start) with a 0-1 record with San Diego State continuing its season with a 1-0 record.
Early in the fourth quarter, UC Davis marched 95 yards down the field, which ended with Maier and Doss scoring six for the Aggies on drive that ended with a beautiful 32-yard screen pass.
Prior to that TD, Wesley Preece's 28-yard catch and a 38-yard haul from Doss helped the Aggies score six in a tidy three minutes and 36 seconds.
Including that first play of the game, the combination of Maier and Doss also connected for two big plays prior to the Aggies' first touchdown: a 30-yard play early in the second quarter and again in the opening minutes of the fourth on the same drive that led to UC Davis' first touchdown of the season.
Only one minute and 29 seconds were needed for a five play, 50-yard drive that saw Namane Modise rush for a combined 21 yards on back-to-back plays and a 10-yard reception from Marcus Cummins that led to another six points.
Doss' final total was second only to his career-high 207 receiving yards set against Sacramento State in last year's Causeway Classic.
Meanwhile, Maier finished 19-of-24 through the air for 258 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his Aggie debut, while Modise ran for 44 yards on 10 carries to lead the ground game. On the defensive side, Erron Duncan and Vincent White paced UC Davis with eight tackles apiece on the night, while Erik Holmer and Mason Moe logged sacks.
"For his first time under center, (Maier) he made some nice plays, made some nice reads," Hawkins said. "I thought he did all right. He showed some good things. He's going to be a good player for us."
Aggies host Southern Utah in home finale
Maier added to Walter Payton Award’s watch list
Maier named to CFPA Midseason Watch List
Max O'Rourke named to Fred Mitchell Award watch list
Ken O'Brien honored in football's home finale
Gameday Central vs.
19/15 Southern Utah (4 p.m. PT)