Aggies sprint past Toreros, 35-7

Sept. 9, 2017


Eight UC Davis athletic teams posted the highest NCAA Graduation Success Rates in their respective conferences, while four programs were honored with Public Recognition Awards by the NCAA after their Academic Progress Rate stood among the top 10 percent of their respective sports. All told, a total of 149 student-athletes earned all-academic honors.

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DAVIS, Calif. -- UC Davis sophomore quarterback Jake Maier threw for three touchdowns and 369 yards — the most recorded by an Aggie quarterback against a Division I opponent since Montana State visited Davis on Oct. 11, 2014 — while senior running back Justin Williams ran for 93 yards and two scores, helping the host Aggies to their first win of the season, a 35-7 victory over San Diego.

The Toreros, a team that advanced to the Second Round of last year’s NCAA playoffs, entered Saturday night’s game receiving votes in both national polls.

"I am thrilled for these guys," said head coach Dan Hawkins. "When you see everyone sacrificing and working hard throughout an unbelievable summer, and all throughout camp, it makes me happy when everyone is rewarded for doing everything they’ve been asked to do and believing in what the coaches are saying.

"I am happy for Davis, happy for our fans, I hope everyone is fired up with what we are doing and ready to come back to Aggie Stadium."

Maier completed 23-of-37 passes to seven different receivers, connecting on a 75-yard bomb to Keelan Doss to kick-off the scoring in the first quarter, and later added scoring throws of 33 yards to Wesley Preece and 15 yards to Aaron Moore.

Doss, whose 75-yard touchdown catch was the longest of his career, capped off his second straight 100-yard receiving game, catching four balls for an even 100 yards, while Moore finished with six catches and 90 yards.

Following Doss' catch, San Diego answered with a seven-play drive that ended in a five-yard touchdown run by Jordan Charles to tie the game at seven, but that would be as close as the Toreros would come. From that point on, UC Davis railed off 28 consecutive points as Preece's catch capped a 15-play drive that started at its own five yard line, giving the Aggies the 14-7 advantage at the break.

Senior defensive back Keleen Culberson and sophomore linebacker Nas Anesi finished with a team-high 10 tackles, while junior linebacker Anthony Baumgart and junior defensive back Isiah Olave each logged sacks on the night.

In a game that saw the Aggies come up clutch multiple times on fourth down, it was UC Davis’ defense that set the tone for the night when it stopped San Diego on fourth-and-five on its 30, with the score tied at 7-7 at that point early in the second quarter.

It didn't take long for UC Davis to open the second half with points, as Williams ripped off a 71-yard run on fourth-and-one — the longest rush in his career  — from the Aggies' 29 yard line on the opening drive, and Maier found Moore on their first drive of the fourth for a 28-7 lead. Williams then capped the scoring with a one-yard run, set up by a 39-yard punt return by Isaiah Thomas that brought UC Davis down to the San Diego 17-yard line.

"Our team was making plays all night long. When I saw the ball head my way, I knew I needed to step up and make the play the team needed," said Moore.

His reception was another fourth-down highlight for the Aggies, which demoralized every San Diego player once replay officials confirmed that the sophomore wide receiver not only out-jumped his Torero counterpart, but held onto the ball and remained inbounds before falling to the turf. Needing only two yards for a first down, UC Davis marched 23 yards before watching Moore record his first touchdown of his career two plays later.

Said Maier, "In a situation like that where it is do-or-die, and we need to make a play, I trusted Aaron because he has that playmaking ability in him. Plays like that, on fourth down, are how you win games. Once the decision was made, we can live with whatever happens."

UC Davis returns to action on Saturday (Sept. 16), heading north to take on Portland State. The Aggies will enter that designated non-conference matchup against a Big Sky foe with a 1-1 record. Portland State, a team that was idle on Sept. 9, will host its first home game of the season with a 0-2 mark.

Eleven Sports (one of the league’s newest television partners) will broadcast its first-ever nationally televised Big Sky game from Providence Park starting at 2 p.m.


ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.

DON'T MISS OUT!
Season and single-game tickets for all UC Davis fall sports are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.