According to the College Scorecard issued by the U.S. Department of Education, UC Davis ranks as one of 15 public four-year colleges with high graduation rates leading to high incomes.
PORTLAND -- From the opening kick of Saturday's game at Providence Park, UC Davis dominated all three facets of this designated non-conference matchup against Portland State, scored 17 unanswered points before the break, and recorded nearly 300 total yards of offense.
Even though the Vikings scored on their first drive of the second half, that became its only meaningful highlight because UC Davis' defense, another blocked punt from Ryan Parenteau a two-yard swing pass from Jake Maier to Ethan Hicks in the third quarter, and additional touchdowns from Keelan Doss and C.J. Spencer in the fourth led to a 37-14 blowout victory over host Portland State.
With the win, UC Davis snapped its five-game head-to-head slide versus PSU, recorded its first win in Portland since Oct. 24, 2009, and will enter next weekend's Big Sky opener at Weber State (4 p.m. PT kickoff) with a 2-1 record. The Aggies' 17-0 lead at halftime marked the first time that UC Davis had shutout an opponent in a half dating back to the first half against Sacramento State on Nov. 21, 2015, leading 21-0 at the break en route to a 35-21 victory.
The Vikings will enter their first league matchup at 0-3.
"We're continuing to practice better and play better, always in search of the 'perfect game,' " said head coach Dan Hawkins. "There are things to clean up, but a lot of guys battled. I thought our defense played well, again. We didn't turn the ball over offensively, which was something we really worked on. We were able to get two big special teams plays on a pair of blocked punts, very critical to curb some of the momentum.
"These guys deserve some confidence and a little wind in their sails. They've worked so hard, have been so dedicated and so 'on it,' it's been unbelievable."
On the opening drive of the afternoon, the Aggies efficiently covered 88 yards before Max O'Rourke capped a five-minute, nine-second drive by nailing his 22-yard kick.
After Portland State finished its first drive of the day with a four-and-out on UC Davis' 40, the Aggies covered 56 yards before they were unable to convert on a fourth-down opportunity of their own. However, within a matter of minutes, it regained momentum thanks to an outstanding special teams play.
Pinned next to its end zone, a PSU punt attempt was thwarted by Parenteau -- a junior defensive back majoring in aerospace engineering -- who was able to break through the line and get his hand on Hayden Cowan's kick. With a live ball now bouncing freely, and no Viking even remotely closely to it, Darryl Graham (international relations) recovered the blocked kick and sprinted untouched into the end zone.
Parenteau earned his first blocked punt as an Aggie, Graham scored his first career touchdown, and the Aggies' special teams unit recorded a touchdown of this type for the first time since Oct. 11, 2008, when Brock Butler blocked a kick against Southern Utah that was recovered by Danny Hart, who went in for six against the Thunderbirds.
On its penultimate drive of the half, UC Davis pushed its 10-point advantage to 17 thanks to a four-play drive that ended with Maier (economics) finding Aaron Moore (undeclared) for his second touchdown of the season. Even though the pass covered a handful of yards, it was Moore's juke that froze two Vikings in place, and opened a seam that allowed him to sprint for another six points.
Portland State scored on the opening drive of the second half, but the Vikings' fans excitement was short-lived as UC Davis' rout continued with touchdowns on consecutive scoring drives.
Before the third quarter came to a close, the Aggies turned another blocked punt deep in PSU territory into six points after Maier connected with Hicks (animal science) for his first score of the season.
Doss collected his third TD of the season on the next drive when the organizational studies major caught a dart from Maier in the end zone, between two Vikings, which extended his team's lead to a 30-7 margin.
Spencer then piled on to cap UC Davis' final drive of the game after Vincent White forced a fumble that was picked up by Ryan Bua at the Portland State 27-yard line. Rushes of 14, 10, and nine yards, by Spencer around a holding penalty set the Aggies up at the two-yard line, where the biochemistry and molecular biology major scampered around the left side and in for the touchdown and a 37-7 advantage.
The Vikings added a harmless touchdown with less than a minute to play to end the day's scoring.
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.
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