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DAVIS, Calif. - Sophomore quarterback Jake Maier threw for 459 yards and four touchdowns and the UC Davis defense came up with a pair of stops on fourth down to halt Cal Poly on its final two drives on the night, as the Aggies jumped out quickly and held off the Mustangs for a 31-28 victory on Saturday night in front of 10,503 fans at Aggie Stadium.
The win pushed UC Davis to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the Big Sky Conference, taking home the victory in the "Battle for the Golden Horseshoe" in front of the fourth-largest crowd in Aggie Stadium's 11-year history.
Cal Poly, led by Jared Mohamed's 143 yards on a career-high 35 carries, fell to 0-8 overall and 0-5 in conference play.
Senior hydrology major Ryan Bua finished with a career-high 16 tackles -- the most in the program's Division I era -- while the Aggies sacked quarterback Jake Jeffrey three times and finished with five tackles for loss.
Maier finished 33-for-43 with four touchdowns through the air -- two each to Wesley Preece and Aaron Moore -- while his 459 yards are also a program Big Sky era record and stand third on the all-time list behind Kevin Daft's 495 yards against Southern Utah in 1998, and Daft's 482 yards at New Haven in the 1997 NCAA semifinals.
Moore, who finished with a career-high 159 yards on seven catches, and junior Keelan Doss added 145 more on 14 balls, became the first teammates to collect 100 receiving yards in a game since Brandon Rice (five catches for 140) and Bakari Grant (seven catches for 118) against Cal Poly on Oct. 13, 2007.
With Saturday's final total, Doss will enter next week's road game at Idaho State with 1,121 receiving yards. He is now the eighth Aggie receiver in program history to collect 1,000 or more in a single season, and the first since 2005.
Leading, 31-14, at the break, the Mustangs went 75 yards in seven players to make it a 10-point game, and got a huge boost from their defense, stopping the Aggies on fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line. Cal Poly then methodically drove down the field for another score, using 17 plays to go 99 yards, capped by a two-yard plunge by Mohamed to make it 31-28.
That's when the UC Davis defense stiffened, forcing a punt deep in Cal Poly's own end thanks to a sack on 3rd-and-8 by junior managerial economics major Terrell Cloud.
The Aggies crossed the 50 only to give the ball back, but the defense didn't back down. Junior international relations major Isiah Olave knocked away a pass on 4th-and-7 inside the 5-yard line that almost turned into an interception, and the Mustangs dropped back-to-back balls on third and fourth down that would have kept their final drive alive, giving the ball back to UC Davis, which took a pair of knees to end the game.
Sophomore Bryce Rodgers added to the defensive ledger with 11 tackles -- two for a loss -- and a sack, while sophomore natural sciences major Nas Anesi added 10 more. Olave broke up a pair of passes and the defense came up with a pair of fumbles -- the second of which halted a Cal Poly 14-play drive on the UC Davis 9-yard line late in the second quarter.
UC Davis exploded early, scoring touchdowns on its first three drives of the game, needing only 2:55 of game time to jump out to a 21-0 lead. Preece caught a 24-yard pass to get the Aggies on the board, then added a 28-yard score on the Aggies' next drive for the 14-point lead, needing only two plays and 31 seconds to do so.
Moore's dance along the far sideline kept him inbounds as he raced for a 50-yard score from Maier on the third drive of the night and the teams were off to the races.
The sophomore from Altadena, Calif., added his second touchdown of the night -- a 30-yard score -- on UC Davis' first possession of the second quarter and sophomore economics major Max O'Rourke added a 31-yard field goal to cap the Aggies' scoring.
Idaho State awaits next weekend as UC Davis travels to Pocatello, Idaho, on Saturday (Nov. 4) for a 1:30 p.m. (PT) kickoff from Holt Arena.
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, 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.
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