Oct. 29, 2011
CEDAR CITY, Utah - The UC Davis football team was held to just nine first downs on offense and after three fumbles the Aggies had a season-low three points in a 34-3 loss to Southern Utah on Saturday at Eccles Coliseum.
Austin Minefee led the Southern Utah offense with 131 yards on 16 carries, while adding one touchdown through the air and one on the ground. Henna Brown also posted 85 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Brad Sorensen finished 24 of 33 for 238 yards and a passing touchdown.
UC Davis had a quick 14-0 deficit before trailing 17-0 at halftime. The Aggies had two fumbles in the second half that led directly to Thunderbird touchdowns. Southern Utah put up 34 unanswered points before the Aggies managed to reach the scoreboard.
One of the bright spots in the game for UC Davis was Sean Kelley converting on a career-high 54-yard field goal to give the Aggies their only points in the forth quarter.
Randy Wright completed 14 of 23 passing attempts for 150 yards in the game. Austin Edmonson led the Aggies with 26 rushing yards and 28 receiving yards. Jonathan Maricic added 26 rushing yards on five carries, while TJ King hauled in a 33-yard reception.
UC Davis dropped to 2-6 on the season and 0-2 in Great West play, while Southern Utah improved to 5-4 with a final 1-3 mark in conference competition. The Aggies are 0-5 on the road this season.
"The defense played their hearts out in my opinion," said head coach Bob Biggs. "We didn't do enough offensively, that's the bottom line. We didn't run very well today and when we did we turned it over three times. You can't do that against a good team."
Southern Utah could do no wrong to start the first quarter, as the Thunderbirds jumped out to a 14-0 advantage after their first two offensive possessions. SUU had 80 and 81 yard drives, capped off by a 6-yard Minefee touchdown reception and a 11-yard Brown rushing touchdown, respectively.
UC Davis had just 20 offensive plays in the first half, compared to 44 for SUU. The Aggies settled in on defense late in the first quarter, holding the Thunderbirds before they missed on a 51-yard field goal attempt. Jacob Maxson also blocked a 54-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter to keep the score at 14-0.
UC Davis continued to struggle on offense in the second quarter, finishing with 99 total yards and three first downs in the first half. Southern Utah added a 45-yard field goal from Colton Cook at the end of the half, giving the Thunderbirds a 17-0 advantage at the intermission.
The third quarter was more of the same for the Aggies, after another fumble and just 27 total yards of offense in the quarter. Southern Utah added a 24-yard field goal by Cook to go up 20-0 at the 9:24 mark.
The Thunderbirds took advantage of the UC Davis fumble, traveling 44 yards on nine plays before Brown capped off the drive with another rushing touchdown.
The Aggies had their third fumble of the game to start the fourth quarter, followed by another Southern Utah score. Mineffee capped off a 40-yard drive by collecting his second touchdown of the game, this time on the ground with a two-yard rush.
UC Davis managed to reach the scoreboard after an 8-play, 40-yard drive, capped off by Kelley's career-high 54-yard field goal with 7:49 remaining in the game.
Southern Utah was able to wind the clock down from there, before taking the win with a final 34-3 score.
Defensively, Patrick Shelton had a game-high 13 tackles for the Aggies, in addition to a pass breakup. Steven Pitts came off the bench to collect nine solo tackles and a 10-yard sack. For the Thunderbirds, Chad Hansen had eight tackles, a sack for an eight yard loss, 2.0 tackles for losses, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
"I think my message to the guys is that now it's on us," continued Biggs. "No one is really going to give us a chance now based on what happened today. We have to trust each other and come out and play for each other. I know it's a cliche but we have to come out and take it one play at a time, one drive at a time."
UC Davis will return to Aggie Stadium next week for a two-game homestead, starting with a homecoming matchup against Cal Poly on Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.