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DAVIS, Calif. - Nobody knows what the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe is all about than senior Andrew Carriger, who competes inside the trenches as a member of the Aggies’ offensive line. As he preps for Saturday’s rivalry game against the Mustangs, Carriger shares what he is telling the team’s newcomers about this matchup, and describes what a typical football game is like for he and his fellow linemen.
Knowing how important this game is for both Cal Poly and UC Davis, what does the Battle for Golden Horseshoe mean to you?
This is about making the most of every day, especially Saturday when we face one of our rivals. This team understands that if you compete as if it is game day throughout the week, we will perform in a similar manner when we actually play the Mustangs.
What are you telling the newcomers to help them mentally prepare for a unique game like this one?
Expect people to talk before and after the play, and prepare for some extracurricular activities since this is a rivalry game, especially when the offensive line and defensive line battles one another. There is going to be something that takes place on each play, and our poise will constantly be tested; that is the best part of a rivalry game.
Describe your experience as a UC Davis student-athlete.
Coming to UC Davis was the best decision I made in my life. This campus is absolutely beautiful, and being a part of the everyday campus environment is an awesome experience.
The education is great and second to none. I am part of the agricultural economics program, which is No. 1 in the world. I am proud to say that I am a UC Davis student, I enjoy attending class and learning from some of the best professors in the world.
Since I am studying alongside some of the best students in the world, I really feel that I am competing in the classroom, and on the field, each day.
What is it like being a part of a continuous one-on-one battle that takes place from the start of each game, until the final play, as a member of the team’s offensive line?
I think this is the best thing about football: you cannot take a single play off. You need to compete and dominate the person in front of you every play. Some receivers and running backs will handle the ball a limited amount of times in any given game, the offensive line needs to play hard on every play.
If there are 80, 90, 100 offensive plays in a game, we need to dominate every single play, there is no letting up.
The hardest part about the offensive line is winning those battles every play. For example, if there are 80 plays, and you blow an assignment five times, that is an awful game. If you give up two or three sacks, that is an awful game, even if you played well the other 98 percent of the time. Those two to three mistakes can cost the team a game.
What would you like to tell everyone returning to campus this weekend to experience this year’s Homecoming?
We are going to do our part to make Saturday a great game. This team is excited about playing in front of our home crowd and competing during this special weekend.
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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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