Blair, Maier named ROOT Sports Players of the Week

Nov. 6, 2017

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OGDEN, Utah  -
Matt Blair and Jake Maier are two of numerous reasons why UC Davis set a new Big Sky program record for the most points scored in a game when it traveled to Pocatello, Idaho last weekend. By helping the Aggies defeat Idaho State, 56-17, conference officials bestowed ROOT Sports Special Teams and Offensive Player of the Week awards respectively to the pair, as announced on Monday.

For the first time in program history, Aggies earned two of the three awards presented each week by the Big Sky. UC Davis, the fourth-most international public university in the United States, now has five such awards this year — a total that matches the previous four seasons combined.

The Bengals were unable to enjoy positive field position at any point during Saturday’s game, and Blair, a sophomore kicker whose major is undeclared, was a key reason why. Of his four punts, three landed inside the 20. Blair averaged 50.5 yards per attempt thanks to kicks that traveled 58 yards, one shy of a career high, 57 yards and 45 yards.

Eight of Blair’s nine kickoffs that game ended as touchbacks. By comparison, he recorded 10 touchbacks last season as a freshman. His final kickoff of the night, which took place with less than two minutes remaining in the game, was caught deep in the end zone and brought out for Idaho State’s only return yards of the game.

Blair finished with 585 kickoff yards and averaged 65.0 yards per kick.

This is the second time in the Moraga native’s career that he received Player of the Week accolades.

By recording 358 passing yards, throwing three touchdowns and rushing for another (the first of his career), Maier earned league honors for the second time in as many weeks. Last Saturday’s game marked the seventh time this season he threw for 300 or more yards and the third occasion that he scored a career-high four touchdowns in a game.

The sophomore economics major also became the first Aggie signal caller in since 2008, and the first in the program’s Big Sky history, to throw for 3,000 or more yards in a single season once UC Davis’ victory became official.

In addition to connecting with nine different receivers, five of Maier’s 29 completions were for 30 or more yards; three of those plays ended with an Aggie touchdown.

Maier will enter his team’s final home game of the year with four top-five FCS rankings: No. 2 in the nation in completion percentage (.708), No. 3 in passing yards (3,033) and passing yards per game (337.0) and No. 5 in completions per game (26.67).

In addition to the Big Sky’s award, Maier, who hails from La Habra, also earned STATS FCS Player of the Week Honorable Mention and College Sports Madness Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.

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.

Tickets for all UC Davis sports are available by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1, or by visiting us online at Davis will host 19/15 Southern Utah in its final home game of the season this Saturday. Kickoff at Aggie Stadium will take place at 4 p.m.