Records: Aggies, 3-5 (2-3); Vikings, 2-5 (1-3)
Where: Aggie Stadium – Davis, California
When: Saturday at 2 p.m.
Who to Watch: This week the defensive line will be asked to do a lot to set the tone for the defense. The Aggies will face a team that has only given up three sacks this entire year in.
Junior defensive tackle Andrew Benjamin and sophomore defensive end Nick King who share the team lead in sacks (4.5), will face the issue of getting pressure on the quarterback while staying gap sound to prevent big holes for the opposition.
Did you know? The Aggies have played Portland State several times throughout the years. The series record leans toward Portland State 7-4. However, UC Davis has won three out of the last four meetings between the two teams.
The last three games have been offensive showcases, with each game accumulating over 60 points between the two teams. This week may turn out to be no different, as many expect another high-scoring game between these two teams.
“We moved the ball consistently against Northern Arizona, the best defense in the Big Sky. It’s just about capitalizing on those opportunities. Last week we missed a chip shot field goal and we were stopped at the five yard line on the last drive,” said head coach Bob Biggs. “We just have to do a better job, maybe mix in some play action and screens. We have to make the plays that we couldn’t last week.”
Quarterback Randy Wright and the passing game will be looked upon to have a huge game, as Portland State’s passing defense ranks amongst the bottom in the Big Sky.
Wright will seek to return to a performance similar to two weeks prior when he threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns compared to last week, throwing for under 200 yards and two interceptions.
As mentioned before, the UC Davis offense will go up against Portland State’s formidable pistol offense. Currently, Portland State is third in total offense in the Big Sky, averaging 442.3 total yards and 34.6 points per game.
“Portland State runs a pistol offense which is very deceptive so we have to be aware of a lot of misdirection plays and counters. Their deception puts a lot more pressure on our defense,” Biggs said. “We just need to stay at home and make sure we are gap sound.”
However, the records show that it is always a shootout when these two teams meet up. The Aggies will focus on stopping Portland State’s running back DJ Adams, who is currently ranked third in the Big Sky in rushing. They will also have their hands full with true freshman quarterback Kieran McDonagh.
This week the Aggies will be playing at home during Parent and Family weekend. The Aggies are currently 2-1 at home while Portland State is 0-4 on the road.
“So far the students have been fantastic and have left their marks on the games,” Biggs said. “Like we always say, we don’t play for ourselves but for the student body as well. Seeing a big crowd out there will definitely motivate our players to hopefully get back on the winning track.”
— Jason Min