Teams: UC Davis at Montana State
Records: Aggies, 3-5 (3-1); Bobcats, 5-2 (3-0)
Where: Bobcat Stadium — Bozeman, Mont.
When: Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2:05 pm
Who to watch?
After a disappointing loss on Homecoming, the Aggies got back on the road with a vengeance and took it out on the University of Northern Colorado Bears (UNC), winning 34-18. With two back-to-back road wins, UC Davis should have no problem bringing home another win as they prepare to take on the Montana State Bobcats at Bobcat Stadium this Saturday.
One UC Davis tight end who proved that he could do more than just block is senior Taylor Sloat. The McArthur, Calif. native, who was selected during preseason as the top tight end in the Big Sky Conference, caught three passes for 57 yards and got his first touchdowns of the season last Saturday. In the first quarter, Sloat caught passes for 28 and 16 yards. Sloat is a major strength in the Aggies’ offense.
Senior quarterback Randy Wright is yet another Aggie to watch for, after giving one of his best performances both as a starter and of his entire collegiate career. The Santa Rosa, Calif. local threw for 310 yards and four touchdowns. Despite getting hit hard several times, Wright maintained his composure and focused on finding his tight ends and wide receivers, including a 13-yard touchdown pass to T.J. King. Wright’s control and poise have been great assets to the Aggies’ success this season.
Despite losing their Homecoming game against Montana University, UC Davis took off for Greeley, Colo. on Oct. 19 and went on to silence a crowd of 4,196 by demolishing the UNC Bears, 34-18.
The Aggies played a tremendous first half of football on Oct. 19, leading the Bears 24-0, running four scoring drives, converting nine of 10 third downs, and possessing the ball for 21:42 out of 30 minutes all before halftime.
“I am extremely pleased with how hard the young men came out and competed,” coach Ron Gould said. “I told them three things: one, to compete; two, to have the right mindset and three, focus on the details.”
Almost every single component of the Aggies’ offense took their coach’s advice to heart. Senior quarterback Randy Wright led the Aggies down the field in six plays which totaled for 74 yards. The drive ended when Wright hit senior tight end Taylor Sloat for a 28-yard touchdown.
The seasoned veteran devised a second 74-yard drive, this time in 12 plays, but finishing it with yet another touchdown pass to Sloat keeping the Aggies ahead, 14-0. Wright completed 27 of 37 passes for 310 yards.
Senior tight ends Ryan O’Holleran, Cameron Sentence, and Mark Martindale also got some action, each having one catch in addition to demonstrating exceptional blocking that contributed to the Aggie ground-game’s which earned 178 yards.
Senior Tom Hemmingson led the Aggie wide receivers with six catches for 64 yards. Senior Corey Galindo had five receptions for 52 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown while T.J. King had four receptions for 46 yards with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Wright in the third quarter.
The dependable Aggies defense did not disappoint. UC Davis accumulated 54 tackles between 22 Aggie defenders and restricted the threatening UNC’s big three receivers from having an impact. Sophomore cornerback Shamawn Wright knocked down three passes in the win.
The Aggies will have to play more than just one amazing half of football if they wish to defeat the Montana State Bobcats on Saturday, Oct. 26.
The Bobcats scored 24 of their points in the second half of their 44-24 win over Weber State. UC Davis will have to contain Bobcat quarterback DeNarius McGhee, who surpassed the 10,000-yard passing mark throwing for 313 yards and three touchdowns in MSU’s win on Oct. 19.
“It’s about playing four quarters and [they] have to have the same focus and mentality as at the start of the game,” Coach Gould stated.
The Aggies need to maintain their same level of play for both halves of the game if they wish to defeat the Bobcats and seize their third away game victory.
— Jordanna Baddeley