UC Davis keeps playoff hopes alive with win over N. Arizona
Needing a must-have win, UC Davis delivered on Saturday night.
The Aggies hauled in a season-high 688 yards and fielded an army of players to beat Northern Arizona 56-27 at UC Davis Health Stadium in front of 9,152 fans to jump right back into the FCS playoff chase, provided the victories keep coming.
If this effort was any indication, it is more than likely with a favorable schedule looming.
UCD came in on a 1-4 slump with tight losses to soon-to-be No. 1 North Dakota, No. 6 Weber State and No. 7 Montana State. But the Big Sky is so beloved that if the Aggies make a run, or even lead the regular season draw, they can bolster their hopes of reaching the playoffs for the third time since 2018 with their hard work.
“I was happy for our lads,” said relieved UCD coach Dan Hawkins. “It’s good for them to have a little excitement, a little joy, to have fun. They worked hard. It was great to see so many guys playing and getting involved and scoring in different ways.
The variety of end zone tours included Miles Hastings. He passed for 328 yards on 21 of 26 passes and 24-yard touchdowns to CJ Hutton and 11 yards to Josh Gale, and the quarterback even caught a touchdown. On the play, Lan Larison caught a full-back from Hastings, who then scanned a number of options before finding Hastings for a 49-6 lead. Hastings wasn’t the intended target, and he wasn’t going to drop that ball either.
“We like Exotics,” Hawkins said of the rigged games. ” They are funny. I am a guy who thinks outside the box and we are in a school where the children are super creative. Nobody wants to show up and watch us put him back in the middle all the time. People will leave the stadium.
Unless that guy taking the ball down the middle is Ulonzo Gilliam Jr. The senior opened the second half with a 77-yard burst down the middle to NAU 3, pushing him over 4,000 rushing yards career at UCD. He then crowned it with a touchdown. Gilliam rushed for 150 yards and two scores. Larison rushed for 86 and two touchdowns, including a 47-yard sprint for a 14-6 lead.
“It’s a really good feeling to share the ball, everyone is playing well, and it’s a start in the right direction for the rest of the season,” Larison said.
Hutton of Folsom High School ran for a score and exemplifies his team’s do-it-all mantra.
“We know what’s at stake,” he said. “We looked like the team we know we are. It was a much needed victory. We had to show signs of life, and we did. Everyone knows we were 1-4, but we are a much better team than our record. It gives us a spark. This is what we are capable of. »
Thirteen UCD players caught passes for a combined 410 yards. Nine Aggies carried the ball for 278 yards. UCD had 90 games.
UCD’s remaining Big Sky schedule: At North Colorado, at home to Cal Poly, at home to Idaho State, at Idaho, then at Sacramento State in the annual Causeway Classic November 19. Northern Colorado, Cal Poly and Idaho State are combined 2-9 in the Big Sky while Idaho and Sacramento State are combined 6-0 in conference.
“Our backs are against the wall; we know that,” Hawkins said. “We have to win to have a chance of making the playoffs. We just have to be the best we can be, the best version of ourselves.
This story was originally published October 16, 2022 7:38 a.m.