Simply put, San Jose State is supposed to beat UC Davis.
The Spartans are a Bowl Championship Subdivision (known to most humans as “I-A“) team. The Aggies, who compete in the Football Championship Subdivision (a.k.a. “I-AA“), are in their second season on the Division I circuit.
So when San Jose State beat UC Davis on Saturday, the world wasn’t supposed to come to an end.
The way the Aggies competed, however, probably caused a few earthquakes.
San Jose State needed to convert on fourth and 13 with eight seconds remaining to claim victory. It did, taking its first lead of the game to edge past UC Davis, 13-10.
“We outplayed them,” UC Davis head coach Bob Biggs said. “One big play there at the end made the difference in the game. We completely outplayed them – their coaches would agree.“
The Aggies outplayed them? Outplayed the lone BCS school on their 12-game schedule? Well, that can’t be good for the 11 FCS teams UC Davis will face this season.
“You know, we really set the bar high with this game,” said senior defensive tackle John Faletoese, a preseason All-American.
When the Aggies faced the Spartans last year, they lost 34-14.
This year, they led the whole game sans the last eight seconds.
“Last year, I don’t think we had a whole lot of faith,” Faletoese said. “This year, we just have way more camaraderie on this team. I think that’s what helped us the whole game.“
Whenever a BCS team needs to convert a fourth down with seconds remaining to beat a FCS school, that FCS school is good.
That FCS school is UC Davis – a school that held two-time All-Western Athletic Conference tailback Yonus Davis to 26 yards rushing. A team that lost by three points while playing without its starting quarterback, Greg Denham, who was pacing the sidelines as he recovers from a strained medial collateral ligament.
They won’t face a BCS team next week. There won’t be an All-WAC standout on the field. They’ll have Denham under center.
“There are a lot of positives to take away from this game,” Biggs said. “I feel badly for the kids, but as a coach, I feel good about this football team. We’re going to be all right.“
ADAM LOBERSTEIN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.