Teams: UC Davis vs. Northern Colorado
Records: Aggies, 1-4; Bears, 0-3
Where: Aggie Stadium
When: Saturday at 6 p.m.
Radio: KHTK (1140 AM)
Who to watch: Time and time again, Brandon Rice puts on a show in front of the home crowd.
Last season, the Aggies wide receiver had 27 receptions, 457 yards and six touchdowns in five home contests. In the team’s lone game at Aggie Stadium this year, Rice had eight catches for 141 yards. He’ll look to find the end zone on Saturday against Northern Colorado.
Did you know? UC Davis hasn’t been 1-4 since 1981. That year, the Aggies rebounded with five straight victories to finish 6-4.
Preview: Five games into the season, this is not where the UC Davis football team thought it would be.
With four road losses, the Aggies are 1-4, a mark that head coach Bob Biggs called “embarrassing” after Wednesday’s practice.
“I think that’s the way we all feel,” Biggs said. “We need to execute. We need to get momentum. We need to win. I’m tired of that lousy, sick feeling in my stomach, and I know the players are tired of that lousy, sick feeling, too.“
Northern Colorado knows all about that feeling. Its last two losses have both come by a three-point margin, including an especially heartbreaking defeat last Saturday.
The Bears were trailing Northern Arizona 23-22 with 1:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. They had just scored on a 21-yard touchdown pass and decided to go for the lead, attempting a two-point conversion rather than kicking an extra point for the tie. The decision backfired.
An errant direct snap to the fullback was recovered by Northern Arizona, which returned the fumble to the opposite end zone for two points, settling the Bears with a 25-22 home loss.
Northern Colorado shouldn’t expect to find any sympathy in Davis, where the Aggies look for a win in front of their sold-out crowd.
“There are no moral victories here,” Biggs said. “We’ve got to do everything we can to scratch and claw our way to victory.“
Sophomore running back Joe Trombetta has been working his way back from an ankle injury for the last two weeks. He was expected to start last week against Northeastern but was a late scratch. He practiced this week and said he should be ready to go by kickoff.
The strength of Northern Colorado is its defense, which is led by linebacker Cristian Sarmento. In the last two games, the senior captain has had 37 tackles (15 solo), three sacks and a forced fumble.
“He kind of raises havoc out there,” Biggs said.
One hundred tickets are still available for the game. They were purchased by Tandem Properties and ASUCD and are being given away for free on a first-come, first-served basis to students in Aggie Pack clothing with a student ID card.