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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Football preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. North Dakota

Records: Aggies, 4-4 (1-0); Fighting Sioux, 5-1 (0-0)

Where: Aggie Stadium

When: Saturday at 6 p.m.

Radio: KHTK 1140 AM

Who to watch: Greg Denham has been making the most of UC Davis current five-game homestand.

Through three gamesall wins, the sophomore has thrown for 296.3 yards per game with 13 touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also completed 70.2 percent of his passes, helping him to a 179.40 efficiency rating over the span.

Did you know? Saturday’s Great West Conference matchup with North Dakota will be the final night game of the year at Aggie Stadium. UC Davis concludes its home schedule on Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. against rival Sacramento State.

Preview: Great offense, stout run defenseUC Davissuccess at home this season has been easy to define.

The Aggies have averaged 527.3 yards of offense per game at Aggie Stadium while averaging only 45.8 rushing yards against.

Not even the absence of the team’s top two running backs could slow down production last week against Iona. Playing in place of Joe Trombetta and Brandon Tucker, who were both sidelined with knee injuries, reserves Corbin Cutshaw and Josh Reese combined for 310 total yards (208 rushing) in a 55-24 win.

“They were obviously good players before [Trombetta and Tucker’s injuries], head coach Bob Biggs said, “but we never really got a chance to see if it would transfer from practice to games. Clearly, it’s transferring.

Trombetta is likely to return in time for the Sac State game in two weeks while Tucker is more of a doubt for the home finale.

If the Aggiesoffense keeps rolling and their defense keeps shutting down running games, North Dakota may have to rest its offensive hopes on quarterback Danny Freund.

The senior has completed 70.1 percent of his passes this season for 1401 yards with 16 touchdowns and only two interceptions. The 165.80 efficiency rating, however, has come against Division II competition, as North Dakota is in its first year of a four-year reclassification process from Division II to Division I.

On the season, UC Davis has the sixth-best rush defense in the Football Championship Subdivision and the 17th-best offense (ninth-best passing). It is also second in the country in average time of possession (34:59).


Michael Gehlken 


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