Teams: UC Davis at San Diego
Records: Aggies, 5-6; Toreros, 8-2
Where: Toreros Stadium – San Diego
When: Saturday at 6 p.m.
Radio: KHTK 1140 AM
Who to watch: When senior wide receiver Brandon Rice takes the field for the final time as an Aggie on Saturday, he’ll do so coming off a 145-yard, three-touchdown performance against No. 3 Cal Poly. The Los Angeles native leads UC Davis with nine touchdown catches and sits second on the team with 740 receiving yards.
Did you know? Saturday’s stop in San Diego will be the first time the Aggies have visited Southern California in a long time.
“To my knowledge, we’ve never played a game in San Diego,” head coach Bob Biggs said. “[Since] Northridge dropped football, … we never get down to Southern California anymore.”
UC Davis last played at Cal State Northridge in 1994. The Matadors dissolved their program in 2001.
Preview: UC Davis’ 5-6 showing in 2007 snapped a 37-year streak of winning seasons.
Now, the Aggies look to avoid their first seven-loss season since 1969.
A win on Saturday over San Diego means UC Davis would finish its season at 6-6, something Biggs called “extremely important.”
“There have been disappointments this year,” he said. “We’ve played consistently better this year than we did last year. Unfortunately, there were some games we couldn’t quite pull out.
“It’s easy to say, ‘Could have, should have, would have,’ but the reality is there, so here we are at 5-6. It’s important for us to have the .500 season. No question.”
To do so, the Aggies will have to defeat a Toreros team whose two losses have come by a combined nine points.
“Every time we play them,” Biggs said, “they remind me of what we were like back in our Division II days. They’ve got a great tradition of winning. Their tenacity, the way they play – they remind me of ourselves, and we were pretty good then.”
Getting back to those winning ways begins with a victory on Saturday.
“It’s something to build on for next year,” Biggs said. “We’ve got a lot of people returning next season. You always want to end on a winning note.”
– Adam Loberstein