Teams: UC Davis at Southern Utah
Records: Aggies 4-3 (1-0); Thunderbirds 3-4 (1-1)
Where: Eccles Coliseum, Cedar City, Utah
When: Saturday at noon
Who to watch: Both of the Aggies starting cornerbacks, Kenneth Brown and Jeremy Scott, will have their hands full against the Thunderbirds’ offense. Southern Utah is averaging 406.1 yards of offense per game, in no small part due to the efforts of wide receivers Tysson Poots and Fesi Sitake.
Sitake has 49 receptions for 507 yards and seven touchdowns on the season while Poots has 42 receptions for 527 yards and six touchdowns. Poots also had a strong showing against UC Davis last season, when he caught eight passes for 144 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-26 loss.
Scott and Brown have 15 and 14 tackles to go with five and eight defended passes, respectively. Brown, a senior, has two interceptions and a forced fumble this season.
Did you know? UC Davis would do well to start fast – the Aggies are 2-0 this season when leading after the first quarter.
Preview: The Aggies, fresh off a 34-31 come-from-behind victory against Portland State, will look to extend their winning streak to four games Saturday against the Thunderbirds.
UC Davis has been matched against several high-powered offenses this season and face another in Southern Utah.
“Offensively, their quarterback is playing very well,” said Coach Bob Biggs. “He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.”
Southern Utah quarterback Cade Cooper has thrown 20 touchdowns this season while throwing only six interceptions.
The game will be played in Cedar City, Utah, which has an elevation of 5,846 feet above sea level. Davis is only 52 feet above sea level. Biggs, however, isn’t worried about his players not being able to catch their breath.
When the Aggies started playing at Southern Utah in 1993 Coach Biggs called on the UC Davis science community for some help
“The beauty of playing at a place like Davis is that I met with some of the foremost exercise scientists who were working with the Olympic team at the time.
“I asked them questions about how long it takes to acclimate to the high altitude and will you be short of breath and such. They assured me it wouldn’t be an issue. We haven’t had any ill effects from it in the past.”
If UC Davis wins they will be unbeaten in conference play this season heading into The Battle for the Golden Horseshoe against Cal Poly on Nov. 7.
– Richard Procter