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Davis, California

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Football Preview

Who: South Dakota at UC Davis

Records: Coyotes 3-2 (1-0); Aggies 2-3

Where: Aggie Stadium – Davis, Calif.

When: Saturday at 6 p.m.

Who to watch: Aggie punter Colton Schmidt was recently named the Great West Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after punting a season-high 62-yarder during UC Davis’ 14-13 upset at San Jose State.

The 5’11” sophomore out of Bakersfield, Calif. averaged 39.1 yards on seven kicks, including two inside the Spartans’ 20-yard line.

Schmidt’s 39.4-yard average this season includes 12 of his 29 kicks resulting in fair catches.

Did you know? Saturday’s victory over the Spartans marks the second Football Bowl Subdivision win for the Aggies since 2005, when they defeated Stanford on the road.

Preview: Football is a game of momentum, said safety Danny Hart.

Therefore a win against a big opponent just before entering homecoming and conference play was key.

That’s also why this Saturday’s contest against South Dakota is a must-win for the Aggies – to maintain that momentum through a stretch of home games.

“If you’re feeling good, you play well,” Hart said. “After a big win you have confidence, you believe yourself, and it’s always good to try to string some good things together.”

Like the Aggies, however, the Coyotes also own a win over an FBS team this year, having knocked off Minnesota on Sept. 11.

South Dakota has posted a 3-2 record behind an offense that averages 368.2 yards, including 224.2 through the air and 144.0 on the ground.

Hart, at the center of the Aggie defense, believes UC Davis will need to keep up the energy they took from Spartan Stadium to top the Coyotes.

“It’s a process to get to where we want to be,” Hart said. “We have a concentrated effort to always come out with the right intensity – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-so that Saturday, we come home and it’s natural for us.”

The intensity might come easy this weekend with it being homecoming and the first home game while school is in session. Head coach Bob Biggs is looking forward to playing in this atmosphere.

“I want to see a win,” Biggs said. “I want see the stands packed, and I want to see people having a great time at the pre-parties. I want to see an exciting homecoming because we have an exciting opponent. It’s going to be fun because for a lot of students it’s the first game they’ve had an opportunity to go to.”

– Grace Sprague


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