The Aggies knew it from the start – to beat the Fighting Sioux, they needed to make plays.
They also needed to be on the same page on defense, offense and special teams.
With consistency in all facets of the Saturday’s game, UC Davis took down North Dakota with a 35-16 victory.
“We had contributions from everybody,” said coach Bob Biggs. “That was the game we were looking for all year. All in all I’m very happy. We made big plays, and I was very pleased with how hard [the Aggies] played.”
With the win, UC Davis moved to 4-5 on the season and 2-1 in the Great West Conference.
While UC Davis maintained a lead that started on the game’s opening drive, the Aggie defense allowed just three Sioux field goals and a touchdown.
Biggs said the most pivotal of UC Davis’ big plays happened on defense at the end of the third quarter.
Aggie defensive tackle Brock Galvin recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown to break away with a 28-16 lead.
“That was the big play in the game,” Biggs said. “At the time, we only had the 21-16 lead, so it turned the momentum of the game.”
Meanwhile, Biggs was pleased with the way the Aggies capitalized on special teams opportunities.
After three offensive penalties pinned UC Davis against their goal line, punter Colton Schmidt took care of business, booting a 78-yard punt deep into North Dakota territory.
That kick will go down as the longest punt in UC Davis history.
“In warm-ups, [Schmidt] was booming the ball,” Biggs said. “The ball he hit came at a critical time. We were backed up deep in our own territory, and he literally punted the ball the distance of the field. That really put [North Dakota] backs against the wall, and it turned out to be a pivotal play.”
If the defense and special teams were strong, the offense was nothing short of dominant.
Aggie running back Corbin Cutshaw led the effort on the ground with 60 yards, followed closely by Nick Aprile who gained 46.
Biggs was happy with the way UC Davis has developed on the ground.
“Although we didn’t hit a big run, we were getting some nice shots on each carry,” Biggs said. “The offensive line for the past few weeks has really come into their own and allowed us to run the football.”
As a result of a strong running game, quarterback Randy Wright picked up a new career-high, throwing for 286 yards and four touchdowns.
“Once [Wright] settled in, he made some terrific throws,” Biggs said. “He just continues to get better. I see the growth, maturity and development each and every week.”
On the Aggies’ opening drive, Wright found wide receiver Stephen Dunstan wide-open in the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown reception.
Receiver Sean Creadick caught the other three scoring passes, reaching the century-mark for yards for the fifth time this season.
“Creadick has been so consistent,” Biggs said. “He’s made plays all year for us, and he’s really playing at an exceptionally high level. He’s a marked man every week and it amazes me the way he’s been able to get open.”
Biggs says that the team’s resilience through this win is a reflection of the team’s tenacity, particularly in the leadership of captains Creadick, Dozie Amajoyi and Danny Hart.
“I’ve said it all year, we have very good leadership,” Biggs said. “They refuse to cave in, and they will not let this team dwell on a negative game. They’re sending a very strong message to our younger players to keep fighting.”
GRACE SPRAGUE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.