After what could have been the winning touchdown pass fell harmlessly out of the back of the end zone, redshirt freshman wide receiver Corey Galindo lay face down on the field, the frustration obvious.
He had to get back up, though. There was still .4 seconds on the clock. Enough time for quarterback Randy Wright to heave the ball into the end zone one last time, needing a touchdown to win.
That atmosphere was electric, with nearly 10,000 fans on their feet trying to will the Aggies to victory.
The comeback win was not to be, though. The visiting Division II Humboldt State Lumberjacks and their small contingent of fans erupted in celebration after the final pass was knocked to the ground.
On the other side, the Aggies looked deflated as they quickly made their way to the locker room, their fans trudging out silently, stunned by the loss.
For UC Davis, the 17-23 final score was a reflection of the team’s offensive woes.
“We just didn’t finish drives when we had the opportunity,” head coach Bob Biggs said. “From my perspective we didn’t do enough offensively. We didn’t make enough plays.”
Certainly, the Aggies had opportunities to score more than 17 points in the game. In the first quarter, with the game tied, UC Davis had a first down and goal from the two-yard line, but had to settle for a field goal. Later, at the end of the second quarter, a 49-yard field goal attempt by Sean Kelley bounced off the right upright.
“We were moving the ball, but we were shooting ourselves in the foot,” Wright said, pointing out an interception, a fumble, and untimely penalties. “We were getting into third and longs and it cost us the game.”
Biggs had a similar view.
“They seemed to bottle us up all night and we just couldn’t convert,” he said.
One bright spot for the UC Davis offense was the connection between Wright and sophomore wide receiver Tom Hemmingsen. The wide out had a career high 10 catches for 141 yards and scored the only two Aggie touchdowns of the game.
The second touchdown came on a 50-yard reception, the longest play for UC Davis so far this year. Hemmingsen now leads the team with 5 touchdowns and 289 yards on the season.
When asked about the frustration of losing on the final play, Hemmingsen took a broader view.
“The more frustrating thing is that we only put up 17 points on offense,” he said. “It never should have come down to that last drive.”
Defensively, the Aggies played strong against a quick Humboldt State offense. The Lumberjacks used a no-huddle, hurry-up attack to take advantage of their speedy running backs and accurate quarterback.
“The film we had on them, we really didn’t think they’d have much of a hurry up,” said senior linebacker Jordan Glass. “It caught us off guard with some of the calls. (But) we got used to it”
Now, the Aggies must look ahead to next week and the final six games of the season. Glass doesn’t want his teammates to forget this game, though.
“Everyone’s got to remember this feeling,” he said. “Know how it feels and not let it happen again.”
For all football news and updates, you can follow CAELUM SHOVE on twitter @CaAggieFootball. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.