Teams: UC Davis at Eastern Washington
Records: Aggies, 3-6 (2-4); Eagles, 7-2 (5-1)
Where: Roos Field — Cheney, WA.
When: Saturday at 1:35 p.m.
Who to Watch: The Eastern Washington Eagles boast one of the top aerial attacks in college football with a standout quarterback and three wide receivers with All-American honors.
Look for the secondary to try and slow down their passing game under the leadership of junior safety Aarynn Jones who led the Aggies with 10 tackles in their loss two weeks ago to Portland State.
Did you know? The Eastern Washington Eagles are 14-2 at home ever since they installed the red turf on their field in 2010. The Eagles have been undefeated this year at home and look to extend their record to 5-0 at home this season against the Aggies.
The Eagles also boast some of the best attendance numbers in the Big Sky and many fans are expected to come out for their final home game of the regular season. With all the odds stacked against UC Davis, it presents the perfect opportunity for an upset that would shock the entire NCAA football world.
Preview: In what will be the final away game of Coach Biggs’ career, the UC Davis Aggies are set to travel to No. 5-ranked Eastern Washington on the Eagles’ famous red turf field.
The Eagles, who boast a record of 7-2, will be the fifth team ranked in the top 19 in the Sports Network FCS rankings the Aggies play this season. The Aggies have come close against some of the other top teams in the nation, losing three of those games by one possession or less.
“If you look at the best teams we’ve played, our team has been really competitive,” Biggs said. “We just want to go out there and play as hard and fast as we can.”
The Eagles are coming off a victory after losing their top ranking in the FCS when they lost to Southern Utah the week prior. Meanwhile the Aggies had a bye week last week to give some time for recovery.
“The bye week was crucial. Guys get banged up and it’s just the nature of the sport. It was nice to get healthy,” said junior defensive end Nick King. “We took some time to start over mentally and it was good to get our minds right more than our bodies.”
The bye week also has given the Aggies more time for preparation in facing the Eagles.
“In past years, we’ve never had byes this late in the season, but it allowed us to look at more of their previous games on film and try to break them [Eastern Washington] down. Practices have been crisp and energetic and although we’re disappointed about how we played against Portland State, we are ready to get back,” Biggs said.
The Aggies will need to be well prepared going up against the Eagles offense that just came off a huge week on offense, totaling 542 yards last week against Cal Poly.
Their redshirt freshman quarterback Vernon Adams was named Big Sky offensive player of the week, throwing for 288 yards and three touchdowns while also running for 68 yards as well.
“They are definitely the best talent we’ve faced at the wide receiver position with three all-league guys. Their quarterback can also run the ball which puts pressure on our defense to contain him in the pocket and those big plays,” Biggs said. “They can run the ball as well so we just want to limit our mistakes on defense and hopefully cause some turnovers.”
The Aggies’ offensive will have to keep pace against the high-octane Eagles offense.
“Their defense is really solid. They are not going to get beat deep,” said junior quarterback Randy Wright. “It’s going to take long drives to score so we just need to be patient, hit the underneath routes and run the ball well.”
— Jason Min