It’s finally that time of the year. The week leading up to the Causeway Classic is one filled with great anticipation and excitement. A lot of that excitement comes from the fact that no matter what has happened throughout the season, anything goes in this rivalry game.
“It’s nice to have Sacramento State at the end of the year because you can throw out records, past history and other things and focus on the game that brings out best of both teams,” said head coach Bob Biggs.
However this year’s 59th annual Causeway Classic carries more significance than usual as Biggs will be coaching his last Causeway Classic. Coach Biggs, who announced that he would retire at the end of this year, admits that this week has been quite unique.
“Sometimes I think ‘my goodness this is my last week of practicing’ but coaching is routine orientated so I’m just focusing on the game plan,” Biggs said. “But I do look around sometimes and take time to enjoy the stadium and just all the players at practice.”
If anyone knows anything about the Causeway Classic, it’s Coach Biggs himself. He currently owns a 14-5 record in the series between the two teams and has had many great memories from this game.
“There have been so many [memories]. Some of them that come to mind are the triple overtime game at Hornet Field in 1997. Another is the fabulous two minute drive with our backup quarterback after our starting quarterback had to be taken to the hospital due to a staph infection. We drove down the field with 56 seconds left running a bunch of draw plays and that was really memorable,” Biggs said. “Even the game last year with the difficulty of the season, we were still able to get the win.”
However the game is far bigger than the coach and team itself. A big part of the rivalry is the involvement of alumni and community, and all the history that is involved in this rivalry.
“The game has a lot of regional interest. Alumni from both programs have an opportunity to put on their school sweatshirt and cheer for their alumnus,” Biggs said.
Senior linebacker Jordan Glass attests to the importance of the rivalry in the Davis/Sacramento region.
“Being from the Sacramento Area, I always knew about this rivalry and I’ve been in two of them since I transferred here,” Glass said. “We’ve won the last two so we’re going to try and continue the streak.”
The Causeway Classic becomes a central focus for Aggie players right when they step on campus.
“When you first come in, you learn about this rivalry. Your season isn’t based on this game, but it is a big part of it. There are also the alumni that come back and they want to see you win,” Wright said. “We just really want to win this one for the seniors and coach Biggs.”
Come out Saturday at 3 p.m. to Aggie Stadium and come see the Aggies take on their rival Hornets in what will be the end of the Biggs era in UC Davis football.
Jason Min can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org