Aztecs (1-0): 38
Aggies (0-1): 17
The Aztecs were 35 point favorites going into the game.
Attendance for the game was 46,132.
The game was streamed live on Facebook via Stadium, which will be streaming one Mountain West game a week along with one Conference USA game
UC Davis received the opening kickoff. The first play they ran was a 41-yard pass from Quarterback Jake Maier to the Aggies best player, WR Keelan Doss. The Aggies got to the Aztecs’ 23 yard line on the next play. Looking to score the game’s first points, Aztecs’ Tariq Thompson intercepted a short pass to stop the threat.
After the turnover, the Aztecs’ struck first on a John Baron 39-yard field goal. Following a UC Davis three and out, Rashaad Penny broke off a 61-yard touchdown run to make the score 10-0, Aztecs.
UC Davis then marched 61 yards down the field to kick a field goal, making it 10-3. The Aztecs committed two penalties, including a personal foul and pass interference.
After the Aztecs punted, Davis took over down just a touchdown. Ron Smith picked off a pass in UC Davis territory. The Aztecs had another personal foul penalty on the first play after the Smith interception. The Aztecs still ended up scoring on a Christian Chapman passing touchdown to tight end Kahale Warring.
Warring was starting in place of injured starting tight end, David Wells. Warring led all receivers for the Aztecs with five receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. Warring joined the team initially as a walk-on, and was rewarded with a scholarship this past August.
The Aztecs then shut down the Aggies with another three and out.
During the Aztecs next drive, Fred Trevillion fumbled the ball in UC Davis territory, which was recovered by the Aggies.
Following the turnover, star receiver Doss reeled in another long catch of 30 yards to the Aztecs 11 yard line. Luckily, the Aztecs prevented the Aggies from scoring, stopping them on fourth down. The Aztecs took over on the 11 and put together a six-play, 89-yard drive capped off by Rashaad Penny’s second touchdown of the game.
The Aztecs led 24-3 at halftime. Rashaad Penny was the star of the first half with over 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Rocky Long was interviewed on his way into the locker room and was asked about the Aztecs’ commanding lead and solid performance in the first half. The stern Rocky Long disagreed and believed his team should be playing much better. He mentioned the turnover and also the multiple penalties the Aztecs committed.
The second half began with the Aztecs receiving and Rashaad Penny and Juwan Washington receiving the kick. The Aztecs drove down and scored on a passing touchdown from Christian Chapman to Darryl Richardson. (31-3 Aztecs)
UC Davis then punted down to the 1 yard line. The Aztecs put together a beautiful 99-yard drive highlighted by a 36-yard catch by Kahale Warring and a 21-yard run by Rashaad Penny. The drive ended in a Juwan Washington touchdown. The Aztecs now led 38-3 over the Aggies.
The Aztecs’ next two possessions ended in punts, while Davis scored two touchdowns, one by Keelan Doss.
The Aztecs then took over the ball with 6:22 left in the fourth quarter and ran the clock out to seal the victory.
Key statistics from the game:
Christian Chapman was 16-21 for 220 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception (A Hail Mary to end the 1st half).
Rashaad Penny had 21 carries for 197 yards and two touchdowns.
Juwan Washington carried the ball 14 times for 66 yards and one touchdown.
Backup tight end, Warring, finished with five receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown.
UC Davis receiver, Keelan Doss, finished with eight receptions for 181 yards and a touchdown.
The Aztecs’ defense allowed just 57 rushing yards, but allowed Aggies’ quarterback Maier to throw 19-24 for 258 yards and two touchdowns. The Aztecs’ defense also had two interceptions.
Mikah Holder was limited to just three catches for 19 yards, while Quest Truxton had just two catches for 23 yards.
Ronley LakaLaka had the Aztecs’ lone sack in the game, from the defense who had eight tackles for losses.
Kicker Baron continued his dominance, going a perfect 5/5 in extra points and making his only FGA of 39 yards.
The Aztecs started the season the way they hoped to, by taking care of business against the FCS school.
UC Davis did look solid at times against the Aztecs, especially in the second half. Wide receiver Keelan Doss showed why he has a lot of hype surrounding him.
The (1-0) Aztecs face Arizona State next week at Sun Devil Stadium. The Aztecs will have much tougher competition facing the Pac-12 school on the road. Arizona State won its first game against New Mexico State, 37-31. Arizona State didn’t look very stunning in their first game of the season, so hopefully the Aztecs will be able to take them down and gain confidence for the game against powerhouse Stanford in two weeks.
The Aztecs did what they were supposed to do to…take care of UC Davis, although there are plenty of things to take away from the game that the Aztecs need to improve on.
The secondary needs to defend the passing game better, while the team as a collective unit needs to avoid costly penalties such as the ones they committed in this game.