What happened on Sept. 17, 2005, at The Farm has no bearing on what Stanford coach David Shaw or UC Davis counterpart Ron Gould are doing to prepare for Saturday’s opening of the 2014 college football season.
At least that’s what the current coaches say …
But for Aggie fans, it’s difficult not to chat about that ground-shaking evening, when UCD marched into Palo Alto and upset the Cardinal, 20-17.
A game played on the West Coast at 7 p.m., it barely registered on the Richter Scale until the following Monday. Most of the football-watching nation was tucked in bed when Aggie QB Jon Grant found wideout Blaise Smith with a 3-yard touchdown toss, eight seconds before the final horn.
Shaw says the memory of that game means absolutely nothing to his team or program 10 years later: “Most of my guys weren’t even in high school yet. No, we haven’t even mentioned it.”
Gould concurred: “We have not talked about it.”
But the win — which goes down in Aggie history with the 1971 Miracle Game (more about that in notes) and the playoff win over North Dakota State in 1982 — is considered by many the program’s signature victory.
While Gould and Shaw don’t have the last meeting on their radar, former UCD QB-turned-20-year-head-coach Bob Biggs found some time to reminisce:
“Our team in 2005 had some pretty good players,” Biggs told The Enterprise. “We all saw playing Stanford as an opportunity. We just talked about playing up to the level we’re capable of. Down 17-0 … we created a couple of breaks.”
Freshman lineman John Faletoese blocked a field goal in the third quarter and Adam Cook intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble on the Stanford 3-yard line that led to the Aggies’ first points.
“That Stanford game was particularly interesting,” Biggs explained. “We had the opportunity to scrimmage them the year before.
“We didn’t keep score, but played pretty well. It gave some of the kids (confidence) … we weren’t intimidated the next season.”
Biggs understands the ESPN Collegiate Upset of the Year “has no significance or bearing whatsoever” on Saturday’s 1 p.m. opener — but adds: “It will be a moment that (former) players, fans and coaches will remember forever … and rightfully so.”
Back to the present …
The Pac-12 Cardinal announced Tuesday that All-American candidate wide receiver Ty Montgomery (shoulder) is cleared to play while Gould says the Aggie starter at quarterback is still a battle between two players.
“It’s a game-time decision,” repeated Gould about who will get the call between sophomore Ben Scott (Vanden High) and senior signal-caller London Lacy. “The guys are really throwing the ball well, doing an awesome job of competing. They looked good again (Wednesday). We’re excited.”
So what does Biggs, who is headed to Stanford on Friday night for UCD pre-game festivities, think of the Aggies’ chances this time around?
“I know they’ll compete. That’s for sure.”
Notes: The Football Championship Subdivision Aggies are 2-9 over the past 10 years against the Big Boys. The other win against an FBS school was 14-13 over San Jose State in 2010. UCD has played one team ranked higher than the No. 11 Cardinal in The Associated Press poll — No. 5 Boise State in 2009. The Aggies lost 34-16, but gave Bronco coach and former UCD coach and QB Chris Petersen a scare. A late touchdown by BSU sealed the deal. … Scoring 16 points in the final 20 seconds, UCD beat Cal State Hayward 30-29 in 1971. Called the Miracle Game, it was Biggs, then a junior, who threw a TD pass to Mike Bellotti (yes, that Mike Bellotti), followed by a two-point conversion pass to Mike Everly. Said UCD linebacker Jim Flack to one reporter: “There’s no point in writing this one up … no one would believe it anyway.” … The Nov. 22 Causeway Classic kickoff has been set for 1 p.m. at Aggie Stadium. It will be televised locally by Comcast SportsNet. … Stanford was 11-3 in 2013; UCD went 5-7.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at email@example.com or 530-320-4456.