YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Aggies

UCD eats the Fighting Sioux for brunch

By November 6, 2010

Special to the Enterprise

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The decibel level was considerably lower this time. But the UC Davis football team had something else to deal with Saturday.

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Basically, they were playing football at brunch time. The game started at noon in North Dakota, which is 10 a.m. by the Aggies\’ body clocks.

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“I\’m glad we were playing inside a dome because then we couldn\’t tell what time it was,” joked linebacker Dozie Amajoyi, who led UCD in tackles with eight and recovered a fumble in the Aggies\’ 35-16 victory over the Fighting Sioux. “We got up today at 6 a.m. our time and bed check (Friday night) was 9 p.m. our time. It was tough.”

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Amajoyi said players didn\’t dwell on the jet lag and time-zone peculiarities. Instead, he said, they turned the negative into a positive.

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“The trip was our motivation for winning,” he said. “We didn\’t want to spend 3-4 hours on an airplane, go through all these strange time things and then lose. Then we would have gone through it all for no reason.

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\”We didn\’t want to come out here in vain.”

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Saturday\’s outcome was far different from the only other time UCD played in Grand Forks. In the 2001 NCAA Division II semifinals, the Sioux defeated the Aggies, 14-2.

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It was a rough day for the UCD offense, specifically NFL-bound quarterback J.T. O\’Sullivan. The

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offense didn\’t score, shaken by a strong defense that went on to claim the national title and a sellout crowd that roared before every Aggie snap.

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The Aggies suffered eight penalties for moving prior to the snap that day, and the fan noise made other communication difficult, too.

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“You literally could not hear yourself talk,” UCD head coach Bob Biggs remembered.

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On Saturday, the Alerus Center was perhaps half-full to watch a team that would be 3-6 by mid-afternoon. And, with little to play for except pride as the team goes through the purgatory

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of the transition to Division I, the fan enthusiasm cup was less than half-full.

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The Aggies, who went through the transition from 2003-06, could relate.

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“There was an entirely different environment out there today,” Biggs said. “Their program is going through growing pains.

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“Transition is very difficult. Every game is a challenge. And, unfortunately, fans are fickle.”

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Amajoyi enjoyed the quiet — and everything else about Saturday\’s game, even its early start.

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“Any time you can put on a helmet is a good time, no matter what time of day it is,” he said.

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