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UCD NOTEBOOK: Tough games still ahead

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September 26, 2010 | Leave Comment

Enterprise staff writer

OGDEN, Utah Ñ It would be easy to think that the tough part of the schedule is over for the UC Davis football team as it is just 1-3 through four games.

But though the Aggies have already faced a Pacific-10 school in California and Weber State Ñ the only 2009 Football Championship Subdivision playoff team on their schedule Ñ the hardest part of their 2010 slate is still to come.

UCD still has to face all four Great West opponents Ñ each of which looks strong Ñ a solid Sacramento State team that has defeated the Aggies each of the past two years and San Jose State, a Football Bowl Subdivision team. UCD also has South Alabama on the slate, but with the way the Aggies are playing at the moment, the schedule is the least of UCDÕs worries.

ÒWeÕre just, at this point, an average football team,Ó said UCD head coach Bob Biggs. ÒWe canÕt seem to put offense and defense together at the same time. WeÕre trying to still find our identity as a football team and weÕve got to find a way to be consistent on both side of the ball.Ó

The Great West is in a unique position, and not just because there are only five teams in the conference. Most leagues have at least one bad team but that wasnÕt so in the Great West in 2009 and the same looks to be true this year.

Before beginning conference play on Oct. 9 against South Dakota at Aggie Stadium, the Aggies will hit the road to take on the Spartans, the second FBS game on their schedule and third straight game on the road. San Jose State might not be a very good FBS team, but theyÕre solid when compared to FCS schools.

South Alabama would appear to be an easy game for UCD, but the Jaguars are a wild card. TheyÕre in only their second year of FCS play and went 7-0 in 2009, but played primarily junior colleges and post-graduate secondary military colleges.

Even considering the competition, South Alabama was impressive, outscoring opponents 321-41 and theyÕre 3-0 so far this year with 159 points scored and 21 allowed.

Then thereÕs the rival Hornets in the Causeway Classic to end the year. The Hornets have been impressive this season, beating Weber State 24-17 last week and nearly toppling Montana on the road Saturday.

The good news for UCD is that none of its remaining seven games is a guaranteed loss. If the Aggies play well, they have the ability to beat each of those teams and they have the experience of bouncing back after a tough start.

Last year, UCD started 0-2 and 1-3, but ran off five wins in six games before losing to Sacramento State. To have a successful 2010, the Aggies are going to have to put a similar run together.

ÒWe still have last year on our shoulders,Ó said UCD wide receiver Sean Creadick. ÒWeÕre the defending Great West champions and weÕre going to play like it every week. We treat every week like a one-game season. As hard as this loss is and in spite of our record, we have to move forward.Ó

Kicking straight: In addition to UCDÕs Sean Kelley booting three field goals and extending his streak to 15 straight, WeberÕs Shaun McClain was accurate as well.

McClain, a freshman, converted both of his field goals and is now 8-for-9 on the year, including making his last seven in a row.

Penalty-highlighted drive: On UCDÕs third drive of the second half, there were three 15-yard flags thrown, two against Weber and one against the Aggies.

Besides that, the game was relatively clean with only 10 penalties called for 66 yards in the other 55 minutes played on the evening.

Cornerback injuries: The Aggies were already playing without starting cornerbacks Marcus North and Jonathan Calhoun, before Jonathan Perkins went down early in the game, forcing Fred Rice into action. Perkins never returned.

Ñ Reach Conor Tekautz at ctekautz@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8049. Comment on this story or check out The Enterprise sports blog at www.davisenterprise.com. To view photo galleries and purchase prints of UCD football visit http://photos.davisenterprise.com

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