Marshall Sperbeck opens football practice for the coming season this afternoon, entering his seventh season as head coach at Sacramento State.
Monday morning, a new era at UC Davis will begin under first-year head coach Ron Gould.
For both coaches and both teams, the goals are similar: have a better 2013 season than the previous year, contend in the Big Sky Conference and try to beat each other in the Nov. 23 Causeway Classic in the regular-season finale.
Sac State returns 36 lettermen and 17 starters from last season's 6-5 team (4-4 Big Sky) that beat a team from the Pacific-12 Conference Colorado for the second consecutive year. The Hornets will try to make it three in a row against Arizona State on Sept. 5.
The Hornets will practice in jerseys and helmets for the first two days from 4 to 6 p.m. The team's first practice in full pads will be Thursday morning from 10 to noon. All practices are open to the public.
The Hornets will conduct two scrimmages at Hornet Stadium, Aug. 17 and Aug. 21 both at 9 a.m.
The Hornets open the season Aug. 29 at San Jose State. Sac State's home opener is Sept. 14 against Southern Oregon.
The Aggies return 45 lettermen (18 starters from 2012). Under Bob Biggs, who retired after 20 seasons, the 2012 Aggies were 4-7 overall and 3-5 in their first Big Sky tour.
Gould takes over the Aggies after serving as associate head coach-running backs coach at Cal.
"I'm very excited, but I think the biggest thing is to stay focused," said Gould, who coached 16 seasons in Berkeley. "We talked about focusing on the process and that's (approaching things) day to day."
The Aggies will practice from 9:15 to 11:20 a.m. this week, with the first session in full pads Friday. Weekend practices will be held from 10:15 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
UC Davis will conduct four two-a-day practices Aug. 12, 14, 17 and 19 from 8:45 to 10:50 a.m. and 4 to 5:15 p.m.
While all practices are open at Aggie Stadium, the Aggies will host a Blue-Gold practice Aug. 24 at 10:15 a.m., when fans can meet the players.
The Aggies open the season Aug. 31 at the University of South Dakota. The home opener at Aggie Stadium is Sept. 14 against Northern Arizona.
SACRAMENTO STATE SCHEDULE
Date Opponent Time
Aug. 29 at San Jose St. 7 p.m.
Sept. 5 at Arizona St. 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 S. Oregon 6:05 p.m.
Sept. 21 S. Utah 6:05 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Weber St. 5 p.m.
Oct. 5 N. Colorado 6:05 p.m.
Oct. 12 N. Arizona 6:05 p.m.
Oct. 19 at N. Dakota 12:05 p.m.
Nov. 2 Montana 1:05 p.m.
Nov. 9 at Cal Poly 6:05 p.m.
Nov. 16 at Portland St. 1:05 p.m.
Nov. 23 UC Davis 1:05 p.m.
UC DAVIS SCHEDULE
Date Opponent Time
Aug. 31 at S. Dakota Noon
Sept. 7 at Nevada 6:05 p.m.
Sept. 14 vs. N. Arizona 6 p.m.
Sept. 21 vs. Portland St. 6 p.m.
Sept. 28 vs. Idaho St. 6 p.m.
Oct. 5 at S. Utah 12:05 p.m.
Oct. 12 vs. Montana 4 p.m.
Oct. 19 at N. Colorado 12:35 p.m.
Oct. 26 at Montana St. 1:35 p.m.
Nov. 2 vs. Cal Poly 4 p.m.
Nov. 16 vs. N. Dakota 4 p.m.
Nov. 23 at Sac State 1:05 p.m.
Call The Bee's Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527. Follow him on Twitter @SacBeeVictor.