A win Saturday against visiting North Dakota would keep UC Davis on track to finish the Big Sky Conference with a winning record and set the stage for the season finale next week against Sacramento State at Hornet Stadium in the 60th Causeway Classic.
The Aggies are 3-7 overall and 3-3 in conference one season after finishing 3-5 in their first year in the Big Sky.
North Dakota also is 3-7 overall but just 2-5 in conference play.
UC Davis has won only once in five home games, but thats something North Dakota understands. UND had lost five in a row at its domed stadium in Grand Forks, N.D., before rallying from 15 points down in the third quarter to beat Northern Colorado 24-21 last Saturday.
The win was engineered by redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Bartels, who has worked his way back into the starting job he lost to Joe Mollberg in the second game of the season. Bartels played well two weeks ago in a loss to Northern Arizona and last Saturday helped UND hand Northern Colorado its ninth consecutive loss. In those two games combined, Bartels completed 70 of 106 passes for 711 yards and five touchdowns.
Bartels has an NFL prospect to throw to in 6-foot-4 receiver Kenny Golladay (64 catches), a school record-breaker in senior Greg Hardin (56) and another burner in sophomore Jameer Jackson (50).
Offensively, theyve got a lot of speed, UC Davis coach Ron Gould said. Theyve got a kickoff return guy (Hardin) who is sensational, and their wide receivers can score from anywhere.
Hardin has racked up more than 4,800 all-purpose yards in his UND career and nearly 500 of those have come on plays of 80 yards or longer. He is second among active Football Championship Subdivision players with 31 touchdowns.
At the end of the day, he will sit at the top or pretty close to the top of every UND regular-season receiving record we have, said North Dakota coach Chris Mussman. Its been a pleasure to coach him and have him be a huge part of our transition from Division II to Division I and into the Big Sky.
Tough times in Berkeley Gould said he feels for the players at Cal, some he had a hand in recruiting during a 16-year career as an assistant coach in Berkeley.
The Bears are 1-9 this season under first-year coach Sonny Dykes.
My heart goes out to those young men, but one thing for sure is theyre a resilient bunch, Gould said.
Goulds wife, Teresa, is still an athletic administrator at Cal and keeps him apprised of how some of his former players are doing.
Every time she runs into one of the guys, she offers encouragement, Gould said. Like I tell my guys, life is about overcoming adversity. Its easy to say you have character when you win. But its when you are faced with adversity and how you respond that shapes your character.
Running man Community college walk-on running back Gabe Manzanares is now eighth on UC Davis career single-season rushing chart with 1,031 yards. His 114.6 yards per game average ranks third in the Big Sky Conference and 11th in the FCS.
Ex-Aggie honored Former UC Davis wide receiver Bakari Grant has been named a Canadian Football League East Division All-Star. Grant plays for the Hamilton Tiger Cats.
Grants most notable moment with the Aggies came Oct. 4, 2008, when he out-jumped four Northern Colorado defenders for a 38-yard touchdown reception on the games last play to beat the Bears 34-30.
Call The Bees Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.