UC Davis and Sacramento State will open the 2014 football season on the road Aug. 30 against distinctly different opponents.
The Aggies, with arguably their toughest schedule in school history, will visit the Pacific-12 Conference champion Stanford Cardinal, while Sac State travels to San Antonio to face the Incarnate Word Cardinals, a Catholic college that will play its first full season at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level.
UC Davis, coming off a 5-7 season in its first year under coach Ron Gould, will play 11 games, including five at home and three against FCS opponents.
The Aggies will host Fort Lewis College, a Division II team from Durango, Colo., and Big Sky Conference opponents Eastern WashingtonMontana State, Northern Colorado and Sac State in the 61st annual Causeway Classic.
In addition to Stanford, UC Davis will travel to Colorado State and play Big Sky games at Portland State, MontanaNorthern Arizona and Cal Poly.
Stanford went 11-3 last season and lost 24-20 to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl. Colorado State finished 8-6 and beat Washington State 48-45 in the New Mexico Bowl. Big Sky champion Eastern Washington, Northern Arizona and Montana made the FCS playoffs, with Eastern Washington reaching the semifinals.
Sac State, which went 5-7 last season and will play 12 games this year under eighth-year coach Marshall Sperbeck, will play a Pac-12 opponent for the fifth consecutive year, visiting Cal in Berkeley on Sept. 6.
The Hornets sandwiched upsets of Oregon State in 2011 and Colorado in 2012 between losses to Stanford in 2010 and Arizona State last season. Cal went 1-11 last season.
The Hornets’ home opener is Sept. 13 against Weber State, a nonconference matchup of Big Sky schools. Sac State also will host Menlo College of Atherton, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school, before hosting conference games against Montana State, Cal Poly, Southern Utah and Portland State.
In addition to UC Davis, Sac State will play Big Sky road games against Idaho State, Northern Colorado and Montana.
Game times will announced later.
Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.