South Dakota’s Trevor Bouma rushed for a career-high 186 yards and two touchdowns, and UC Davis couldn’t overcome four turnovers in falling 27-17 in its home opener Saturday night at Aggie Stadium.
It was a battle of two teams desperately looking for a win after experiencing plenty of futility last season.
UC Davis and South Dakota each won two games in 2014 and started this season with losses to Football Bowl Subdivision teams last week.
Bouma, a junior, rushed for touchdowns of 10 and 63 yards, the latter a backbreaker that came 35 seconds after UCD had closed to 20-17 on Ben Scott’s 75-yard touchdown pass to Chris Martin with 6:47 to play in the third quarter.
The Aggies, who trailed 20-3 at halftime, had cut South Dakota’s lead to 10 points early in the third quarter when Manusamoa Luuga scored on a 2-yard run, capping a gritty nine-play, 26-yard drive set up by Ryan Parenteau’s fumble recovery and 15-yard return.
Scott had a rough night, despite completing 21 of 39 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown. Harried throughout by South Dakota’s physically imposing defense, Scott threw three interceptions, fumbled once and was sacked five times.
5 Sacks of UCD’s Ben Scott by South Dakota
But the Aggies couldn’t establish much of a running game to relieve pressure on the junior quarterback. UCD was held to 60 yards on 32 attempts, though Scott had minus-26 yards because of the sacks.
The Aggies opened the game impressively.
They moved from their 20 to the South Dakota 22 before the drive stalled and Brady Stuart booted a 40-yard field goal.
It was all South Dakota the rest of the first half as the Coyotes built a 17-point lead.
South Dakota scored touchdowns on drives of 78 and 47 yards, and added 30- and 45-yard field goals by Miles Bergner.
The Coyotes finished the first half with 249 total yards, with Bouma leading the way with 101 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 carries plus three catches for 48 yards.
A physical South Dakota defensive line stymied UCD’s offense that had moved the ball in a 31-17 loss at Nevada in the Aggies’ season opener.
UCD punted four times, and Scott was picked off twice by strong safety Jacob Warner. After getting three first downs on their first series, the Aggies managed only two more the remainder of the first half and were held to 95 total yards.