College Sports

Who will quarterback young UC Davis? It could be a Player of the Year newcomer

Keelan Doss, left, burned Sacramento State for four touchdown receptions last season and is a preseason All-Big Sky Conference pick for the Aggies.
Keelan Doss, left, burned Sacramento State for four touchdown receptions last season and is a preseason All-Big Sky Conference pick for the Aggies. Sacramento Bee file

Here’s how the UC Davis football team shapes up entering this season.

Last year’s record: 3-8 (2-6 Big Sky Conference)

Coach: Dan Hawkins (first year)

Key departures: RB Manusamoa Luuga, RB Joshua Kelley, QB Ben Scott, DB Zach Jones

Skinny: The Aggies have only 14 seniors, the fewest of any of the 13 teams in the Big Sky, so youth must be served. The program enthusiastically welcomes a coach who knows the “Aggie Way,” which includes 30 conference championships, 20 in succession from 1971-90, but just three since 1993, the last in 2009.

Players to watch

Brock Dale, QB: After passing for 2,266 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2016, he’s the first to acknowledge that he needs to up those numbers to up the win total.

Jake Maier, QB: The California JC Player of the Year in 2016 at Long Beach City College (3,689 yards, 38 touchdowns) could end up as the starter.

Keelan Doss, WR: The preseason All-Big Sky pick had 66 catches for 911 yards, torching Sac State for four touchdowns.

Keleen Culberson, DB: The Aggies had just seven interceptions last season and need more stops.

Nas Anesi, LB: The longtime rugby player was an All-Big Sky honorable mention and had 60 tackles.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

Aggies 2017 schedule

Date

Opponent

Time

Saturday

at San Diego State

5:30 p.m.

Sept. 9

vs. San Diego

6 p.m.

Sept. 16

at Portland State

2 p.m.

Sept. 23

at Weber State

4 p.m.

Sept. 30

vs. North Dakota

6 p.m.

Oct. 7

vs. Eastern Washington

6 p.m.

Oct. 21

at Northern Arizona

4 p.m.

Oct. 28

vs. Cal Poly

4 p.m.

Nov. 4

at Idaho State

1:30 p.m.

Nov. 11

vs. Southern Utah

4 p.m.

Nov. 18

at Sacramento State

2 p.m.

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