Leading Off

Death, taxes and UCD beating Sac State

Death, taxes and UCD beating Sac State

It’s not often that a college football team can lose eight of its first nine games – it’s lone victory coming against a Division II school – and still have a chance to call the season a success.

But that’s the case for UC Davis, which hosts Big Sky Conference rival Sacramento State in the 61st annual Causeway Classic on Saturday at Aggie Stadium.

Last Saturday in San Luis Obispo, the Aggies upset central-state rival Cal Poly 48-35 to win The Golden Horseshoe. So if the Aggies can beat Sac State to sweep their rivals, you’ll never see a team as happy to finish the season with a 3-8 record.

And why shouldn’t UC Davis win? It’s been one of the safest bets in college football for decades. The Aggies hold a 43-18 advantage and have won 12 of the past 14 games.

And in many of the Classics since 2000, the Hornets had the better record and advantage in talent, but Sac State was either outplayed or outcoached – if not both – by the Aggies.

The story line remains much the same. Other than Aggies running back Gabe Manzanares, who rushed for 230 yards against Cal Poly, the Hornets have a clear advantage in offensive talent.

Senior quarterback Garrett Safron has rewritten most of Sac State’s game, season and career passing records, and senior wide receiver DeAndre Carter, a 2014 Walter Payton Award finalist, has single-season records of 90 catches and 16 touchdowns.

But as much success as the dynamic duo has had in four seasons, neither has beaten UC Davis. In fact, no player on Sac State’s roster has celebrated a Causeway Classic victory.

Why should this year be different?

“We know the records and we know what Davis has done,” Carter said Tuesday. “But this year is different because we play for each other more than we have in the past. We’re more of a family. We want to win for each other, for our community.”

Victor Contreras

vcontreras@sacbee.com


Causeway Classic

UC Davis vs. Sacramento State, Saturday at Aggie Stadium, 1 p.m., CSNCA, 1380: The Aggies have defeated the Hornets in 17 of the past 21 meetings. Tickets: 530-7520-AGS1


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