UC Davis football game remains team’s focus during Hobo Week festivities

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

The Jacks continue their Great West Conference schedule with a Hobo Day game versus the University of California Davis.

UC Davis continues the brutal stretch of games with a meeting with the Jackrabbits. Davis enters Saturday’s match-up as the No.-16 ranked school in the nation. In the preseason Great West Conference polls, Davis was picked second.

Last week, Davis beat conference foe Southern Utah University, 27-7. The Aggies enter the game with a 1-1 conference record, while the Jackrabbits enter Hobo Day ranked first in the Great West Conference with a 1-0 record in conference play. Both teams are 4-3 overall.

In the meeting between the two schools last season at Howard Wood Field, the Jacks held off a late Aggie rally to win, 16-14. Davis scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but failed on a two-point conversion to tie the score.

“We’ve got a lot of respect for them,” Head Coach John Stiegelmeier said. “We’re looking at a team with great tradition … They compete for a conference championship every year.”

This season, UC Davis has two offensive players moving up the school’s all-time record list. Quarterback Jon Grant is second in completions and third in yards, while wide receiver Tony Kays has been a favorite target of Grant throughout the past few years. Kays is only 15 catches short of becoming the all-time leader in receptions at UC Davis.

The UC Davis defense has been outstanding against the run this season, allowing opponents to rush for more than 50 yards only three times this season. The secondary is capable of making big plays for the Aggies. UC Davis returns both cornerbacks from last season, who combined for 11 interceptions.

In order to slow down the Aggies’ passing game, Stiegelmeier said the team will mix up coverage schemes and attempt to put pressure on the opposing quarterback.

“We cannot let the quarterback settle in,” he said.

Grant has only been sacked eight times all season, while attempting 254 passes.

Although UC Davis is ranked in the top 20 and SDSU is not ranked in the top 25, UC Davis Head Coach Bob Biggs knows the Jackrabbits cannot be taken lightly.

“They’ve got a lot of momentum going right now and I feel pretty strongly right now that they can beat just about anyone in their schedule,” Biggs said.

Although it is Hobo Week, Stiegelmeier is not worried about his team being distracted by all the festivities.

“Our Hobo Week is Hobo Day,” said Stiegelmeier.

He said he told his team that it wouldn’t be Hobo Week without a football game and the game is the culmination of the week.