Overtime victory team image

Football

Capacity crowd witnesses Homecoming classic; #14 UC Davis wins in OT, 44-37

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First Half Highlights  |  Second Half Highlights  |  Overtime Highlights

Postgame Interviews: Coach Hawkins  |  U. Gilliam  |  J. Maier V. White 

DAVIS, Calif. -  In a game featuring two of the nation's top scoring offenses, No. 14 UC Davis and Idaho State did not disappoint on Saturday night, as Ulonzo Gilliam's four-yard touchdown scamper in overtime provided the winning margin, lifting the Aggies to a, 44-37, Homecoming victory over Idaho State in front of the third sellout crowd in Aggie Stadium history.

Junior communication major Jake Maier, who ended the night 40-of-51 for 382 yards, finished with a career-high five touchdown passes to five different receivers, while senior sociology major Keelan Doss caught 13 balls for 131 yards and his school-record 15th career 100-yard receiving performance to help UC Davis improve to 5-1 overall and stand as the lone undefeated Big Sky Conference team in first place at 3-0.

"No matter who we played, our guys showed up, played hard and hung in there. I thought we showed some resiliency and battled to the very end," said head coach Dan Hawkins

"We were confident, we were at home, and we had a great crowd behind us, and we had momentum," said Maier regarding the first OT game for him and his teammates. "And we had a great plan because we practice plays in special situations all the time. We even ran various plays last spring for overtime situations, that hard work paid off today.

"Even though we were down early, we knew our defense would make stops and create turnovers, and I was confident our offense would not give the ball up for the rest of the game," Maier added. 

Trailing 23-7 with less than five minutes remaining in the first half, UC Davis outscored the Bengals, 37-14 from that point on to collect a win in an instant classic.

The Bengals, who were receiving votes in the latest national polls, fell to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in league play, as Mitch Gueller caught eight balls for 175 yards and James Madison finished with 147 yards on the ground on 33 carries.

Trailing by 15 points after Idaho State scored just 1:25 into the fourth quarter for a, 37-22, advantage, the Aggies roared back, using a 12-play drive that ended with a seven-yard touchdown shovel pass to Gilliam to make it an eight-point contest.

The two teams then traded three-and-outs as UC Davis began the game-tying drive at its own 23 with 3:37 remaining. Six straight completions by Maier marched the Aggies down the field -- the longest of which a 20-yard strike to Doss to move inside the red zone -- before Maier found Doss two plays later in the right corner of the end zone to make it a two-point contest.

Needing the conversion to tie the game, Maier dropped back and spotted Jared Harrell in the back of the end zone. The sophomore human development major stretched to make the catch and was able to get two feet down in bounds, tying the game at 37-all.

That play marked the first time since the 2004 Causeway Classic that the Aggies converted a pair of two-point attempts. 

However, with 1:09 remaining on the clock, Idaho State got the ball back with enough time for one more drive, marching down to the UC Davis 10-yard line thanks, in large part, to completions of 12, 28, and 17 yards. Lining up for the winning field goal with five seconds remaining, Campbell Sheidow pushed a 27-yarder wide right as time expired, sending the Aggies to overtime for only the second time in the Division I era and the first since October 10, 2009, against South Dakota (a 24-23 victory).

UC Davis won the toss and elected to go first in overtime, working the ball down to the four-yard line before Gilliam stretched around the left side and in for the go-ahead score.

"When that play was called, I was confident that would work," said Gilliam. Once Kooper (Richardson) sealed that edge ... I knew I would get to that pylon."

Idaho State took over and was faced with a do-or-die fourth and three from the 18 as Tanner Gueller tried to hit his brother, Mitch, but Vincent White was there to break up the pass, ending the game and sending a jubilant Aggies squad streaming off the sidelines.

"It was crunch time, and I knew they would throw the ball my way because of the brother-to-brother connection," said White. "I knew I had to make that play for the team once it happened."

Sophomore sociology major Tehran Thomas scored from four yards out on a pass from Maier to open the game before the Bengals exploded for 23 unanswered points -- capped by a 58-yard run by Ty Flanagan -- to build a 23-7 lead.

Harrell's 12-yard touchdown grab with 64 seconds remaining in the half made it a nine-point game at the break before the defenses stiffened on both sides. A 45-yard touchdown catch-and-run by freshman Justin Kraft answered a Bengal score to make it an eight-point contest, setting up the thrilling finish.

Gilliam finished with 20 carries for 99 yards on the ground, while Harrell added nine catches for 97 yards on the night.

UC Davis heads down the California coast for the first of back-to-back road contests next weekend, taking on rival Cal Poly on Saturday (Oct. 20) at 4:05 p.m. in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

"This is a tough conference, everyone can beat everyone," said Gilliam. "Even though we are in first place, we will continue to take things one week at a time. Now it is time to practice hard for Cal Poly."


AGGIE EVO
Established during the 2017-18 academic year, the Aggie EVO System is UC Davis Athletics' investment in the primary mission of preparing student-athletes for a successful "launch" after graduation.

Thanks to a collaboration of alumni, university resources, corporate partners, coaches and Student-Athlete Outcomes staff, all Aggies are guided over four years to acquire the skills, knowledge, opportunities and tools to better know and navigate the "World of Work" after graduating from UC Davis. Follow the Aggie EVO system on Twitter and Instagram at @AggieEVO.

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ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley.

The No. 5-ranked public university in the nation, according to the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education, offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.
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