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First Half Highlights
| Second Half Highlights
| Postgame Press Conference
MISSOULA, Mont. –
Junior communication major Max O'Rourke
split the uprights midway through the third quarter from 41 yards during Saturday's Big Sky Conference game at Washington-Grizzly Stadium, junior communication major Jake Maier
connected with junior managerial economics major Wes Preece five minutes later, then found senior sociology major Keelan Doss
in the back of the end zone with 13:31 left in the fourth quarter to continue UC Davis' second-half comeback at Montana.
In addition to that TD, Doss finished with 78 receiving yards, which helped him pass Michael Oliva (1999-2002) for the most receiving yards in program history. The 2017 consensus All-American, and Walter Payton Award national finalist,will enter the Aggies' upcoming home game vs. Northern Arizona with 3,411 career receiving yards, and will distance himself from Oliva's total of 3,379 with every additional catch.
When Maier connected with redshirt freshman biochemistry and molecular biology major Ulonzo Gilliam
on the subsequent two-point conversion, a packed house fell silent, with the exception of UC Davis fans in attendance, and the Grizzlies' 21-3 halftime lead completely disappeared after the Aggies' scored 18 unanswered, at that point of the game.
That was just the beginning for UC Davis, a team that possesses one of the most dynamic defenses and efficient offenses in the nation.
After forcing Montana to punt, the Aggies captured their first lead of the day when sophomore sociology major Tehran Thomas
broke free for a 56-yard TD, on the longest rush of his career, to help give his team, combined with O'Rourke's extra point, a 28-21 advantage.
It was then when UC Davis' defense came up huge when senior American studies major Mason Moe
collected his third sack of the day and forced a fumble on the same play, which was promptly scooped up by Cam Trimble
on UM's 27.
Three plays later, Gilliam scampered four yards into the end zone to push the Aggies' lead to 35-21.
If the crowd of 24,141 was not already stunned, one could only imagine how the Montana faithful felt after redshirt freshman human development major Devon King
intercepted a Dalton Sneed pass — the first of his career — and was tackled six yards later to set up another Aggie scoring drive deep in Grizzly territory.
For the second time in as many drives, UC Davis scored off a UM turnover; this time, it was a quarterback sneak that added another six points to the scoreboard for the Aggies — in addition to another extra point from O'Rourke.
Within 14:40 of game time, the Aggies turned a 21-3 deficit into a 42-21 lead, an advantage that quickly grew to 28 after Maier connected with redshirt freshman economics major Carson Crawford
, on a possession that began with another interception from King.
Thanks to UC Davis' flawless second half, it earned the program's inaugural victory versus Montana, extended its win streak to a Division-I record five games and remain in sole possession of first place atop the Big Sky standings, thanks to its 49-21 result.
The Aggies' defense absolutely dominated Montana throughout their comeback, a collective effort that was led by Moe and King.
Moe, who finished with 13 total tackles, seven solo stops, five tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks for a combined loss of 21 yards, ended his day with new career highs in each of those categories. Combined with his forced fumble, it was obvious that the Grizzlies could not find an answer to his outstanding play.
Also setting new career marks was King, who finished with nine tackles, which includes seven solo, and two interceptions — a Big Sky era single-game record. He also recorded one tackle for loss and forced his first fumble as an Aggie.
UC Davis will return home for next weekend's game vs. Northern Arizona at 7-1 overall and 5-0 against conference teams — another pair of records for the best start in the program's D-I era.
Since 1986 when Washington-Grizzly Stadium opened, Montana only lost 31 games. After suffering defeat No. 32 to the Aggies, the Grizzlies will continue their season with records of 4-4 and 2-3.
Starting with its Nov. 3 home game vs. Northern Arizona, Aggie Stadium will host two of football's final three home games. This is UC Davis' first game on its own turf since Oct. 13 when fans enjoyed a thrilling come-from-behind overtime victory, and the second since its Sept. 22 Big Sky opener.
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.