UC Davis Aggies football
2020 UC Davis Aggies football team
First season1915
Head coachDan Hawkins
3rd season, 19–14 (.576)
StadiumUC Davis Health Stadium
(capacity: 10,849)
Year built2007
Field surfaceSportexe
LocationDavis, California
ConferenceBig Sky
Past conferencesNCAA Independent (1915–1924)
NCAC (1925–1992)
AWC (1993)
Division II independent (1994–2002)
Division I-AA independent (2003)
GWC (2004–2011)
All-time record486–370–35 (.565)
Bowl record0–5 (.000)
Conference titles31
RivalriesCal Poly (rivalry)
Sacramento State (rivalry)
ColorsAggie Blue (PMS 295C) and Aggie Gold (PMS 4515C)
Fight songAggie Fight
MascotGunrock the Mustang
Marching bandUC Davis Marching Band
WebsiteUCDavisAggies.com

The UC Davis Aggies football team represents the University of California, Davis in NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The football program's first season took place in 1915, and has fielded a team each year since with the exception of 1918 during World War I and from 1943 to 1945 during World War II, when the campus, then known as the University Farm, was shut down.[1]

UC Davis competed as a member of the NCAA College Division through 1972; from 1973 to 2003, the Aggies competed as an NCAA Division II program. In 2004, UC Davis promoted its football program to the Division I FCS (then I-AA) level and joined the Great West Conference (then known as the Great West Football Conference) after one season as an independent team with exploratory status.[2] After their provisional seasons and the construction of a new stadium, UC Davis became a full member of Division I in 2007 and eligible for the postseason.

Throughout its history, the football program won 31 conference championships. Between 1929 and 1992, the Aggies captured 27 outright or shared Northern California Athletic Conference championships, including 20 in a row from 1971 to 1990, an American West Conference title in 1993 (co-champion), and GWFC/GWC championships in 2005 (co-champ) and 2009.

The Aggies won their first football title, as a Division I program in 2018 as one of the Big Sky Conference's three regular season champions.

Conference affiliations

UC Davis has been both independent and affiliated with multiple conferences.[3]:46

Conference championships

UC Davis Aggies football program has won or shared a total of 31 conference championships since 1915, including 27 from the Northern California Athletic Conference where they won 20 straight conference champions from 1971 to 1990.[4]

Year Conference Overall Coach
1929 Northern California Athletic Conference 6–2 Crip Toomey
1947† Northern California Athletic Conference 4–5 Vern Hickey
1949 Northern California Athletic Conference 5–4 Ted Forbes
1951 Northern California Athletic Conference 5–4 Ted Forbes
1956† Northern California Athletic Conference 7–2 Will Lotter
1963† Northern California Athletic Conference 6–2–1 Herb Schmalenberger
1971† Northern California Athletic Conference 9–1 Jim Sochor
1972 Northern California Athletic Conference 6–2–2 Jim Sochor
1973† Northern California Athletic Conference 7–3 Jim Sochor
1974 Northern California Athletic Conference 9–1 Jim Sochor
1975 Northern California Athletic Conference 7–3 Jim Sochor
1976 Northern California Athletic Conference 8–2 Jim Sochor
1977 Northern California Athletic Conference 11–1 Jim Sochor
1978 Northern California Athletic Conference 8–3 Jim Sochor
1979 Northern California Athletic Conference 6–3–1 Jim Sochor
1980 Northern California Athletic Conference 7–2–1 Jim Sochor
1981† Northern California Athletic Conference 6–4 Jim Sochor
1982 Northern California Athletic Conference 12–1 Jim Sochor
1983 Northern California Athletic Conference 11–1 Jim Sochor
1984 Northern California Athletic Conference 9–2 Jim Sochor
1985 Northern California Athletic Conference 9–2 Jim Sochor
1986 Northern California Athletic Conference 10–1 Jim Sochor
1987 Northern California Athletic Conference 7–3 Jim Sochor
1988 Northern California Athletic Conference 7–3 Jim Sochor
1989 Northern California Athletic Conference 8–3 Bob Foster
1990 Northern California Athletic Conference 7–3 Bob Foster
1992 Northern California Athletic Conference 8–2–1 Bob Foster
1993† American West Conference 10–2 Bob Biggs
2005† Great West Football Conference 6–5 Bob Biggs
2009 Great West Conference 6–5 Bob Biggs
2018 Big Sky Conference 10–3 Dan Hawkins

† Co-champion

Playoff records

UC Davis earned 18 NCAA Division II playoff appearances from 1977 through 2002. The Aggies appeared in the FCS playoffs, for the first time in program history, in 2018 as a No. 6 seed. Their FCS playoff record is 1–1.

Year Round Opponent Result
1977 Quarterfinal

Semifinal (Knute Rockne Bowl)

Bethune-Cookman

Lehigh

W 34–16
L 30-39
1978 Quarterfinal Eastern Illinois L, 31-35
1982 Quarterfinal

Semifinal

Final (Palm Bowl)

Northern Michigan

North Dakota State

Southwest Texas State

W 42-21

W 19-14
L 9-34

1983 Quarterfinal

Semifinal

Butler

North Dakota State

W 25–6
L 17-26
1984 Quarterfinal North Dakota State L, 23-31
1985 Quarterfinal North Dakota State L, 12-31
1986 Quarterfinal South Dakota L, 23-26
1988 First Round Sacramento State L, 14-35
1989 First Round Angelo State L, 23-28
1992 First Round Portland State L, 28-42
1993 First Round

Quarterfinals

Fort Hays State
Texas A&M-Kingsville
W 37-34
L 28-51
1996 First Round

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Central Oklahoma

Carson-Newman

W 17-14

W 26-7
L 26-29

1997 First Round

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Angelo State

New Haven

W 37-33

W 50-33
L 25-27

1998 First Round Texas A&M-Kingsville L 21-54
1999 First Round

Quarterfinals

Central Oklahoma
Northeastern State
W 33-17
L 14-19
2000 First Round

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Chadron State

Mesa State

Bloomsburg

W 48-10

W 62-18
L 48-58

2001 First Round

Quarterfinals

Semifinals

Texas A&M-Kingsville

Tarleton State

North Dakota

W 37-32

W 42-25
L 2-14

2002 First Round

Quarterfinals

Central Oklahoma
Texas A&M-Kingsville
W 24-6
L 20-27 (ot)
2018 Second Round

Quarterfinals

Northern Iowa
Eastern Washington
W 23–16
L 29–34

Bowl games

Bowl Date Opponent Result
Pear Bowl November 24, 1949 Pacific (OR) L 15–33
Pear Bowl November 24, 1951 Pacific (OR) L 7–25
Boardwalk Bowl December 9, 1972 UMass L 14–35
Knute Rockne Bowl (NCAA Division II Semifinal) December 3, 1977 Lehigh L 30–39
Palm Bowl (NCAA Division II Championship) December 11, 1982 Southwest Texas State L 9–34

Rivalries

The Sacramento State Hornets are the natural cross-town rival who battle UC Davis annually for the Causeway Trophy. This rivalry is known as the Causeway Classic. UC Davis leads the all-time series 46–21 with no ties. The Cal Poly Mustangs are another rival; these teams compete in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe each year with the winner receiving a trophy of a large golden horseshoe.

Both Sacramento State and Cal Poly are designated rivals for Big Sky Conference scheduling purposes, which means UC Davis plays both teams each year as part of its conference schedule. UC Davis also has a smaller rivalry with Stanford University[5] following UC Davis' 20–17 upset of the Cardinal in 2005 while still a provisional Division I team.[6]

Notable games

On November 14, 1971, UC Davis defeated Cal State Hayward 30–29, where UC Davis scored 16 points in the final 44 seconds and was dubbed the "Miracle Game". After scoring on a five-play drive that included a two-point conversion with 20 seconds remaining, UC Davis recovered an onside kick. On the final play of the game, quarterback and future UC Davis head coach Bob Biggs found tight end Mike Bellotti for a 29-yard touchdown on the final play of the game with four seconds remaining. Instead of tying the score with the extra point, head coach Jim Sochor went for the win and another two-point conversion. After two false starts, Biggs completed a pass to Mike Everly to complete the comeback.[7]

The Aggies' defeated the Stanford Cardinal 20–17 on September 18, 2005, after trailing 17–0 midway through the second quarter. Stanford quarterback Trent Edwards then left the game with an injury. The Aggies scored 20 unanswered and became the first non-Division I-A/FBS team to defeat the Cardinal. The win was the Aggies' first over a Division I-A team since 1986 against the Pacific Tigers and was the first against a Pac-10 team in 65 years. It was also the second win over Stanford with the first taking place in 1932.

On October 4, 2008, Bakari Grant caught a 38-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass from Greg Denham against the Northern Colorado Bears to win 34–30. The game was dubbed the "Hail Bakari" at the time.[8]

Notable players

Main article: List of UC Davis Aggies in the NFL Draft

References

  1. ^ "UC Davis Magazine". Ucdavismagazine.ucdavis.edu. 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  2. ^ "UC Davis to Join Division I Big West Athletic Conference". UC Davis. March 11, 2003. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  3. ^ "2018 Media Guide" (PDF). ucdavisaggies.com. UC Davis Athletics.
  4. ^ "California-Davis Championships". Cfbdatawarehouse.com. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  5. ^ "Stanford Visits UC Davis, Hosts Washington in Four-Game Week". Stanford University. March 25, 2009. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  6. ^ "How're They Going to Live This Down on the Farm?". Los Angeles Times. September 19, 2005. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  7. ^ "Remembering UCD's Miracle Game". The Davis Enterprise. November 3, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  8. ^ "Interception ends UC Davis rally as Aggies fall 27-21". The Sacramento Bee. November 1, 2014.