The No. 4 ranked UC Davis Aggies will play No.18 ranked Montana Grizzlies in the Big Sky Conference opener; the game will be played Saturday at UC Davis Health Stadium. The Aggies are coming off a 27-16 loss to the No. 1 ranked North Dakota State Bison. UC Davis had their chances to win, but turnovers killed them in the loss. But the Aggies proved they can play with the best team in the FCS. Montana is coming off a 47-27 win over Monmouth last Saturday. Here are some players to watch during the game on Saturday.
UC Davis Aggies
Jake Maier Quarterback
Maier comes into the game with 1,233 passing yards and seven touchdowns. But he also has thrown five interceptions, three of them came last week against North Dakota State. Maier is completing 66 percent of his passes and averaging 308 passing yards per game. He is one of the top quarterbacks in the FCS, and the Aggies will go as for as he will take them.
Ulonzo Gilliam Running Back
Gilliam leads the Aggies in rushing with 353 yards per rush. Also, he has run for four touchdowns; he is averaging 4.8 yards per rush. Gilliam is a pretty good receiver out of the backfield as well; he has caught 18 passes so far this season. Look for Gilliam to get a lot touches whether its running or catching the football against Montana.
Carson Crawford Wide Receiver
Crawford is tied with Jared Harell for the team lead in receptions with 24. But Crawford leads the team with 317 receiving yards. He also has two touchdowns on the season. Crawford has become Jake Maier go-to receiver; he makes a lot of big catches for the Aggies.
Nick Eaton Linebacker
Eaton has put together a fantastic season so far; he leads the Aggies in tackles for a loss and sacks with 3.5. Eaton has forced to fumbles; he has been a real impact player for the Aggies defense. He is joined by fellow linebacker Eric Flowers who leads the team in tackles. Eaton will need to provide pressure against Montana on Saturday.
Devon King Cornerback
King could be the Aggies best defensive player; he leads the team in interceptions with three. He can be a ball-hawking corner, but he will also come up and hit you having forced two fumbles this season. One of the fumbles was a game-clinching one against San Diego a couple of weeks ago. King is second on the team in tackles with 23, and he will have his hands full on Saturday against Montana, they like to spread the ball around to different receivers.
Dalton Sneed Quarterback
Sneed is coming into the game having thrown for 1,214 yards on 69 percent passing. He has thrown eight touchdowns and four interceptions so far this season. Sneed is an outstanding quarterback, but he will turn the ball over, so it will be crucial for the Aggies to put pressure on him.
Marcus Knight Running back
Knight leads the Grizzlies in rushing with 303 yards rushing, he is averaging 5.3 yards per rush and rushing for four touchdowns this season. Knight is a quality back, and UC Davis will have to mindful of him running the ball and not just key on Sneed passing the ball.
Grizzlies have three excellent receivers. Jerry Louie-McGee, Samuel Akem, and Samori Toure. Louie McGee leads the team in receptions with 27, while Akem leads in yards with 338. Samori Toure is third on the team in receptions with 22 and has 294 receiving yards.
Akem is a big target at 6-foot-4, and he averages 14.1 yards per catch, which mean he is a downfield threat. Louie-McGee is a more the chains kind of receiver, while Toure does a little bit of everything. The Aggies defense will have their hands full with these guys
Dante Olson Linebacker
Olson leads Montana in tackles (43) and tackles for loss (4.5). He also has one sack on the season. Olson is the one player UC Davis has to watch out for; he makes plays.