[Vandal] Heartbreaker At Davis: No. 8 Aggies Rally Past Vandals

robiegruss at aol.com robiegruss at aol.com
Sun Oct 3 10:52:03 PDT 2021


>From The Lewiston TribuneLewiston, IdahoSunday, October 3, 2021
Heartbreaker At Davis: No. 8 Aggies Rally Past Vandals
Idaho loses lead in fourth quarter of Big Sky opener at undefeated UC Davis
Staff Report
DAVIS, Calif. — Neither Idaho football coach Paul Petrino nor UC Davis coach Dan Hawkins could’ve predicted the script that unfolded Saturday at UC Davis Health Stadium.
Each team received their biggest boosts from third-string quarterbacks in a game where the team’s starters combined for only one drive. There were three lead changes, two ties and No. 8 UC Davis needed a trick play to take the lead against one-win Idaho.
In the end, the undefeated Aggies rallied to beat Idaho 27-20 in a heartbreaker for the Vandals.
“There’s probably four or five plays where if we just do things right, we win the game,” Petrino said.
Idaho came out swinging against the favored Aggies.
The Vandals scored just five plays into the game on a 60-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Zach Borisch. The run-game specialist used his speed to get to the second level and followed blockers all the way to the end zone, leaping over a defender late in the run.
“Everyone blocked really well — wouldn’t have been able to get out there without the guys,” Borisch said. “Coach Petrino came out with a great game plan with some diversion having CJ (Jordan) in there.”
After Idaho forced a punt on UC Davis’ first drive, it was apparent the Vandals came ready to play.
The Idaho offense outpaced UC Davis by more than 100 total yards — 487 to 386 — and held a lead of 20-13 going into the fourth quarter after forcing the Aggies to punt on four consecutive drives to start the second half.
But the Aggies received a spark from third-string quarterback Trent Tompkins late in the third quarter. The redshirt freshman led the Aggies to the tying and go-ahead touchdowns in the fourth.
UC Davis (5-0, 2-0 Big Sky) went to its bag of tricks to take the lead, with a double pass by receiver Carson Crawford to McCallan Castles for a 30-yard touchdown and a 27-20 lead after the extra point.
“I feel like we were flying around constantly to the ball,” said Idaho linebacker Fa’avae Fa’avae, who had a team-high 10 tackles and one tackle for loss. “It was just little plays that they got on us that they hit and scored. I feel like we played a fundamental game but it just wasn’t good enough.”
Idaho (1-3, 0-1) got the ball back with eight minutes left in the game, but a long drive resulted in no points after a Logan Prescott 34-yard field-goal attempt was blocked with about four minutes left.
The Vandals went for a puzzling draw play to Elisha Cummings on third-and-8 before attempting the field goal on fourth-and-4.
Cummings had burst out for several long runs earlier in the game, leading the Vandals to try a play that had worked well before, Petrino said. But Idaho didn’t get the yardage it was hoping for.
Idaho got the ball back one final time, but senior quarterback Mike Beaudry was intercepted by Devon King with 45 seconds left.
Beaudry and Borisch shared quarterback duties after starter Jordan injured his shoulder on the second play of the game. UC Davis also was without starter Hunter Rodrigues, and backup Miles Hastings struggled, leading the Aggies to turn to Tompkins. Five total quarterbacks saw the field.
Borisch finished with 82 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns and Beaudry went 22-of-35 passing for 255 yards and an interception for Idaho.
“We definitely should have won that game and there’s things I can do better and Mike can do better and every single person can do better than we need to do to win,” Borisch said. “We’re going to go back and re-evaluate that.”
Turning Point
UC Davis turned to the circus page of its playbook to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Former quarterback-turned-wide receiver Carson Crawford fired to McCallan Castles on a double pass for a 30-yard touchdown with eight minutes to go in the game. The TD put the favored Aggies ahead for the first time since early in the second quarter and ended up being the last scoring play of the game.
Up Next
It's Homecoming this Saturday when the Vandals take on Portland State at 2 p.m. in the Kibbie Dome.

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