The Weber State University football team will take on the University of California, Davis this Saturday night for its second Big Sky Conference game of the season.
The team will travel to Davis, Calif., to look for its first win of the season. It also marks the third away game of the season for WSU.
The Wildcats will be coming into the game after the WSU Homecoming Game loss from last Saturday against Eastern Washington University. WSU played in front of a home crowd of more than 9,000 people, but was unable to close the game at the finish. The ‘Cats gave up an early 17-0 deficit in the first half, and, after a pair of field goals, the score read 20-3 to begin the second half. WSU slowly crept up the scoreboard throughout the third and fourth quarters and had an opportunity to send the game into overtime. But WSU fumbled the ball near the end of the final quarter and closed the win for EWU with a score of 32-26.
Although it was not a victory for WSU, Head Football Coach Jody Sears said there are still good things to be taken from the game.
“I was pleased with how we responded in the second half against Eastern Washington,” said Sears in an interview with the WSU athletics department. “Our players are showing a lot of character and mental toughness. The second half was a good sign . . . We have to make sure we are taking care of our business and are focused on everything we need to do. We have to have a plan for our opponents, but at the end of the day, we have to continue to focus on the progress and take each day as it comes.”
The Wildcats will face the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday night. The Aggies have a 1-3 overall record and, like WSU, are without a win in Big Sky Conference play.
While the ‘Cats have had a few high-scoring second halves this year, a difficulty for WSU has been the ability to score points early on in the game. During its first four games of the season, WSU has only scored six points in the first half of each game combined, while its opponents have scored a combined total of 79 first-half points.
WSU junior safety and punter Tony Epperson, who currently holds the top national ranking of yards-per-punt (47.7), said he felt the small things will have the biggest impact for Saturday’s matchup.
“For this week, we’re just really focusing on ourselves and being more consistent,” Epperson said. “That’s what we’re doing, and I think it’s the biggest thing. We play well, but we just let up too many big plays that end up hurting us. So if we can play more consistent, then we’ll find a lot of success. Our coaches have been preaching that it’s all about the little things, and that’s really what we’ve been working on this week. We’re looking forward to going out to California this weekend and playing a good team in UC Davis. I am excited for this week, and it should be a good game.”
Along with holding the highest punting stats in the country, Epperson also leads the Wildcats on defense, with 29 tackles recorded thus far.
Other notable statistics for WSU entering Saturday’s game include more than 3,000 career-passing yards for quarterback Mike Hoke and 27 tackles so far this season for junior captain Anthony Morales. Morales had a total of 16 tackles last week against EWU.
The last time WSU and UC Davis played against one another was during the 2010 season, when the Wildcats came out with a 20-9 win at home.
Saturday’s game for the Wildcat football team will begin at 6 p.m. at the Aggie Stadium in Davis, Calif.