Widgets Magazine

Looking back: The history between Stanford and UC-Davis

Stanford and UC-Davis have only met twice all-time on the football field. In the first contest back in 1932, the Cardinal routed the Aggies 59-0 in a matchup on the Farm.

Cardinal fans are certainly more familiar with the second meeting between the two squads in 2005; in a 20-17 upset that was the low point in the Card’s 5-6 campaign, UC-Davis overcame a 17-0 deficit to stun the Cardinal. Aggies quarterback Jon Grant threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Blaise Smith with eight seconds left in the game to send Aggie fans into a euphoric celebration.

An injury to quarterback Trent Edwards '07 (above) helped bring about the demise of the Cardinal in their last meeting with UC Davis. (David Gonzales)

An injury to quarterback Trent Edwards ’07 (above) helped bring about the demise of the Cardinal in their last meeting with UC-Davis. (David Gonzales)

The loss was particularly humiliating for the Card, as UC-Davis was transitioning from Division II football to Division I-AA (FCS) football at the time. To add further insult to the loss, Cardinal starting quarterback Trent Edwards was lost after only two series with a right hand injury.

Edwards’ backup, T.C. Ostrander, played a horrible game in relief of Edwards. Ostrander was thoroughly outplayed by his counterpart in Grant, as Ostrander went 7-for-17 for 108 yards and an interception. Ostrander and the Cardinal offense also failed to score a touchdown, as the Card’s two touchdowns came on defensive fumble recoveries.

In just about every statistical category, the Aggies dominated the Cardinal en route to the historic upset. UC-Davis ran 90 offensive plays for 361 yards, compared to only 51 plays and 192 total yards for Stanford. Davis was also far more successful on third downs, converting 12 of its 22 opportunities, compared with a 3-for-12 mark for the Card.

Field goal kicking was a particular struggle for both teams in the contest, as Cardinal kicker Michael Sgroi and Aggies kicker Emmanuel Benjamin combined to go 1-for-6 on field goal attempts in the contest. Benjamin missed two kicks inside of 35 yards and an extra point, while Sgroi missed from 45 yards and had a 47-yard attempt blocked.

In short, the Card’s 2005 loss to UC-Davis was defined by a comedy of errors, and helped precipitate the downfall of Walt Harris as the Cardinal’s head coach.

Contact David Cohn at dmcohn ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About David Cohn

David Cohn '15 is currently a Sports Desk Editor. He began his tenure at the Daily by serving as a senior staff writer for Stanford football and softball, and then rose to the position of assistant editor of staff development. He served as the Summer Managing Editor of Sports in 2014. David is a Biology major from Poway, California. In addition to his duties at the Daily, he serves as the lead play-by-play football and softball announcer for KZSU Live Stanford Radio 90.1 FM.