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UC Davis (0-0) at (11) Stanford (0-0)



Saturday, August 30, 4 p.m. (ET)

The Sports Network

GAME NOTES: The 11th-ranked Stanford Cardinal open their 120th year of football on Saturday, as they kick off the 2014 campaign against the UC Davis Aggies.

David Shaw's Cardinal captured their second straight Pac-12 title in 2013 and continued one of the greatest periods of Stanford football, going 11-3 last season, finishing the BCS era with four straight BCS Bowl bids. It also marked the fourth straight season that the team had posted at least 11 wins.

Stanford countered upset losses to Utah and USC, with big wins over Pac-12 powers Arizona State, UCLA and Oregon. The season did end on a sour note though, with a 24-20 loss to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl.

Ron Gould's first season at the helm of UC-Davis showed some promise. Despite dropping their first four games, the Aggies had some momentum late and went 5-3 in FCS play as a member of the Big Sky Conference. It was good for a tie for fourth place in the league standings.

The team returns talent on both sides of the ball, but a challenging schedule, especially early on, could have UC Davis take one step back, before eventually moving forward.

This series is tied at 1-1. Stanford blanked UC Davis in the first-ever meeting in 1932 (59-0), when the team was known as the California Aggies. That game preceded the Big Game and marked the last win in the Stanford coaching career of legend Glenn "Pop" Warner. UC Davis evened things up by scoring 20 unanswered points to claim a 20-17 upset win in 2005 at Stanford Stadium.

The Aggies are a run-first team and that will likely be the preferred mode of travel in 2014 as well, especially with the loss of four-year starter Randy Wright under center. Quarterbacks Ben Scott (6-3 sophomore) and London Lacy (6-3 senior) may both see action in the opener. Junior Turner Baty could emerge as a solid selection under center as well. He played two seasons at CC of San Francisco, becoming the school's all-time leading passer (6,220 yards).

Still, the offense will eventually be funneled through senior tailback Gabe Manzanares, who was the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year in 2013, rumbling for 1,285 yards and 10 TDs. He is currently shelved due to a minor injury, making way for former starter Colton Silveria to get a heavier workload early on.

Both the run game and the passing game will benefit from four starters returning along the offensive line.

The Aggie defense had its ups and downs a season ago. The team allowed just 200.0 yards per game passing, but was a victim of poor run defense, yielding 188.2 yards per game on 4.8 yards per carry. Returning six starters to the defensive side of the football should help with continuity a bit.

Up front the team will seek an identity now that rush end Nick King (62 tackles, 9 TFL, 8 sacks) and tackle Anthony Kaspar (48 tackles, 5 TFL, 2.5 sacks) have moved on.

The strength of the unit is behind the line this year, with linebacker Stephen Pitts (71 tackles, 12.0 TFL, 4 sacks), safety Charles Boyett (team-high 86 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT and 2 fumble recoveries) and cornerback Shamawn Wright (32 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1 INT and 9 PBUs).

Stanford has had to replace some stars over the years on offense and this season brings more of the same. Gone is standout tailback Tyler Gaffney, who posted 1,709 yards in 2013, while pacing the Pac-12 with 21 rushing touchdowns. Replacing the production won't come easy, but senior Kelcy Young and sophomore Barry Sanders Jr. will try to fill the void.

Shaw is looking forward to seeing key players like Young and Sanders finally get their time to play.

"I'm fascinated about Kelcy Young. We haven't seen him play running back honestly since his freshman year," said Shaw. "And really even then since his senior year of high school. But he's had a great training camp, but I want to see him under the lights. And I haven't seen Barry play in a couple years."

There is some continuity under center with the return of senior QB Kevin Hogan. The 6-4, 225-pounder completed 61 percent of his passes last year, for 2,630 yards, with 20 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. His numbers could increase this year with more of an emphasis on the pass and the return of receivers like Ty Montgomery (61 receptions, 958 yards, 10 TDs) and Devon Cajuste (28 receptions, 642 yards, 5 TDs).

The Stanford defense will need to retool in 2014 due to some serious star power moving on. The Cardinal will no longer have players like Shayne Skov, Trent Murphy, Ben Gardner or Ed Reynolds to rely on.

There remains depth up front, headlined by returning starters in end Henry Anderson and tackle David Parry. Skov will be missed in the linebacking corps, but A.J. Tarpley (93 tackles) and James Vaughters (36 tackles, 4 sacks) are strong candidates to pick up the slack.

Safety Jordan Richards (69 tackles, three INTs) returns to anchor the play in the secondary.

Setting the tone on the defensive side of the ball will once again be key for Shaw's squad.

"We'll tackle and push the envelope. We'll do as much as we can as far as being physical and tackling," Shaw said. "Everything we do, there is a method to the madness. But you have to be physical. You have to play football as we call it. Tackling guys to the ground."

Pulling off another stunning upset at Stanford Stadium isn't likely for the Aggies in 2014. Although the Cardinal are re-tooling on both sides of the football, this is the perfect game to work out some of the kinks.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stanford 51, UC Davis 7

08/29 15:18:20 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
17th
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Wednesday
ROC
DUR
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
8th
HOU 4
BAL 1
 
9th
KAN 1
NYY 5
 
8th
MIA 1
PIT 5
 
9th
WAS 2
CHC 2
 
8th
CWS 6
TOR 7
 
9th
COL 1
CIN 1
 
8th
PHI 4
NYM 4
 
7th
SEA 2
TAM 3
 
5th
TEX 3
CLE 3
 
1st
BOS 0
MIN 0
 
5th
SFG 5
MIL 1
 
4th
ARI 4
STL 6
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
OAK
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
12:10pm Wednesday
TEX
CLE
 
12:35pm Wednesday
COL
CIN
 
12:35pm Wednesday
MIA
PIT
 
12:37pm Wednesday
CWS
TOR
 
1:05pm Wednesday
KAN
NYY
 
1:10pm Wednesday
BOS
MIN
 
1:10pm Wednesday
PHI
NYM
 
1:10pm Wednesday
SEA
TAM
 
1:40pm Wednesday
SFG
MIL
 
3:35pm Wednesday
DET
OAK
 
4:35pm Wednesday
HOU
BAL
 
8:05pm Wednesday
WAS
CHC
 
8:15pm Wednesday
ARI
STL
 
10:05pm Wednesday
SDP
ANA
 
10:10pm Wednesday
ATL
LOS
 
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
Half
ATL 42
CLE 59
 
9:00pm Wednesday
HOU
GSW
 
8:30pm Thursday
CLE
ATL
 
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
8:30pm Saturday
ATL
CLE
 
2nd
NYR 2
TAM 1
 
8:00pm Wednesday
ANA
CHI
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
17th
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Wednesday
ROC
DUR
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR