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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
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
Half
NCSU 33
BSU 23
 
2nd
PIT 1
CAR 1
 
2nd
CHA 53
GSW 47
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
2nd
CHA 53
GSW 47
 
1st
TOR 21
DAL 22
 
1st
DET 29
MIL 25
 
2nd
ATL 19
NOP 15
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
LAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
NYK
8:00pm Tonight
IND
ORL
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
PHO
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
Final
MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
 
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
8:00pm Tonight
VT
UVA
8:30pm Tonight
TULSA
ECU
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
 
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 59
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
 
Final
WISC 69
OKLA 56
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
Final
PEAY 62
STEPH 83
 
2nd
FSU 54
CSOU 43
 
Final
VALPO 66
DRAK 46
 
Final
CIN 69
MTST 51
 
Final
SDU 75
PRIN 65
 
2nd
WASU 70
RICE 62
 
2nd
CSFU 51
USCU 65
 
2nd
GT 45
RIDE 36
 
2nd
TXPA 38
ALAST 55
 
Half
NCSU 33
BSU 23
 
Half
TCU 31
BRAD 24
 
2nd
WAKE 38
DELST 36
 
2nd
HART 37
EMERSON 26
 
Half
STJ 28
GONZ 33
 
2nd
CLEM 26
HIGH 16
 
Half
SYR 39
HC 17
 
2nd
MD 32
MON 24
 
2nd
JVST 35
SAV 31
 
2nd
MIAMI 47
SALA 29
 
Half
RUTG 31
VANDY 31
 
1st
PETE 22
TENST 15
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
CLST
1st
JST 0
HOF 2
 
1st
INDST 6
MEM 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
UF
UNC
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
SAMF
1st
TULA 0
SELA 3
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
TENNM
8:30pm Tonight
MISS
CREI
8:30pm Tonight
PORT
MURST
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
MSU
9:00pm Tonight
ARK
UNT
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
STET
 
9:00pm Tonight
IND
UNCG
9:00pm Tonight
SJST
WMICH
9:05pm Tonight
MNTST
TXARL
9:30pm Tonight
UVA
LAS
9:30pm Tonight
STLU
MSST
9:30pm Tonight
COLST
PAC
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
NDAK
10:30pm Tonight
ILL
BAY
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
Final
WAS 5
NYI 2
2nd
PIT 1
CAR 1
 
1st Intermission
NJD 3
DET 1
 
2nd
BUF 1
MON 0
 
2nd
CLB 0
VAN 0
 
2nd
BOS 0
WIN 1
 
1st
FLA 1
OTT 1
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
EDM
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MIN