• AggieFinn
    202
    Defense will tell the tale.

    (10–3, 7–1 Big Sky)

    The Aggies so enjoyed their first appearance in the FCS playoffs last season that they’re eyeing a run even further than the quarterfinals. Senior quarterback Jake Maier, the 2018 Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year who passed for 3,931 yards and 34 touchdowns, is surrounded by a wealth of offensive talent, including running backs Ulonzo Gilliam and Tehran Thomas, wide receiver Jared Harrell, tight end Wesley Preece and four returning starters on the offensive line. Eddie Robinson Award-winning coach Dan Hawkins must restock a defense that features sophomore linebacker Montell Bland.

    Montana State is moving Andersen back to linebacker, what a trip.

    While EWU has managed to keep UC Davis, Montana State and Weber State off their schedule, they've also got games @ Washington and @ Jacksonville State (a preseason Top 10 team). So the road through the Big Sky looks "easy", but the out of conference play for the Eagles, aside from Lindenwood, is going to be tough. Two trips to California, @ Sac State and @ Cal Poly.
  • CA Forever
    252
    HERO Sports ranks the Aggies at #3 in their preseason poll

    https://herosports.com/fcs/football-2019-hero-sports-preseason-top-25-fcs-ajaj

    3. UC DAVIS
    The Aggies are loaded coming off a heartbreaking loss in the quarterfinals. Offensively, UC Davis brings back almost its entire starting lineup outside of WR Keelan Doss and has a top FCS QB in Jake Maier under center. The defense has six starters back. The ascension of this program is impressive, and it should continue in 2019.
  • agalum
    109
    The top 5 on the Athlon ranking looks more realistic to me then HERO.
  • Riveraggie
    74
    3 vs 5 is is not much of a difference, but it’s encouraging both agree we’re contenders, which is about all that can be said before the first game.
    Athlon says we need to restock our defense which I think overstates our issues on that unit. We played a unusual number of defensive players and have guys on current roster with playing experience to fill the roles of the departed. Whether they’ll be as good or better remains to be seen. I hope they’ll be better as a unit. More reason for optimism on D this year than prior to last season.
  • agalum
    109
    3 vs 5 is is not much of a difference,Riveraggie
    True, especially this early. But I was surprised to see EW at #7. I think that is what caught my eye. And to be honest, it might be better for the Aggies to be lower on the list. Teams like to get up for games when it appears they are the underdogs.
  • Riveraggie
    74
    it’s hard to picture us beating those guys with that last drive fresh in our memory. That was ugly. But we’ll beat them one of these days. If we had home field we might have won that game.
  • zythe
    63
    If we just beat EWU once, it would be a successful season...
  • agalum
    109
    If we had home field we might have won that game.Riveraggie

    Agreed. I went to the first EW game. Frankly, I don't care to go back. It was freezing cold on those metal bench seats with that north wind coming out of Canada, and the fans were not so nice. I sat with a fella that sits behind me at the home games. I thought he was going to end up in a fist fight with the EW fan to his right. And I am not crazy about their coach. But give them credit, they can play football.
  • Riveraggie
    74
    I think EW and Weber are the two Big Sky teams we’ve never beat. So Weber at home is a big opportunity in this year’s schedule, for that reason alone.
  • AggieFinn
    202
    I might consider Cheney in September or early October.
  • Riveraggie
    74
    Anyone want to guess where Davis will be in the Big Sky coaches and media polls?
  • AggieFinn
    202


    I honestly think they'll put us at No. 1 in the media, and No. 2 in the Coaches. Until EWU is knocked off, they're up there in the Eagle's Nest.
  • DavisAggie
    16
    Davis has beaten Weber
  • Riveraggie
    74
    Thanks, I now see that Davis beat them twice, 2004 and 2012.
  • AggieFinn
    202
    Weber's a totally new program since Jay Hill took over. Good playoff runs 2017 and 2018 (and a 2016 appearance)...and now touting the National Freshman of the Year. They'll be strong.
  • zythe
    63
    I need Football to start again :cry:
  • 72Aggie
    121
    Street & Smith's has UCD 7th, third in the Big Sky behind Eastern Washington and Weber State. Maier is the QB on their All America team (and is pictured on the FCS Preview page).

    "UC Davis (10-3, 7-2) reached new heights last year under Dan Hawkins, the former Boise State and Colorado head coach who led the Aggies to their first FCS quarterfinal berth in history in just his second season. Reigning Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year Jake Maier returns at quarterback after passing for 302.4 yards per game (fourth in the FCS). He'll direct an offense that also includes sophomore running back Ulonzo Gilliam, who rushed for 976 yards and caught 57 passes as a freshman. Also back is all-conference tight end Wes Preece and Freshman All-America linebacker Montell Bland, who was second on the team in tackles last year."
  • Riveraggie
    74
    Doesn’t surprise me but it seems the big sky order is based mostly on last year. That overlooks or undervalues the fact that Eastern Washington lost 27 seniors. Weber and Eastern dominated the all conference teams and most those players are now gone. UCD on the other hand has little rebuilding to do overall and virtually none on offense.
  • movielover
    220
    River, don't forget, we lose some studs on D ... #1 tackler and sack threat (10.5) Moe ... tough corners Olave (#3 in tackles) and White (#10) ... plus Baumgart (#4), Parentau (#9) and Cloud. Two stud DLine, 2 LBs, and 2 DBs. Six solid players.

    On offense, we lost one of our top 2 players.

    We seem deep, time will tell.
  • Riveraggie
    74
    It’s relative. Eastern lost a BSC defensive player of the year among four all conference 1st or second team defensive players. That’s greater than what we lost.
  • 72Aggie
    121
    - Street & Smith's notes that the Big Sky scheduling "gives certain teams an advantage because of the unwieldy 13-team conference."

    "This year it's Eastern Washington, which avoids playing both Weber State and UC Davis as well as the fourth Big Sky team in the playoffs in 2018, Montana State."

    Parenthetically, similar things happen in the Big (14) Ten where teams play the other six teams in their division but only three teams in the other division. (It used to be just two...) As a result you can play in the Western division and while you play Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northwestern, anyone of which may be having a good year, you might avoid Eastern division teams like Michigan, Michigan State, An Ohio State University and Penn State and only play Maryland, Rutgers and Indiana.

    Of course the athletic directors like getting a piece of the gate receipts when you play at Michigan, An Ohio State, or Penn State. Indiana, not so much.
  • movielover
    220
    No names here, but I briefly chatted with 2 redshirts last year at Stanford ... and they were chomping at the bit to play.
  • CA Forever
    252
    In my honest opinion I think the Aggies will be just fine. Hawkins and company have been doing very well in recruiting since they came in. I think Harrell will be ready to take over WR1 from Doss.
  • agalum
    109
    In my honest opinion I think the Aggies will be just fine. Hawkins and company have been doing very well in recruiting since they came in. I think Harrell will be ready to take over WR1 from Doss.

    I absolutely agree, but I worry about the big hits he takes. He got leveled at Ew.
  • Riveraggie
    74
    I find it odd that UCD has only four running backs, counting a redshirt and a true freshman. One would think they need more than that just for practice. I wonder if they’ll have a walk-on or two ?
  • movielover
    220
    Hopefully.

    13 WRs, 7 TEs, and 7 QBs on the roster right now.
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