Sept. 17, 2005
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Jon Grant threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Blaise Smith with 8 seconds left Saturday night and UC Davis stunned Stanford 20-17 to spoil coach Walt Harris' home debut for the Cardinal.
The Aggies (1-2), who are in the third year of a four-year transition from Division II to Division I-AA, were not intimidated by the Pac-10 environment, keeping Stanford's offense out of the end zone all game and allowing just 180 yards for the night.
"The bottom line when you lose, you lose," Harris said. "It doesn't matter if it's Davis or USC. When you play like that, you will lose every game."
After T.C. Ostrander's last-ditch pass fell incomplete at the 5, the Aggies celebrated in the end zone while Harris walked off the field with his team. The Aggies then ran to the corner of the stadium to thank the thousands of fans who made the two-hour trip from Davis for the game.
"When they announced the schedule our fans were really excited and got together and bought tickets," UC Davis defensive line coach Fred Arp said. "I've been here 39 years and nothing compares."
The Aggies mounted the winning drive after Emmanuel Benjamin missed two field goals earlier in the fourth quarter that could have tied the game at 17. They took over at their 28 with 2:37 to play. Grant threw a 12-yard pass to Brandon Rice and a 17-yarder to Smith to get the drive started.
Then on a third-and-4 from the Stanford 25, Grant hit a wide-open Tony Kays for 19 yards over the middle for a first down. After a 3-yard keeper and an incomplete pass, Grant found Smith open in the front corner of the end zone to cap the 11-play drive.
"We always felt confident," Smith said. "I don't know what they said at halftime, but we just saw that small opening and it was enough. ... I knew if we got the ball back in our desperation offense, we could make the plays. It seemed like we always do."
Grant finished 23-for-44 for 251 yards and also ran for 41 yards. Nelson Doris ran for two scores and Kays caught 10 passes for 115 yards.
Stanford quarterback Trent Edwards left the game after two series with an undisclosed injury and was replaced by Ostrander. Both Stanford touchdowns came on fumble recoveries in the first half. Ostrander was 7-for-17 for 108 yards.
"It's hard to pinpoint one thing," Ostrander said. "Collectively on offense we didn't get the job done. I was extremely disappointed in how I played."
Turnovers played a key role in the scoring, with Stanford scoring twice on fumble recoveries in and UC Davis' first two touchdowns coming after Stanford fumbles.
With the Cardinal leading 3-0, Ostrander drove his team down the field on his first drive before being intercepted at the 1 by Adam Cook. But on the next play, Kevin Schimmelmann sacked Grant in the end zone, knocked the ball loose and fell on it for a score that made it 10-0 late in the first quarter.
Stanford's second defensive score came midway through the second quarter when Babatunde Oshinowo stripped Doris of the ball and Michael Craven scooped the ball up and ran it back 54 yards to make it 17-0.
UC Davis had to punt on its next drive and David Marrero tried to field it inside his 5, muffed a fair catch attempt and Cook recovered for the Aggies at the 3. Doris ran it in on the next play to make it 17-7 at the half.
The Aggies struck quickly in the second half after Luis Amaral ripped the ball away from Anthony Kimble and recovered at the Stanford 41. That set up a 1-yard score by Doris that made it 17-14.