We have a chance this weekend to make the UC Davis football team’s home opener as big and exciting and loud as the last time the Aggies played at home, Dec. 1, in their first-ever Football Championship Subdivision playoff game — with 8,300 people watching.
After winning their first Big Sky Conference title last year, the Aggies hosted Northern Iowa in the first round of the playoffs, defeating the Panthers, 23-16. The Aggies would go on to play one more game in the FCS playoffs, capping the UC Davis program’s most successful season ever since moving from the NCAA’s Division II to Division I in 2005.
So, what do you say we welcome the team in a big way when they take on Lehigh of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, this Saturday (Sept. 14)? In turn, the Aggie football program is celebrating faculty and staff — by declaring Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day, which comes with an offer of two free tickets per person. (It’s also Youth Day, with free tickets available for ages 13 and under.)
Staff Assembly Tailgate
And if that isn’t enough to get you there, how about this: the second annual Staff Assembly Tailgate, starting at 5 p.m., serving free hot dogs and turkey dogs, chips and drinks to staff members and their families. The tailgate also will include prize drawings in which you could win an invite for you and your family to sit with Chancellor Gary S. May and LeShelle May in their box seats, for a quarter; or a Disneyland vacation. More information on the tailgate is available on the Staff Assembly website.
Saturday’s game is the first to be played in “UC Davis Health Stadium,” the name that was officially unveiled during the Football Fan Fest Aug. 16, replacing the "Aggie Stadium" moniker that had been in place since the stadium opened in 2007. During the UC Davis-Lehigh game, a short ceremony is planned on the field between the first and second quarters to celebrate UC Davis Health's 20-year partnership with Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Aggies are coming into the game with a 1-1 record in preseason, having lost to Cal on Aug. 31 (after jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter) and defeating San Diego on Sept. 7, by a score of 38-35 after Aggie defensive back Devon King forced a Torero fumble on the UC Davis goal line with just 2 seconds left in the game, as San Diego tried to get into the end zone from the Aggies' 2-yard line.
The rest of the home schedule
All games are on Saturdays.
- Sept. 28 — vs. Montana, 1 p.m., Educator Appreciation Day, Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame Game
- Oct. 12 — vs. Cal Poly (Battle for the Golden Horseshoe), time TBA, Homecoming, Parent/Family Weekend
- Oct. 26 — vs. Weber State, time TBA, Brewfest, Cheer/Dance Clinic
- Nov. 16 — vs. Montana State, time TBA, Salute to Heroes, Ag Day, Vet Med Day, Senior Day
Single-game tickets, season tickets and other ticket packages are available through the UC Davis Ticket Office:
- In person (UC Davis Health Stadium North) — 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday
- Phone — 530-752-AGS1 (2471)
- Single games
- UC Davis Children’s Hospital Family Pack
- 3-Game Mini Plan (all at UC Davis) — Sept. 14 vs. Lehigh, Oct. 12 vs. Cal Poly and Oct. 26 vs. Weber State
- Brewfest Combo Ticket — Attend the 10th annual Brewfest and the game afterward, against Weber State, Oct. 26.
“Fetch Like Pint!”
Pint, the Aggie football team's kickoff-tee retriever, will work Homecoming (vs. Cal Poly, Oct. 12) but he will miss the four other home games the Aggies have scheduled. Why? Because he’s on sabbatical — rather, his owner, Danika Bannasch, a professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine, is on sabbatical!
She’s in Switzerland, Pint said in a Sept. 4 letter to UC Davis football fans, posted on the Athletics website. “Therefore, I am only able to make it to Homecoming ... when she returns on a quick trip to Davis.”
Pint, a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever, has been retrieving the tee after every Aggie kickoff since 2012, helping out the team, of course, while also promoting the School of Veterinary Medicine and its Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
“I’m asking all Aggie pet owners to submit videos of their animals doing their best Pint impression. Grab a football tee, or their favorite ball, and let’s see if they can fetch it fast and efficiently like me! Use the hashtag #FetchLikePint as well as #GoAgs so we can feature your pet on social media and the video board this season.