DAVIS, Calif. – Quarterback Jake Maier passed for 459 yards and four touchdowns as UC Davis built large leads in the first and second quarters and held on to beat Cal Poly 31-28 in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe on Saturday afternoon before 10,503 inside Aggie Stadium.
Maier completed 33 of 43 passes, including scoring strikes to Wesley Preece (24 and 28 yards) and Aaron Moore (50 and 30 yards), as the Aggies evened their mark at 4-4 and improved to 2-3 in Big Sky Conference games.
Cal Poly fell to 0-8 and 0-5.
UC Davis jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first six minutes and 10 seconds of the game and, after Cal Poly closed the gap to 21-14, rebuilt the advantage to 31-14 midway through the second period.
Jared Mohamed scored from one yard out after a 43-yard catch by J.J. Koski and Kyle Lewis caught a 42-yard scoring pass from Jake Jeffrey as Cal Poly closed the gap to 21-14.
Broc Mortensen gathered in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Jeffrey and Mohamed capped a 17-play, 99-yard drive with a two-yard run as the Mustangs pulled to within three points at 31-28 a minute into the final period.
UC Davis, however, was able to hang on for the win even though Cal Poly had the ball for three more possessions. The game ended with the Mustangs throwing an incomplete pass at the Aggie 35-yard line.
Mohamed (pictured above) established a new high for carries with 35 and for yards rushing with 143, scoring his first two touchdowns of the season. Jeffrey completed nine of 21 passes for 212 yards and two scores. His favorite target was Lewis with four catches for 92 yards.
R.J. Mazolewski led the Mustangs defensively with nine tackles. Kam Dennis and Kevin Griffin notched interceptions, Jack Ferguson (pictured at right) recorded a pair of sacks and the Cal Poly defense held UC Davis to 21 net yards rushing.
Ryan Bua garnered 16 tackles for UC Davis.
The Mustangs compiled a 25-20 advantage in first downs and had the ball offensively for 15 1/2 more minutes than the Aggies, falling short in total offensive yardage by just 17.
The Mustangs also saw a potential scoring drive thwarted by a fumble, marching to the UC Davis 9-yard line late in the second quarter.
Keelan Doss, who entered the game No. 1 in the FCS in several receiving categories, caught 14 passes for 145 yards.
UC Davis takes a 21-20-2 advantage in the series against Cal Poly with the win.
Cal Poly plays its next two games at home, hosting Portland State for Homecoming next Saturday and in-state rival Sacramento State on Nov. 11. Both Big Sky Conference games kick off at 6:05 p.m. inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
The Vikings also are 0-8 overall and 0-5 in Big Sky games after falling 48-21 to North Dakota on Saturday.