No. 14 UC Davis and Hunter Rodrigues dominate San Diego


UC Davis Aggies quarterback Hunter Rodrigues (12) stands for a photo with his grandfather visiting from Southern California, Bart Berardo, after the Aggies’ 32-22 loss to Eastern Washington at the college football game Saturday, April 3, 2021, at UC Davis Health Stadium. It was the first game open for fans and last home game of the season for the Aggies.

Hunter Rodrigues is two weeks into his junior season at UC Davis and he’s yet to cool off..

The junior passed for a career-best 322 yards and four touchdowns, and he reached the end zone on a 28-yard run, to lead No. 14 UC Davis past the University of San Diego 53-7 on Saturday afternoon at Torero Stadium.

In beating 23.5-point favorite Tulsa in an opener 19-17, Rodrigues passed for a then-career best 311 yards on 28 of 35 passing and a touchdown. The American River College transfer who graduated from Whitney High School in Rocklin completed 22 of 37 passes against San Diego, hitting tight end McCallan Castles for two touchdowns. He also found C.J. Hutton of Folsom High for a 21-yard touchdown and Jared Harrell for a 29-yarder as the Aggies (2-0) rolled up 522 yards of offense.

Nick Eaton led the UCD defense with six tackles, 2.5 for loss, Teddye Buchana had an interception and Jordan Perryman recovered a fumble.

UCD reserve quarterback Trent Tompkins had four receptions and returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown. He’s a player UCD coach Dan Hawkins insists has to have touches. The punt return is tied with Jesse Oliva in 2004 for the second longest in program history. Joe Genasci returned a punt 91 yards for a score at Saint Mary’s in 1991.

UCD plays Dixie State of Utah on Saturday in its home opener at 7 p.m. The game is sold out.

Joe Davidson has covered sports for The Sacramento Bee since 1988. He is a 14-time award winner from the California Prep Sports Writer Association. In 2021, Davidson was honored with the CIF Distinguished Service. He is a member of the California Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Davidson was a high school athlete in Oregon, where he participated in football and track.

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