Sac State and UC Davis football advance to NCAA FCS playoffs


Sacramento State Hornets wide receiver Isaiah Gable (4) scores a touchdown as he’s defended by UC Davis Aggies defensive back Erron Duncan (32) on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 during the Causeway Classic football game at UC Davis Health Stadium in Davis.

The seasons continue with a Frisco, Texas, target date of Jan. 8.

Sacramento State earned the No. 4 seed of the NCAA FCS playoffs Sunday morning and an opening-round bye, the benefits of going 8-0 in the Big Sky Conference with a 9-2 overall record and a program-record eight-game win streak.

UC Davis is also in the playoff mix and will visit South Dakota State (8-3) of the Missouri Valley Conference in an opener on Saturday. The winner of that game visits Sacramento State on Dec. 4.

The championship is Jan. 8 in Texas. UCD competed in the 2018 FCS playoffs, a program first after multiple showings in previous generations in Division I. Sac State made its first FCS postseason after winning the Big Sky title in 2019.

This marks just the second time Sac State and UCD are both in the playoffs in the same season. The schools reached the 1988 NCAA Division II playoffs, won by the Hornets.

Sac State beat UCD 27-7 in the Causeway Classic on Saturday to land the highest FCS bid of five teams from the Big Sky. The conference had never advanced five teams before, and that last team was UCD, reflective of the deepest conference at the FCS level.

The other Big Sky teams in the field: No. 6 Montana, No. 8 Montana State and Eastern Washington.

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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