BERKELEY, CA -- Entering Friday night, the Cal Golden Bears of the Pac 12 were ranked No. 15 in the FBS, with a perfect 4-0 record.
They'd beaten Washington, North Texas and Ole Miss. But their first game of the year against FCS opponent UC Davis may have been one of their toughest.
The Aggies jumoed out a 10-0 lead, and trailed just 13-10 at halftime before the Bears pulled away in the second half 27-13.
Though UC Davis is 2-2 on the season with losses to Cal and FCS No. 1 North Dakota State, the Aggies are the real deal. And Montana head coach Bobby Hauck knows it heading into the Grizzlies Big Sky Conference opener Saturday at UC Davis Health Stadium.
"Certainly we're aware of UC Davis and what their team has and what they bring to the table," Hauck said. "They have great players at every position and it starts with (Jake) Maier at QB, it's well documented what he can do and he's a guy that doesn't get rattled. H's a playmaker, he can throw the ball from all sorts of angles and very accurate."
Maier is the preseason Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year, and a preseason all-American. But he's not the only offensive weapon the Griz have to account for.
"Jared Harrell, their wide receiver, No. 2 was great a year ago and I think he's even better this year and I don't see them missing Keelan Doss (now with the Oakland Raiders)," Hauck said. "(Wes) Preece, No. 87, their tight end is a big target, a guy they like to throw to in the red zone because of his size and ability.
"And then (Ulonzo) Gillian, the running back is as good as anybody in the league. Offensive line is coached well and full of returning starters. They have more offense than anyone I've ever seen."
Montana (3-1) and UC-Davis kick off at 2 p.m. (MDT) at UC-Davis Health Stadium on Saturday.