The UC Davis Aggies visit the Tulsa Golden Hurricane on Thursday in the opening game of the 2021 college football regular season for both teams. Last season UC Davis was 3-2 in the spring and averaged 226 yards rushing per game led by Ulonzo Gilliam and Lan Larison. Quarterback Hunter Rodriques will start under center for UC Davis and last season in the spring passed for just 62 yards in limited action by Jake Maier. The leading wide receiver returning for UC Davis will be Khris Vaugh, who last season caught 53 passes for 756 yards and nine touchdowns.
The strength of the UC Davis defense will be its pass rush and has 7 of 11 starters returning from its spring season but gives up too many yards through the air as last season UC Davis allowed an average of 126.6 yards per game rushing and 367.4 yards per game passing. The UC Davis defense allowed six rushing touchdowns and 14 receiving touchdowns.
Tulsa was 6-3 overall and 6-1 in the American Athletic Conference last season. The Tulsa offense scored an average of 27 points per game and gained an average of 410 yards per game. Tulsa's offensive line returns all five starters. Running back Shamari Brooks is the focal point of the offense. Junior quarterback Davis Brin was the backup last season and will seamlessly fill in for the departed Zach Smith. Brin’s most effective aerial target will be Keylon Stokes who had 46 receptions for 644 yards and three touchdowns last season.
Tulsa's defense was the strength of the Golden Hurricane’s last season, allowing 22 points and 330 yards per game, finishing 19th in the country. Justin Wright will be the leader of the linebackers and will play along with Treyvon Reeves and Robert Revels. The front line has all three of its starters back including Jaxon Player and Tyarise Stevenson, who will be the anchor at nose tackle. The secondary has a strong set of safeties in Cristian Williams and Kendarin Ray but needs help at cornerback with very little experience at that position.