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Stan Becton | | September 23, 2021

No. 10 UC Davis visits No. 15 Weber State in Week 4's FCS game of the week

Sam Houston defeats South Dakota State 23-21 to win first FCS title

For this week's FCS game of the week, head back to Ogden, Utah where No. 10 UC Davis faces No. 15. Weber State in the Week 4's Big Sky matchup.

Saturday's game will mark the second-straight week that Weber State is featured in the FCS Game of the Week and their second-straight ranked home game.

Entering Week 4's contest, Weber State is 1-2 while UC Davis is 3-0.

Week 4 FCS game of the week: 

No. 10 UC Davis at No. 15 Weber State | Sat. Sept. 25,  8 p.m. ET | ESPN+

UC Davis has its first 3-0 start since 2004 and a big part of that has been an explosive, balanced offense. The Aggies rushed for 380 yards last week; RB Ulonzo Gilliam Jr. ran for 180 yards alone. The strong rushing attack led to a 60-27 win over Dixie State, bringing them to 113 total points over the last two games. 

Yet, the rushing game is not the only source of offense for UC Davis. In Week 1, QB Hunter Rodrigues threw for 311 yards and completed 80% of his passes en route to an FCS-over-FBS upset over Tulsa. The Aggies can attack opposing defenses in multiple ways.

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On defense, the Aggies lead the FCS in turnover margin after getting five interceptions last week. The ability to take the ball away has been vital to UC Davis, holding opponents to just 17 points per game despite allowing 407.3 yards of total offense per game. The turnover-producing defense features talented players across the board, including DT Bryce Rodgers upfront with CB Jordan Perryman and S Chris Venable on the backend.

Many of the talented players on Weber State's offense are riddled with the injury bug. QB Bronson Barron was left off the depth chart this week; he figures to miss his second-straight game with a knee injury. Barron's absence was on full display last week as two quarterbacks played, each struggling to replace him. 

While preseason All-American RB Josh Davis made his season debut returning from injury last week, the offensive line saw more damage. Already without All-American G Ty Whitworth, the Wildcats saw his replacement G Trevor Szilagyi and LT George Barrera suffer injuries in Week 3. While all three of the offensive linemen are on track to play this week, Weber State's offense will head into another matchup banged up.

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Defensively, Weber State is once again tasked with slowing down a top-10 team. After falling behind 24-3 last week, the Wildcats will have to start fast on defense to knock off UC Davis. Led by DL Jared Schiess and All-American LB Conner Mortensen, Weber State has the skill to return to form as one of the Big Sky's top defenses. To do so, the Wildcats will need to get more than the one sack they had last week.

A win for Weber State will prove that the four-time reigning Big Sky champions still belong in the conversation with the nation's best. For UC Davis, a win adds validation to its jump to a top 10 ranking this season. In the Big Sky conference that has five out of the top 15 teams in the FCS, a conference-opening win can go a long way towards securing the Big Sky's automatic playoff bid. 

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