The Coyotes first opponent of 2013 is a familiar one.
As I wrote earlier this week, USD and UC Davis were conference rivals in the Great West Conference from 2009-11. The two sides squared off three times in that span, with the games being decided by a grand total of eight points.
- Oct. 10, 2009 (Vermillion, S.D.) - UC Davis 24, USD 23 F/OT
- Oct. 9, 2010 (Davis, Calif.) - UC Davis 17, USD 13
- Oct. 22, 2011 (Vermillion, S.D.) - USD 27, UC Davis 24
The Coyotes are 2-2 all-time against the Aggies.
UC Davis finished 4-7 overall and 3-5 in the Big Sky Conference in 2012, but, like USD, the Aggies had several close losses.
The Aggies return 18 starters (8 off., 7 def., 3 special teams) from that team, but were picked 12th out of 13 teams in the Big Sky's preseason coaches' poll.
Those low expectations are likely due, at least in part, to a coaching change.
Longtime University of California, Berkley assistant Ron Gould has taken over Bob Biggs, who retired from coaching following the 2012 season.
Gould filled several roles during his 16 years with the Golden Bears, with the most recent being that of associate head coach/run game coordinator.
He has coached several current NFL running backs, including Marshawn Lynch (Seattle), Jahvid Best (Detroit), and Shane Vereen (New England).
The Wright QB
Senior Randy Wright was the incumbent at quarterback coming into fall camp, but he had to work to retain his job.
Wright was locked in a pretty good three-way battle with Boise State transfer Jimmy Laughrea and junior London Lacy throughout the preseason, before receiving the official nod Wednesday.
Here's what coach Gould told the school's website about the decision:
"The quarterbacks did a phenomenal job of competing and going back and forth," Gould said. "At the end of the day, Randy edged those guys out. We feel very confident that whomever is in the game will do a great job for us."
Wright, who will make his 33rd start in 34 career games, brings a ton of experience to the position and is among the Aggies' all-time leaders in nearly every passing category.