Voice of Cal Football previews home opener versus UC Davis
The UC Davis Aggies football team will have their hands full when they open the 2010 season against the California Golden Bears.
But don’t expect an upset according to long-time Cal radio play-by-play voice, Joe Starkey, who appeared this week in an episode of the Davis Sports Deli Podcast.
“I don’t see anything like it did with Stanford five years ago,” Starkey said, referencing UCD’s improbable 20-17 victory over the Cardinal in 2006.
“I just think you’re talking apples and oranges,” he continued. “Stanford at that time was a very, very bad football team with poor coaching. Everything about the program was in trouble. This is not the Cal football team.”
Indeed, the Aggies will have a challenging task as they head to Memorial Stadium Saturday, especially considering the talent disparity between the two teams. The Aggies play in college football’s championship subdivision while the Bears compete in its bowl subdivision.
“Well I think one of the things that’s always the difference (between) the old-term ‘Division 1A and Division 1AA’ is the speed and size of the players,” Starkey said. “There is no way that UC Davis can lineup man-to-man against California.”
Another hurdle for the Ags to overcome is the lack of experience at the game’s most important position. Greg Denham, the Aggies starting quarterback the last two seasons, abruptly quit the team this summer to pursue service in the ministry. Redshirt freshmen Randy Wright will get the start for UC Davis, with sophomore Austin Heyworth serving as his backup.
Despite all the obstacles the Aggies face, UC Davis alumni and fans should expect a strong effort. Last year, the Aggies traveled to perennial BCS-buster Boise State and played the Broncos tough. The Aggies held Boise scoreless in the first quarter but eventually fell to the Broncos 34-16.
“I think they’ll be competitive,” Starkey said of UC Davis. “I’m sure the players are excited about playing Cal and so it should be a lot of fun on Saturday.”
You can hear the entire conversation with Joe Starkey on this week’s Davis Sports Deli Podcast interview. Jonathan Santiago is a contributor to SLAM Online and the KFBK Afternoon News with Kitty O’Neal.