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Denham in the middle of Causeway

Placer grad putting up huge numbers as Aggies await regional rivals
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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UC Davis’ fate in Saturday’s 55th Causeway Classic will have a lot to do with the powerful right arm of Greg Denham. The Aggies’ first-year starter at quarterback is thriving in UC Davis’ complex offensive system. The Placer High graduate is averaging just over 300 yards per game passing and has thrown for 20 touchdowns in just eight starts. He is on pace to become just the fifth UC Davis quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards in a season after throwing just seven passes last year as a redshirt freshman. “It’s definitely good to have some games under your belt,” Denham said Thursday. “I feel comfortable. I’ve established my mindset and what I need to do out there.” The Aggies have won four in a row and will host Sacramento State in their fifth straight home game Saturday. The Hornets have not beaten UC Davis since 1999, but the Aggies are wary of a team that is dangerous, especially on defense. “They’re very good defensively,” Denham said. “They’ve got really good linebackers and a good d-line. They throw a bunch of different stunts and blitzes. It’s definitely a challenge for our offense.” Denham has enjoyed hooking up with receivers Bakari Grant, Brandon Rice and Chris Carter on a regular basis. The trio has combined for 144 catches for 1,722 yards and 17 touchdowns. “They’re all playmakers,” Denham said. “I love throwing to all of them. Basically I just make my reads and whoever gets it, gets it.” Denham ranks in the top 10 in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision in passing completions (third, 27.6 per game), passing yards (seventh, 300.6), total passing yards (eighth, 2,405) and total offense (eighth, 287.8). He’s received e-mails from UC Davis alumni urging him to beat Sacramento State this week. The Aggies have dominated the regional rivalry in recent seasons, but the intensity leading up to Saturday’s clash is still palpable. “The rivalry goes way back and we’ve got a lot of alumni in town,” Denham said. “We go through the same routine as every other week, but the rivalry is still there. It’s a big week.”