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San Diego State has been improving week by week since falling to Cal in their CPD opener, with the one aberration being a 46-5 loss in Moraga to St. Mary’s in marshy conditions.

Saturday against UC-Davis, it didn’t appear early on that trend would continue when Davis’s All American scrumhalf, Tyler Harrison, scored a try, which he converted, in the game’s second minute.

“It kind of woke the guys up,” said SDSU coach Craig Hartley. “It’s a new school, and I don’t know if they gave Davis enough credit. Those guys came out there and executed a nice set piece real quick.”

All the quick score did was startle the Aztecs out of a slumber. “Our guys woke up, and then from that point on, it was pretty much the most dominating defensive stand we’ve had. The positive tackle rate was phenomenal. Our ball retention, ball control and team play was spot on. Everything we’d been drilling, our game plan, was executed. We did well; very proud of the guys.”

The Aztecs scored four tries before halftime, while holding Davis off the scoreboard, but Davis started the second stanza like the first, scoring in the 46th minute. Again, SDSU responded shrewdly, outscoring UC Davis three-tries-to-two en route to a 45-19 victory.

Aztec All American Duncan Kelm was the match’s leading scorer with two tries and five conversions.

“His scores were not individual like some of the games we’ve had in the past. This was honestly one of the best team offensive executions I’ve seen us do,” said Hartley. “It was really, really fun rugby to watch…it was a very free-flowing style of rugby with several phases, players linking up, communicating well with one another, and he just happened to be one the end of a couple of offensive build ups.”