FARGO -- Coming off the road against a ranked opponent in Deleware, North Dakota State will be welcomed home by another top team.

UC Davis, ranked fourth in the most recent STATS FCS poll, makes the trip to the Fargodome.

The last time the two programs faced off was 2007, when NDSU rolled to a 35-16 win.

The Aggies finished that season at just 5-6, but now they're a perennial playoff contender under Dan Hawkins.

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"Anytime we're able to play a good opponent it's good for the Bison," said NDSU head coach Matt Entz. "We need to continue to get better and this week we're going to have to improve drastically over some of the things that we did last week."

One of the things they'll be focused on heavily is UC Davis quarterback Jake Maier. A preseason All-American, Maier is a lightning rod for the offense.

In his career so far with the Aggies, he's thrown 66 touchdowns. This season, he's completing a blistering 69 percent of his passes, has thrown for 921 yards, and passed for 6 scores.

"Very efficient with the football," Entz said. "He seems to have a really good understanding and command of the offense."

"We're going to have to play really, really good football to play with these guys."