Sept. 10, 2011
BOZEMAN, Mont. - Denarius McGhee threw for two passing touchdowns and added a rushing score, while Cody Kirk posted 155 rushing yards and two touchdowns to help No. 6 Montana State break away in the first half and hold on for a 38-14 win over UC Davis on Saturday afternoon at Bobcat Stadium.
UC Davis scored on the first possession of the game, using a 9-play, 77-yard drive that resulted in a 24-yard touchdown reception by Tom Hemmingsen. Following the Aggie score, Montana State rattled off 28 unanswered points to go up 28-7 at halftime.
UC Davis cut the deficit to 14 in the second half and held the Bobcats scoreless for over 24 minutes before Montana State went up by three scores and stayed on top for the win.
"We didn't get any rhythm going in our offense," said head coach Bob Biggs. "We started to get the run going but we dropped a couple balls and we weren't very accurate today. Our defense struggled against the run in the first half. A couple long passes they got were on broken plays but really they were able to run the ball. We tightened things up in the second half but unfortunately we couldn't get anything together offensively."
Following the opening drive UC Davis' next score was a 22-yard reception by Corey Galindo that made the score 28-14 at the 2:19 mark in the third quarter. A Jordan Glass fumble recovery set up the drive, as the Aggies went 32 yards on four plays to cut into the deficit.
UC Davis finished with 296 total yards of offense for the game, including 215 yards
through the air. Randy Wright completed 15 of 33 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
Galindo had 76 yards on 4 catches and Hemmingsen totaled 45 yards for the game. Colton
Silveria was UC Davis' leading rusher with 27 yards on seven carries.
Defensively, the Aggies played solid in the second half, forcing two turnovers and preventing a Bobcat score in the third quarter to keep UC Davis in the game. Glass was the leading tackler for the game with nine tackles and seven solo stops to go along with the fumble recovery. Jonathan Perkins also had an interception and Reece Ludwig tallied eight tackles for the game.
After the early UC Davis lead, Montana State responded by going the length of the field later in the first quarter. Kirk used a five-yard touchdown run to cap off an 11-pay, 90-yard drive that evened the score at seven apiece.
The Bobcats took their first lead of the game midway throughout the second quarter, using an 8-play 75-yard drive to take a 14-7 advantage. Elvis Akpla hauled in a 21-yard pass from McGhee to put the points on the board.
Two more quick scores for Montana State, including a Kruiz Siewing touchdown reception and a McGhee rush touchdown, made the score 28-7 at the intermission.
The Aggies looked to gain some momentum in the second half after Perkins picked off a McGhee pass in the end zone resulting in a touchback.
After the offense was forced to punt, another defensive play saw Brock Galvin forced a McGhee fumble, while Glass recovered the ball at the Bobcat 32 yard line. A 38-minute scoring drought for UC Davis was snapped when Galindo hauled in a 22-yard pass from Wright at the 2:19 mark in the third quarter, making the score 28-14.
Montana State gained field possession before adding another touchdown for a 35-14 lead with 5:32 on the clock. A 7-play, 52-yard drive was capped off by a one-yard rush for another Kirk score. Jason Cunningham also added a 47-yard field goal before the clock winded down en route to the final 38-14 score.
"We weren't doing a good job inside stopping the run," continued coach Biggs. "They were finding seems and then they would run the ball back outside. We just weren't making plays. We made some adjustments and got some turnovers in the second half but it was too little too late."
McGhee completed 15 of 26 passes and finished with 257 passing yards and had 39 yards on the ground. Akpla was Montana State's leading receiver after seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore Colton Schmidt played well for the second consecutive game, registering five punts for a 45.8-yard average and a long of 54 yards.
UC Davis will play its home opener next week, facing San Diego on Saturday, Sept. 17 with a 6 p.m. kickoff at Aggie Stadium.