Manzanares, Defense Come Up Big in 21-3 Win

The Aggie defense makes a big play during Saturday's win at Southern Utah.

Oct. 5, 2013

Final Stats

CEDAR CITY, Utah - Gabe Manzanares had his second straight big rushing day, gaining 175 yards while scoring two touchdowns, and the Aggie defense held host Southern Utah to just 45 rushing yards, as UC Davis rolled past the Thunderbirds in a 21-3 Big Sky Conference football matchup on Saturday afternoon.

The Aggies won their second straight game, improving to 2-4 overall and continuing to keep a share of first place in the conference at 2-0. Quarterback Aaron Cantu threw for 289 yards to lead Southern Utah which fell to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big Sky.

Manzanares ran for 208 yards and a touchdown in last week's win over Idaho State and picked up where he left off by carrying the ball 33 times on Saturday. He has 383 rushing yards over his last two games, averaging 5.7 yards a carry. Manzanares scored twice against Southern Utah in the second quarter; the first time from 16 yards that put UC Davis in front 14-3 and the other from a yard out that helped push the lead to 14-3 at halftime.

Quarterback Randy Wright completed 16 passes for 193 yards while hitting receiver T.J. King for a 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter. King caught a team-high four passes for 69 yards.

The Aggie defense, meanwhile, kept Southern Utah's offense out of the endzone for the entire game. The T-Birds had two long drives in the first quarter but came away with just three points and had another lengthy drive in the second half ended with a missed field goal. They rushed 20 times for just 45 yards while UC Davis collected four sacks against Cantu.

The Aggie defense allowed Southern Utah a pair of trips into the red zone in the Thunderbirds first two drives of the game. The first one was a 10-play, 56-yard drive that moved to the UC Davis 12-yard line before cornerback Jonathan Perkins came off the edge to block a 29-yard field goal attempt from Colton Cook.



Southern Utah got the ball back on a fumble by Manzanares and marched to the Aggie 13 where Cook connected on a 30-yard field goal. That was the T-Birds only scoring.

UC Davis got things going offensively early in the second quarter when it marched 55 yards in eight plays, using a 19-yard catch and run by fullback Dalton Turay to help set up Manzanares who busted up the middle for a 16-yard score, diving across the line for a 16-yard score.

The Aggies put together another scoring drive the next time they got the ball, moving 73 yards on 10 plays. King had a highlight-reel 19-yard reception along the left side that put UC Davis in business at the 1. Manzanares plunged in from a yard out two players later, making it 14-3.

An 88-yard drive that began early in the third quarter took just eight plays to score. Wright found Manzanares for a 21-yard passing play, Manzanares and Manusamoa Luuga followed with rushes of 12 and 15 yards, respectively, before King find himself open for a 19-yard touchdown strike from Wright with 9:11 on the clock.

Neither time was able to score the rest of the way.

Linebacker Steven Pitts, defensive tackle Kyle DeVaughn, and defensive ends Colin Kelly and Nick King each had sacks. Charles Boyett had eight tackles while Dre Allen and Shamawn picked up interceptions.

The Aggies outgained the T-Birds, 392-326.

UC Davis returns to action next weekend, hosting Montana in the annual homecoming game at Aggie Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.