Oct. 15, 2011
DAVIS, Calif. - Randy Wright threw for a career-high 320 yards and three touchdowns, while Colton Silveria added 75 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as UC Davis got back in the win column in a big way with a 38-17 homecoming win over UTSA Saturday at Aggie Stadium.
UTSA took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter while the Aggies were held scoreless. From there UC Davis had a 17-3 lead at halftime en route to 38 unanswered points.
The Roadrunners managed two fourth quarter touchdowns before the the Aggies were able to run down the clock for the victory. UC Davis improved to 2-4 on the season while UTSA, a first-year program in football, dropped to 2-5 in their inaugural year.
"Today we kept them off balance after taking the early lead," said head coach Bob Biggs. "We had the ball and we drove before the half. We kept them off balance and that is who we are. We've got to be able to get some early leads and not give up early touchdowns so that we can play the way we are the most effective."
UC Davis had a season-high 455 yards of total offense, including 320 passing yards with Wright completing 18 of 30 attempts. The Aggies also converted on their first four red-zone scoring opportunities. Anthony Soto led the UC Davis receivers with 86 yards and a touchdown while Tom Hemmingsen had similar numbers with 85 yards and a score.
UTSA was led by Eric Soza, who threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Freeman had five receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Byron Gruendl posted seven tackles and two tackles for losses. Charles Boyett had a team high eight tackles for UC Davis. Brandon Reeves recorded a game-high 11 tackles for the Roadrunners.
UC Davis held the Roadrunners to a three-and-out on the first possession of the game and pinned UTSA at their own one yard line on the following possession. The Roadrunners drove the length of the field however, scoring the first points of the game by driving 88 yards on 13 plays. Sean Ianno converted on a 28-yard field goal to put UTSA on top 3-0 with 1:57 on the clock in the first quarter.
The Aggies gained some momentum in the second quarter after being held scoreless in the first. UC Davis had a 9-play, 84-yard drive, capped off by a Taylor Sloat 18-yard touchdown at the 7:31 mark.
Special teams gave the Aggies the ball back on the ensuing kickoff, thanks to a fumble forced by Niel Pierce and recovered by Hunter Paul at the UTSA 19 yard line. Sean Kelley posted a 42-yard field goal as a result of the turnover to give UC Davis a 10-3 advantage.
Before the first half was over, the Aggies managed a third consecutive score after a four-play, 81-yard drive. Silveria got in the endzone for his first collegiate touchdown, giving UC Davis a 17-3 lead at halftime.
The Aggies had a 40-yard field goal blocked on the first possession of the second half but got the ball back after another fumble from the Roadrunners. Andrew Benjamin received credit for the recovery and gave UC Davis the ball on the UTSA 31 yard line. The Aggies took advantage with a second touchdown for Silveria.
UC Davis continued to separate themselves in the third quarter, adding a 46-yard touchdown pass from Wright to Soto, making the score 31-3 at the 4:02 mark.
The beginning of the fourth quarter was no different, as the Aggies used an 8-play, 66-yard drive to go up 38-3. Wright had his third touchdown pass of the game to Hemmingsen for 21-yard score.
UTSA ended a 32-minute scoring drought on the following possession with a big pass play. On the second play of the drive, Soza found Freeman, who broke free for a 59-yard reception. Following a fumble recovery, the Roadrunners added another touchdown to make the score 38-17.
The Aggies kept UTSA off the scoreboard in the Roadrunners' next possession before UC Davis ate up five minutes of clock to keep the final score at 38-17.
"I thought we tackled better in the open field, something we were worried about," continued coach Biggs. "We slipped on the one long touchdown, the guy slipped so that's going to happen, but for the most part they were very attentive this week. I told (the defense) there is a difference between doing your assignment and doing it relentlessly. (The defense) wanted this really bad."
The Aggies also had season highs in first downs (25), possession time (34:41) and rushing yards (135).
UC Davis will be back on the road next week, beginning Great West competition at South Dakota on Oct. 22 with a 2 p.m. PT kickoff.
Aggies hold numerous top NCAA numbers
vs. 22/RV Northern Arizona (4 p.m.)