Oct. 19, 2002
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis rolled up 602 yards in total offense on Saturday against Humboldt State - including 400 in the first half - while holding the Lumberjacks to just two yards rushing, as the No.6 Aggies cruised to a 49-14 homecoming win before 8,150 fans at Toomey Field.
The win was the fifth straight for UC Davis, which is now 5-1. Humboldt State, which trailed 42-0 at halftime after the Aggies scored on six of their first eight possessions, fell to 1-5.
Senior receiver Michael Oliva enjoyed a historic day for the Aggies, moving past John Shoemaker (1996-99) for first place on the school's all-time touchdown receptions list when he hauled in a seven-yard score from quarterback Ryan Flanigan early in the second quarter. Oliva also had a 39-yard score on Saturday, giving him 35 touchdowns for his career.
Reserve running back Elihu Vann rushed for a career-high 146 yards on 24 carries, leading an Aggie rushing attack which gained 259 yards. Matt Massari had 13 carries for 111 yards, scoring a pair of touchdowns for UC Davis. Massari also caught two passes for 54 yards.
Four Aggie quarterbacks saw action in the game, with starter Ryan Flanigan completeing eight of 12 passes for 135 yards and a career-high tying four touchdowns. Senior Kenny Kearns also posted a strong outing, finishing with 131 yards passing and a touchdown. Besides Oliva, tight end Joe Bandel had a pair of touchdown catches.
The UC Davis defense, ranked third nationally against the rush, had another strong effort, sacking Lumberjacks quarterback Aaron Currell eight times and holding Humboldt State's ground game to just two total yards. The Lumberjacks had just 212 total yards. Currell threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns to lead Humboldt State.
UC Davis led 14-0 just over three minutes into the game, 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and 42-0 at half.
"I'm very pleased with the way we executed today," said UC Davis Coach Bob Biggs. "Our goal was to come in and regain the momentum we had built through the Sacramento State game. We had three good games leading up to that point, making progress. We executed in all phases of the game and that was our goal."
The Aggies wasted little time in the game, taking the opening kickoff 72 yards on five plays, capping the drive on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Flanigan to Bandel. Currell's pass on Humboldt's first play from scrimmage was picked off by linebacker Dan Elbanna and Massari scored two plays later for a 14-0 lead with just 3:01 elapsed.
Tight end Joe Bandel capped a 6-play, 91-yard drive just 20 seconds into the second quarter by hauling in a 32-yard pass from Bandel, making it 28-0, while Oliva's record-breaking catch less than two minutes later put the Aggies up 35-0. UC Davis had regained possession after a fumble.
Oliva then put the Aggies up 42-0 at halftime, scoring on a 39-yard strike from Kearns with just 18 seconds left. UC Davis had 400 yards of offense in the first two quarters, including 266 through the air.
The defense, meanwhile, was holding the Lumberjacks well in check. Humboldt had minus-27 yards rushing and just 51 total yards in the first half.
"We wanted to come out, be sharp, execute, and we were able to do that," said Biggs. "I told the players at halftime that it was a great first half, and now we had a chance to play a lot of players. We wanted those players to execute also. We didn't want to get sloppy, but we didn't want to run up the score."
Massari's second score - a one-yard run - put the Aggies up 49-0 midway through the third quarter before Chris Dixon's 31-yard score from Currell late in the period got the Lumberjacks on the board. Receiver Brent Adkins caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Currell with 10:48 left in the game, accounting for the final scoring.
UC Davis finished with a season-high eight sacks in the game, including two by defensive end Jake Mossawir and a pair by linebacker Nick Schulte. Defensive end B.J. Brust, linebacker Dominic Ghio and Elbanna also recorded sacks, while linebacker Tom Parisi and defensive tackle Andrew McClure had half-sacks.
Humboldt State moved itself into positive rushing yardage in the fourth quarter after entering the final 15 minutes with minus-12 yards. Opponents are now averaging just 45.5 yards rushing against the Aggies.
Adkins had 94 yards on seven catches for Humboldt State, while Dustin Creager caught six passes for 38 yards. Strong safety Jermaine Ervin had 13 total tackles - including eight solo stops - while cornerback Nick White had 12.
UC Davis had 14 penalties for 151 yards in the game, including 66 yards in the fourth quarter.
The Aggies return to action next Saturday with a 4 p.m. game at Cal Poly.