Oct. 26, 2002
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Running back Matt Massari rushed for 221 yards and scored a three-yard touchdown - one of two Aggie scores in the fourth quarter - as the No.5 UC Davis football team pulled away in the final period to beat Cal Poly, 28-14, before 8,588 homecoming fans at Mustang Stadium on Saturday.
UC Davis, which has not lost since dropping its season-opener at top-ranked Grand Valley State (Mich.) on Sept. 7, improved to 6-1 on the season. Cal Poly dropped to 1-7. The win also clinched the Aggies' NCAA-record 33rd straight winning season.
Massari's yards came on 34 carries and marked the second time this season he's eclipsed the 200-yard barrier, after also accomplishing the feat with 237 yards against Abilene Christian on Sept. 14. Senior wide receiver Michael Oliva had 108 yards on seven catches, quarterback Ryan Flanigan passed for 205 yards and the Aggie defense collected six sacks, giving it 14 in the past two games.
The teams were tied 7-7 at halftime and 14-14 going into the fourth quarter.
"The kids wanted, they just really wanted it," said UC Davis Coach Bob Biggs. "They made plays in the second half. The coaching staff felt everybody did a great job making some adjustments in the second half. The bottom line is the players have to go out and execute and they came out and made some plays in the second half... It was a big win because we really have a lot of respect for Cal Poly."
Massari's score came with 12:52 left in the game, capping a UC Davis drive that spanned 65 yards on five plays and started after the Aggies stopped Cal Poly quarterback Chris Peterson on fourth down at the UC Davis 35. Linebacker Justin Patterson made the big stop on Peterson, stopping him just shy of the first down marker. Massari carried the ball the final three times on the ensuing drive, which took just 2:01.
The teams exchanged turnovers on their next drives - Cal Poly losing the ball at its own 36 on Peterson's fumble but gaining it back on Vaughn Jarrett's interception in the end zone two plays later - before a Mustang punt with just over 10 minutes remaining gave UC Davis the ball back on its own 48. The Aggies drove 49 yards to the Cal Poly 3 before receiver Kevin Freeman took the handoff and scored with 7:08 left to help make it 28-14.
It was Freeman's second touchdown of the game after also scoring with 9:06 remaining in the first half, putting UC Davis up, 7-0.
Cal Poly wasn't able to score after going down by 14 points in the fourth quarter and UC Davis was able to avenge a 31-28 loss to the Mustangs from last year.
Peterson's plunge from a yard late in the second quarter tied the game, 7-7, while Flanigan's six-yard keeper just under three minutes into the third quarter put the Aggies back on top, 14-7. Peterson then hit an open Jonah Russell from nine yards with 6:03 left in the third quarter, tying the game once again, before UC Davis put together its big fourth quarter.
The Aggies' defense had another strong game of putting pressure on an opposing quarterback. A week after collecting eight sacks in a 49-14 win against Humboldt State, UC Davis had six more against the Mustangs, totalling 42 yards. Defensive end Brett Lobel had 2.0 sacks for 9 yards, linebacker Dan Elbanna had a 12-yard sack, and linebacker Kelly Valaau, defensive tackle Josh Vavao and defensive end B.J. Brust also had sacks. Valaau had seven tackles to lead the Aggies.
Cal Poly rushed for 169 yards, the most by a UC Davis opponent this year. The bulk of those yards came on a 77-yarder by Jeremy Konaris in the third quarter that helped set up Peterson's touchdown to Russell. The long run was the first on a drive that began at the Cal Poly 4-yard line after Massari fumbled after a 13-yard gain with 7:01 left in the third.
UC Davis had 462 yards in total offense, while Cal Poly had 357. Flanigan completed 13 of 22 passes while Peterson was 12 of 27. Konaris finished with 93 yards.
Massari became the fourth Aggie to rush for more than 200 yards at least twice in a career, joining Mike Ichiyama (1994 twice), Preston Jackson (1992 once, 1993 twice) and G.P. Muhammad (1995, 1997). Oliva posted his 13th career game with at least 100 yards receiving, while also catching a pass for the 25th straight game.
UC Davis, ranked third in the latest NCAA West Region poll, plays its final regular-season game at Toomey Field, hosting Saint Mary's on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
UC Davis (6-1) 0 7 7 14 -28 UCD SLO 20 17 46-257 39-169 205 188 22-13-1 27-12-0 68-462 66-357 52 38 1-1 2-1 5-45.7 7-39.6 5-50 3-25 32:29 27:31
Cal Poly (1-7) 0 7 7 0 -14
Time of possession
UCD - Kevin Freeman 2 run (Dusty Apocotos kick), 9:06
SLO - Chris Peterson 1 run (David Niakan kick), 2:47
UCD - Ryan Flanigan 6 run (Dusty Apocotos kick), 12:04
SLO - Jonah Russell 9 pass from Chris Peterson (David Niakan), 6:03
UCD - Matt Massari 3 run (Dusty Apocotos), 12:52
UCD - Kevin Freeman 3 run (Dusty Apocotos), 7:08
Att. - 8,588
RUSHING - UCD: Matt Massari, 34-221, Ryan Flanigan, 7-24, Kevin Freman, 2-5, O.J. Swanigan, 2-4, Elihu Vann, 1-3. SLO: Jeremy Konaris, 5-93, Chris Peterson, 26-58, Adam George, 4-20, Darrell Jones, 1-1, Brandon Shepard, 2-0, Paki Gordon, 1-(-3).
PASSING - UCD: Ryan Flanigan, 22-13-1, 205. SLO: Chris Peterson, 27-12-0, 188.
RECEIVING - UCD: Michael Oliva, 7-108, Michael Eaglin, 2-40, Scott McGee, 2-21, Joe Bandel, 1-31, Kevin Freeman, 1-5. SLO: Joey Warren, 4-62, Courtney Brown, 3-69, Paki Gordon, 1-14, Darrell Jones, 1-14, Jeremy Konaris, 1-12, Jonah Russell, 1-9, Ryan McCarty, 1-8.