Aug 27, 2013
UC Davis (0-0) at South Dakota (0-0)
Saturday, Aug. 31 Noon (PDT) Vermillion, S.D.
DakotaDome (10,000; AstroTurf)
TV - Local to South Dakota region (Midco Sports Network)
Live video: CoyotevisionTV ($9.95 fee)
Live audio: www.ucdavisaggies.com
Live stats: Gametracker
Radio - KHTK (1140 AM) Pregame show begins at 11:30 a.m.
Series Record: Tied 2-2
Last Meeting: Oct. 22, 2011; USD 27-24
Last Meeting Location: Vermillion, S.D.
Longest Streak: Aggies won 2
Last Aggie Win: 17-13 at Davis, Calif. (2010)
Last Coyote Win: 27-24 at Vermillion, S.D. (2011)
UC Davis begins its 95th season of football on Saturday, visiting the University of South Dakota for the third time since 2009... The Aggies are also entering their second season in the rugged Big Sky Conference and are embarking on their seventh year as an NCAA Division I FCS program... UC Davis is 41-48-5 (.463) in all-time season-openers... It's 14-20-2 (.417) on the road since 1947, the first year that game locations were kept in the game-by-game recordbook... Saturday's game marks Ron Gould's first game as a head coach - at any level - after being named the program's 16th head coach last December... Previous Aggie coaches are 7-8 in their inaugural treks along the sideline... Gould is the first to open his tenure on the road since legendary Aggie coach JIM SOCHOR did so in 1970 (L, 20-6 at Occidental)... The matchup is also the furthest opener for UC Davis since opening at Grand Valley State on Sept. 7, 2002 (L, 24-17)... After starting on Thursdays each of the past two years, the Aggies return to college football's traditional day... Five Big Sky teams (Southern Utah, Portland State, Sacramento State, North Dakota and Montana State) will open on Thursday while Northern Arizona kicks off on Friday... UC Davis was 4-7 in 2012, South Dakota finished 1-10.
FIRST GAMES AS AGGIE HEAD COACH
As noted, Ron Gould is the 16th head coach in the 95 seasons of UC Davis football with his predecessors going 7-8 in their first games... The Aggies had high turnover in their early years with eight coaches leading the team from 1915-1928.
PREVIOUSLY IN SOUTH DAKOTA
The Aggies are making their third-ever trip to Vermillion, S.D., having split two earlier games at the DakotaDome... The Coyotes rallied from a 17-3 deficit on Oct. 10, 2009, forcing overtime in the first matchup between the programs since the 1986 Div. II Playoffs... DT Jacob Maxson blocked an extra point in OT, QB Greg Denham - who threw for 380 yards - hit WR Chris Carter on a key 4th-and-11, and RB Joe Trombetta rumbled in from two yards as UC Davis won 24-23... UC Davis had five turnovers in a return trip on Oct. 22, 2011 as the No. 19 Coyotes scored 10 straight points in the second half on their way to a 27-24 victory... QB Randy Wright threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns while WR Tom Hemmingsen caught five passes for 71 yards.
CAL COACHING CONNECTION
Ron Gould spent 16 seasons on the staff at nearby Cal, developing some of the nation's top collegiate - and now professional - running backs while also rising to associate head coach status... It's not surprising then that his Aggie coaching staff has a decidedly "Golden Bear" flavor... Seven members of Gould's coaching and support staff have spent time in Berkeley, including offensive coordinator - and Aggie alum - Kevin Daft who worked alongside Gould for seven seasons as wide receivers and quarterbacks coach... Others include defensive coordinator Bert Watts (2 years as def. asst.), offensive line coach Matt Wiegand (2 years as grad asst.), tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Ben Steele (2 years as offensive admin. asst.), defensive quality control staff member Robert Haney (1 year as quality control asst.), offensive quality control coach Quinn Tedford (1 year volunteer asst. wide receivers coach and also a former player)... Tedford is the son of former Cal coach Jeff Tedford... Additionally, director of operations Denis Hallin (9 years as admin. asst.) brings extensive experience from Cal.
RUNNING BACKS HAVE FLOURISHED UNDER COACH GOULD
It's no secret that Ron Gould has been called one of the, if not the, best running backs coaches in the country... His success with the Bears' ground attack and the NFL-caliber players that excelled under his tutelage have been well-documented... In 2004 he oversaw Cal's best rushing average in more than 50 years at 256.8 ypg which ranked it sixth nationally and helped standout J.J. Arrington finish eighth in the 2004 Heisman Trophy balloting... Several Gould's players went on to the NFL... Jahvid Best (2008) was one of three protegès to lead the Pac-10 in rushing, a trio that also featured Arrington (2004) and Marshawn Lynch (2006).
ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA
The Coyotes, members of the Missouri Valley Conference, return 34 letterwinners and 13 starters from last year's team that finished 1-10 overall and 0-8 in league for first-year coach JOE GLENN... South Dakota averaged 284.7 ypg of offense (120.0 rush, 164.7 pass) while allowing 386.6 ypg... QB JOSH VANDER MATEN, who passed for 1,662 yards and 7 TDs, returns as the team's leading rusher (495 yds, 6 TDs, long of 53)... WR Terrence Terry (53-567 3 TDs) is his favorite returning target... The Coyotes allowed 31.5 ppg in 2012 while scoring just 17.0 ppg... Defensively, DB DEVIN TAVERNA returns after collecting 79 tackles and three interceptions... LB TYLER STARR had 74 tackles, including four sacks and seven tackles-for-losses.
DOME, SWEET DOME
UC Davis is 4-4 playing indoors, including a 1-1 mark last year when the Aggies faced Idaho State (W,52-45) and Northern Arizona (L,21-7), the first time they've played in domes in consecutive weeks... UC Davis played its first indoor game in 2001 at the University of North Dakota during the NCAA Div. II semifinals (L,14-2)... Since then, it's picked up wins at North Dakota State (20-14; 2005), South Dakota (24-23, ot; 2009), North Dakota (35-16; 2010) and Idaho State last year... Other defeats have come at North Dakota State (35-16; 2007) and South Dakota (27-24; 2010).
BIG SKY PRESEASON POLLS
The conference released its preseason polls of both the media/SID's and head coaches during its annual Big Sky Kickoff Event in Park City, Utah on July 15... The top 10 teams were the same in each ranking: 1. Montana State, 2. Eastern Washington, 3. Montana, 4. Cal Poly, 5. Northern Arizona, 6. Sacramento State, 7. North Dakota, 8. Northern Colorado, 9. Southern Utah, 10. Portland State... The media finished with 11. UC DAVIS, 12. Weber State, 13. Idaho State... The coaches listed 11. Weber State, 12. UC DAVIS and 13. Idaho State in their final three spots.
Several Aggies were recognized by various media outlets during the annual parade of preseason honors... The list includes FB Dalton Turay who was selected to the preseason All-Big Sky Team, voted by the media as the squad's only fullback... Turay rushed for 234 yards and 7 TDs last year, including three touchdowns in the second quarter alone against Weber State, while also adding 21 receptions for 156 yards and another score.
Other preseason honors include:
Phil Steele's Preview Preseason Position Ratings - FB Dalton Turay (#12), TE Taylor Sloat (#18), KR and CB Jonathan Perkins (#19 and #25), DE Nick King (#22), PK Brady Stuart (#28), QB Randy Wright (#33) and WR Corey Galindo (#35).
WRIGHT MOVING UP CAREER CHARTS
QB Randy Wright was the first freshman - albeit a redshirt freshman - since 2000 to start at signal-caller when he opened his playing career at Cal in 2010... He's started 33 consecutive games, had a trio of 300-yard games and is entrenching his name throughout the Aggies' career charts... Here's a quick look.
Passing yards - 4th (7,092 yards)
Total offense - 4th (6,817 yards)
Passing attempts - 3rd (1,046)
Completions - 3rd (600)
Touchdowns - T-6th (44)
Wright needs 509 yards to move up in yards, is 109 attempts from owning that school record, and is just 91 completions from taking over the No. 1 spot on that ledger.
SPECIAL TEAMS EXTRA SPECIAL IN 2012
UC Davis enjoyed a standout season in the special teams department, particularly in punting and kick returns which each led the FCS... A big part of that punting effort - Colton Schmidt - graduated and enjoyed time this summer in the San Francisco 49ers' preseason camp... 2012 NCAA ranks:
Perkins had an 81-yard TD return against Sacramento State in the Causeway Classic, the fifth-longest return for a score in school history.
HEMMINGSEN BRINGS RECEIVING THREAT
WR Tom Hemmingsen returns to the Aggies after missing last year due to injury... He led the receiving corps in 2011 in receptions (50), yards (622) and touchdowns (7) and had a long catch of 50 yards... His return gives UC Davis its top receivers from each of the past two years ready to go... WR Corey Galindo (33-598, 3 TDs) paced the team last year, grabbing a 72-yard score from QB Randy Wright against Cal Poly... Galindo needs just 68 yards for 1,000 in his career... Hemmingsen is 238 yards from joining that club.
DON'T LET THE RECORD FOOL YOU
A 4-7 overall record was not what the Aggies wished for former head coach Bob Biggs who announced prior to the start of the season that 2012 would be his last... But, a quick glance down the results show the Aggies were anything but pushovers, particularly against elite opponents... UC Davis faced three teams that were ranked when it played them and two others that made their home in the polls shortly after their matchup with the Aggies... Four of them went to the FCS playoffs.
South Dakota State 12, UC Davis 8 (Sept. 15)
The visiting Aggies didn't trail in the defensive game until the fourth quarter. The Jackrabbits later advanced to the postseason's second round after
Cal Poly 28, UC Davis 20 (Sept. 22)
The host Mustangs scored 28 straight, erasing a 10-0 deficit, but then had to withstand a fourth-quarter Aggie rally that made it a one-touchdown game. Cal Poly also earned an NCAA bid.
No. 2 Montana State 48, UC Davis 41 (Oct. 6)
The Aggies played rude hosts by scoring 24 straight points in the third quarter, turning a big deficit into a 38-31 lead. UC Davis led 41-38 in the fourth quarter before the Bobcats rallied to survive the upset bid. MSU made the national quarterfinals.
No. 15 No. Arizona 21, UC Davis 7 (Oct. 20)
Defense ruled this matchup in Flagstaff with the Lumberjacks leading just 7-0 midway through the third quarter. Two quick scores widened their lead but the Aggies later had a chance to get to within a touchdown before being turned away with an NAU fourth-quarter goal-line stand.
No. 5 E. Washington 31, UC Davis 28 (Nov. 10)
A 22-point second quarter gave the visiting Aggies a stunning 25-14 halftime lead. However, a TD midway through the fourth pushed the Eagles into the lead who then needed to block a last-minute 52-yard FG attempt to avoid OT. EWU made it to the NCAA Championship.
KING OF THE AGGIE DEFENSE
DE Nick King played a reserve role for the UC Davis defense in 2010 and 2011 before enjoying a breakout season in 2012 when he led the Aggies with 6.5 sacks (for 42 yards)... He had a team-high 14.0 TFLs (for 64 yards) and finished fifth on the team with 48 tackles... King added a team-high three quarterback hurries and forced two fumbles... He twice had seven tackles in a game (SDSU, Weber State).
SEASON, SINGLE-GAME TICKETS AVAILABLE
Tickets for all UC Davis home games can be obtained by contact the UC Davis Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting www.ucdavisaggies.com... Season tickets begin at $65.
ON THE AIR
The Aggies' radio triumverate of SCOTT MARSH (play-by-play), DOUG KELLY (analyst) and BILL HERENDA (sidelines) will once again bring all the action to Aggie fans on KHTK (1140 AM)... The games will also be streamed on www.ucdavisaggies.com... Marsh is in his seventh year calling the action while Kelly has seemingly been around since the Ford Administration, but in reality has been on board since 1995.
NEXT WEEK (SEPT. 7)
UC Davis travels to relatively nearby Reno, Nev., to face the University of Nevada, renewing a rivalry that has been dormant since 1989... The teams have met 51 times.