Southern Oregon (0-1) at UC Davis (0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 6 p.m.
Aggie Stadium (10,849) • Davis, Calif.
Radio: KHTK (1140 AM) • KDVS (90.3 FM)
Live stats: www.ucdavisaggies.com
• UC Davis opens its 10th season at Aggie Stadium with Saturday’s game against Southern Oregon, the first matchup between the programs since 1953.
• Since home/road designations started appearing in the Aggie recordbook in 1947, the program is 42-25-2 (.615) in home-openers, including a 4-5 record at Aggie Stadium.
• Southern Oregon enters the game ranked second in the NAIA preseason poll (a new poll is out on Sept. 12)... The Raiders are one of seven opponents currently ranked or receiving votes in the FBS, FCS and NAIA polls.
• QB BEN SCOTT’s 303 passing yards at Oregon last week marked UC Davis’ third straight 300-yard game dating back to last season (QB C.J. Spencer went 311 vs. Cal Poly and 312 vs. Sacramento State)... It was the third of Scott’s career.
• Similarly, WR KEELAN DOSS’ career-best 116 yards on seven catches was the Aggies’ third straight 100-yard receiving game (WR ALEX CANNON had 122 vs. Cal Poly, and Chris Martin posted 115 against the Hornets.)
• UC Davis’ 28 points at Oregon were its most against an FBS opponent since moving to FCS status… The Aggies are now 2-15 in those games (1-5 vs. Pac-12).
• The Aggies held advantages in time of possession (37:17-22:43), plays (80-67), passing yards (303-271), sacks (3-2), fewer turnovers (1-2) and punt average (43.2-38.2) vs. the Ducks.
• RB Manusamoa Luuga was the first Aggie to rush for three touchdowns in a game since RB GABE MANZANARES did so against Cal Poly in 2014.
• Luuga’s 96 rushing yards put him over 1,000 in his career... He’s now at 1,068... His 147 all-purpose yards (96 rush, 51 pass) marked a career-high as well.
• UC Davis put together three scoring drives of at least 65 yards in the second half against Oregon (3-75, 11-65, 7-85).
• The Aggies’ defense posted three sacks for the second straight game after ending with a trio in the Causeway Classic last year... FS Keleen Culberson, LB Russell Reeder and CB Brandon Jamison recorded the sacks.
• Saturday’s game is the first-ever “Throwback Game” at Aggie Stadium, a tribute to the Aggies’ previous home of Toomey Field... UC Davis was 192-86-8 (.685) while playing there from 1949-2006.
• The Aggies are trying to turn around a trend which has seen them pick up only one home win each of the past two seasons.
• UC Davis leads Southern Oregon, 6-1-1, in their all-time series that started in 1932 but was last played in 1953... The Aggies are 4-0 against the Raiders at home and have won five straight in the series overall.
• The Aggies, however, are 23-20-1 all-time against teams from Oregon.
• UC Davis last played consecutive games against teams from a state other than California last season when they hosted Southern Utah and then traveled to Ogden to face Weber State.
DOSS BREAKS FREE FOR 116 YARDS
• WR Keelan Doss, who redshirted last season because of injury, returned with a vengeance last week, collecting seven catches for 116 yards... It was his first career 100-yard game and the third straight for the Aggies dating back to last year.
• Doss’ previous career-highs for receptions were four (Portland State, Cal Poly)... His previous best for yards was 77 against Eastern Washington.
• QB Ben Scott connected with Doss on a 50-yard pass play in the third quarter against Oregon, helping set up RB MANUSAMOA LUUGA’s first rushing TD... It was Doss’ second-longest catch of his career after going 70 yards for a TD against EWU in 2014.
POSSESSION TREND CONTINUES
• The Aggies were ranked second nationally in time of possession last year, averaging 34:37 per game last year... They had more possession time than their opponents in nine of their 11 games.
• 2016 has started in similar fashion after UC Davis held the ball for 37:17 at Oregon... Included in that total was a whopping 11:45-3:15 advantage in the third quarter (20:14-9:46 in second half).
SCOTT ROLLS ANOTHER 300
• QB Ben Scott threw for 303 yards on 27-of-47 passing at Oregon... It was his third career 300-yard game and first since 301 against Northern Colorado in 2014... He had a career-best 379 yards in his first career start in 2014 against Montana State.
• Scott’s completions are tied for his second-highest total behind 32 at Nevada last year while his 47 attempts ties a career-high, also against Nevada.
• Scott was the first Aggie QB to throw for 300 yards without a touchdown since Jon Grant (373 yds) against Stephen F. Austin in 2005... J.T. O’SULLIVAN had the only other no-TD 300-yard game after he threw for 327 yards at North Dakota during the 2001 NCAA Div. II semifinals.
HOLDING ONTO THE BALL
• UC Davis had just one turnover against the Ducks, marking the eighth time since the start of the 2015 season that the Aggies have had either none or just one turnover.
• They have just three interceptions in their last seven games and had two takeaways for the third time in the past four games.
AGGIES TURN TO YOUTH
• Three true freshman caught passes in Saturday’s game: TE Wesley Preece (4-28), WR Jared Harrell (3-36) and WR Khris Vaughn (2-15)… Redshirt freshman WR Justin Clarkston (1-36) also had his first career catch.
• Defensively, CB Brandon Jamison (1.0 sack for 1 yard) and DL Jordan Franklin (1 TT) had tackles in their first games as Aggie redshirt freshmen.
SPEAKING OF YOUTH....
• The Aggies are going to make sure their younger players will be in the mix from the start... A total off 11 players on the two-deep have not seen collegiate action, including two true freshmen who are scheduled to start the opener: WR Jared Harrell and DT BRYCE ROGERS.
• Of the 45 offensive and defensive names on the depth chart, 20 are occupied by underclassmen.
RUN GAME LOOKS TO IMPROVE
• The Aggies are looking to reverse a trend of declining rushing average since going for 152.3 ypg in head coach RON GOULD’s first year in 2013... That was UC Davis’ best showing since 2002.
• The averaged dipped to 144.9 in 2014 and then further to 121.8 last season.
SCHNEIDER CHANGES SIDES
• OL Christian Schneider made a home at right tackle over his first three seasons, including in 2013 as a true freshman... Since then, the 6-6, 315-pounder has started all but one game he’s played (30 of 31).
• This season, Schneider jumps to the opposite side to play left tackle, taking over for graduated senior Parker Smith, who was moved there last year to replace 2014 senior Ian Joseph - a four-year starter.
VARGAS READY FOR SENIOR YEAR
• WR Ramon Vargas, moving from jersey No. 80 to No. 1 for his senior year, is back after missing the final four games last year because of injury... He had 23 catches for 284 yards and 2 TDs... Vargas missed the opener due to injury.
• He hopes to return to the production he had as a sophomore in 2014 when he caught 41 passes for 665 yards and 8 TDs.
• He had strung together three straight 100-yard receiving games (141 vs. MSU, 129 vs. Montana, 122 vs. UNC) that year, coming within one of tying the school record held by Sean Creadick (2010), TONY KAYS (2005) and Michael Oliva (2001)... He missed it by just eight yards after gaining 92 at Northern Arizona in Week 9.
• Vargas needs 35 catches and 42 yards for 100 and 1,000, respectively, in his career.
WADMAN THE WEAPON
• P Colby Wadman had big shoes to fill when school-record holder Colton Schmidt finished in 2012... He is now the punter for the Buffalo Bills... But, Wadman has done just fine, thank you, and is on his way to also becoming one of the program’s all-time bests.
• Through three seasons, Wadman is averaging 40.2 yards per kid and ranks third all-time.
• Wadman averaged 40.6 yards last season, had a best of 61 yards, kicked 13 over 50 yards, had 22 of 57 total result in fair catches and landed 17 inside the 20.
• He punted eight times last week for a 43.2 avg.
• Wadman was named All-Big Sky honorable mention as a sophomore in 2014.
• UC Davis was voted selected 23th by the head coaches and 12th by the media in the Big Sky’s preseason polls released in July.
• Northern Arizona, which lost to UC Davis last season, was the pick by both the coaches and media to win the conference race this fall.
• No Aggies were selected to the 29-player Preseason All-Big Sky team.
GETTING IT DONE IN THE CLASSROOM
• The Aggies posted an NCAA Academic Progress Rate of 981 to lead the Big Sky Conference for the fourth consecutive year... The distinction earned them an APR Award from the FCS Athletics Directors Association for the fourth straight year.
• UC Davis has increased its APR each year during the impressive run and owns the second-longest active streak of APR Awards. (Bryant University has won five straight).
• The APR measures student-athlete retention and eligibility and helps provide a real-time mark of classroom performance.
• The Aggies also had an NCAA graduation success rate of 83 percent in the most recent report, marking the second straight year they’ve led the Big Sky in that measurement as well... For the record, the entire UC Davis athletics program had a graduation rate of 88 percent... The program has led the Big West four straight years and seven of eight since reclassifying to NCAA Div. I in 2007-08.
GOULD PRODUCES RBs
• Head coach Ron Gould turned out a bevy of outstanding running backs during his 16-year career as an assistant/associate head coach at Cal prior to joining UC Davis in 2012.
• His former players form a ‘who’s who’ of NFL standouts: Marshawn Lynch (Seattle), Shane Vereen (N.Y. Giants), Justin Forsett (Baltimore) and C.J. Anderson (Denver)... FB Will Ta’ufo’ou was most recently with Jacksonville... Retired RB Jahvid Best (Detroit) was another outstanding Cal player.
• Gould brought his expertise to UC Davis where he’s already turned out one of the Aggies’ all-time best with former RB GABE MANZANARES who gained 2,116 career yards, was named the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year in 2014 and twice earned all-conference recognition in 2013-14.
• The last three Super Bowl winners have had a Gould-coached running back. (Lynch, Vereen, Anderson)
• JIM SOCHOR, the winningest coach (156 wins) in school history, helped spawn the careers of several notable current head coaches including CHRIS PETERSEN (Washington) and GARY PATTERSON (TCU) who were both on staff... Additionally, Petersen was a QB for UC Davis in the mid-1980s... Former coaches to move through the Aggies as players and/or coaches include MIKE BELLOTTI (Oregon), NICK ALIOTTI (Oregon def. coord.) and PAUL HACKETT (NFL, college).
• Hackett’s son, Nathaniel, played for UC Davis from 1999-2002 before moving on to a successful coaching career as the offensive coordinator at Syracuse and the Buffalo Bills... He’s currently the QB coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
ROOT FOR THE AGGIES AGAIN
• UC Davis will be featured on ROOT SPORTS for the fifth consecutive year as part of the DirecTV regional network’s partnership with the Big Sky... In all, 10 league games will be showcased throughout the 2016 season.
• The Aggies will visit Eastern Washington (Oct. 1) and Montana State (Nov. 12) as part of the package... This is the first year since joining the Big Sky that UC Davis will not host a game that appears on ROOT Sports.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
• The Aggies request media properly refer to the school’s name when referencing the university... The correct name is “UC Davis”... Please note the refreshing lack of hyphens and periods... “California-Davis”, “Cal-Davis”, “U.C. Davis”, “UC-Davis” and similar combinations of letters and punctuation are also incorrect.
COMING UP NEXT
• UC Davis returns to the road next week when it travels to face Wyoming for the first time... This is the third straight year the Aggies have played two FBS opponents in the same season... Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. (Pacific).
• The Aggies are 2-15 against FBS foes since 2005 and have lost nine in a row.