Aggies Look To Rebound Against Portland State

UC Davis will host Portland State on Saturday.
UC Davis will host Portland State on Saturday.

Sept. 8, 2005

Complete game notes IN PDF Format


UC Davis looks to rebound from an opening week loss to highly ranked New Hampshire when the Aggies host Portland State in a regionally televised game (Comcast SportsNet) on Saturday evening at Toomey Field... UC Davis has not lost two games at home to start a season since 1997 when Cal Poly and South Dakota State came to Toomey Field and left with victories... The Aggies last opened a season with two home matchups in 2000, outscoring New Mexico Highlands and Eastern Oregon 107-20 in a pair of wins... Portland State marks the first of three Big Sky Conference teams on the schedule... The Aggies went 2-1 against Big Sky teams last year.

Portland State leads the all-time series between the schools, 5-1, including a 38-21 victory in Portland last season... The Vikings jumped to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter of that contest and were up 31-7 at halftime before a pair of Aggie touchdowns in the third quarter cut the deficit to 31-21... RB Ryan Fuqua rushed for 149 yards to lead Portland State, which scored three touchdowns in a span of three minutes in the first quarter... UC Davis had six turnovers in the game, including four interceptions... RB Nelson Doris had 118 rushing yards for the Aggies... UC Davis won the first game between the schools in 1974 but have lost the last five.

All UC Davis games can be heard on KTHK (Sports 1140AM) for the 10th consecutive season... Steve Buzzard (play-by-play), Doug Kelly (color) and Scott Marsh (sidelines, studio) headline the veteran crew... KHTK is also the home of the weekly "Bob Biggs Show" which can be heard on Thursdays during the 7 p.m. hour of the Jim Kozimor Showgram... Games can also be heard on KDVS (90.3 FM) student radio with Andrew Tomsky (play-by-play), Josh Koehn (color) and Angela DaPrato (sidelines) calling the action... Simulcasts of the KHTK broadcasts can also be heard live on the internet at

For the second consecutive season, UC Davis will have home games televised on Comcast SportsNet West... The regional sports network will televise this weekend's game against Portland State as well as Cal Poly on Oct. 29... Last season, Comcast SportsNet televised UC Davis home games against Sacramento State and North Dakota State as well as selected men's and women's basketball and baseball contests... The broacasters for this weekend's game have not been announced... Actual kickoff time on Saturday will be 6:07 p.m. to accomodate television.

Tickets for all Aggie home games can be purchased at Toomey Field prior to the game or in advance at the UC Davis Ticket Office (530/752-1915)... Reserved seats are $15, general admission are $10, seniors (55+) are $7, and UC Davis undergraduates and children under 5 are free... Group tickets and season ticket packages are also available.

With the transition to Division I comes more attention from national media and, as a result, more media outlets referring to UC Davis in a number of different manners. Simply, the university is either "UC Davis" or "University of California, Davis"... Incorrect references we have seen in media outlets: California-Davis, Cal-Davis, U.C. Davis, Cal St. Davis, Davis State and U.C.-Davis... The Aggies thank you for helping them make a new name for themselves on the field only.

Portland State head coach Tim Walsh enters his 13th year with the Vikings and has a 77-60 record... The former Sonoma State coach (1989-92) is 104-74 and in his 17th year overall... He is Portland State's all-time leader in victories (78), and games coached (137) and has led the Vikings to four NCAA appearances, including three at the Division II level and the 2001 I-AA playoffs... UC Davis head coach Bob Biggs (UC Davis '73) owns a 102-39-1 (.722) record in his 13th year at the helm of the Aggies... Biggs earned his 100th career win last year when the Aggies beat Northern Colorado 30-20... He is the second-winningest coach in the history of the program, trailing only Jim Sochor (1970-88) who had 156 victories... Biggs is 55-15-1 (.782) at Toomey Field, 35-22-0 (.614) against Div. I teams, and 29-14-1 (.671) in September... He led UC Davis to eight NCAA Div. II Playoff berths, including seven straight.

The Vikings, like UC Davis, scheduled a Pac-10 team on their 2005 season, opening the year with a 41-14 loss at Oregon State last Saturday... The Vikings trailed just 10-7 more than halfway through the second quarter before the Beavers rattled off 24 straight points to take a 34-14 lead in the third... RB Joe Rubin ran for 113 yards on 28 carries, accounting for all but 13 of the Vikings' rushing yards... QB Sawyer Smith threw for 174 yards and a TD...MLB D.J. Robinson had a team-high nine tackles while LCB Dominic Dixon had an interception... Rubin rushed for 825 yards last year while Smith saw limited action (6 total atts.) at QB... WR Shaun Bodiford led the team with 40 receptions for 587 yards while S Joey King had 63 tackles... Dixon is one of three returnees who had two interceptions last season... The Vikings, 7-4 overall and 4-3 in the Big Sky in 2004, averaged 373.8 ypg in total offense last year and gave up 346.3... They are also coming off a season where they averaged 204.4 rushing yards.

CB Nevan Bergan earned Great West Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday after doubling his career total with a pair of interceptions during Saturday's game against New Hampshire... Bergan, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound junior from San Diego, picked off his first pass in the second quarter, returning it 13 yards, and then grabbed another in the fourth quarter which he took back 25 yards... Bergan also finished with six total tackles, including four solo... He was part of an Aggie defense which held the high-powered New Hampshire offense to just three points until late in the game.

WR Tony Kays made the most of his 2005 debut, tying a 14-year-old school record with 12 catches and marking his career-best in receiving yards with 135... Kays, who had seven snags in the first half, had three catches for 51 yards during the Aggies' final drive which gave them a brief 13-10 lead with 1:31 to play... His dozen catches tied the record set by WR Josh Weinstock against Chico State in 1991... Kays' previous best for receptions was six, which he did four times last year including three of the last four games... His previous high for yards was 116 at Cal Poly last season, the final 14 yards which came on a TD pass from QB Jon Grant in the waning seconds that gave the Aggies a dramatic 36-33 win over the No.5 Mustangs.

It' may sound like a cliche but UC Davis beat New Hampshire just about everywhere but where it counts the most - the score. UC Davis had more first downs (24-21), rushing yards (124-81), total offense (438-417), sacks (2-1) and possession time (35:11-24:49)... Additionally, the Aggie defense did a stellar job against New Hampshire, allowing it to convert just one third-down in 11 tries... However, UC Davis had one more turnover (5-4) and one less conversion in the red-zone (3-2) which helped the Wildcats pull out the win.

QB Jon Grant returns to field general duties for the second straight year after a standout sophomore season that landed him on the All-Great West Conference first team... Grant had a pair of 300-yard games in 2004, including a career-bet 393 yards in UC Davis' 36-33 upset at No.5 Cal Poly late in the season... He capped that effort by finding WR Tony Kays on a 14-yard TD pass with 13 seconds to help grab the win... Grant finished with 2,512 yards, 17 TDs and had a 142.8 passing rating, which would've ranked him 15th among I-AA QB's... He also had 311 yards at Weber State... Against New Hampshire on Saturday, Grant picked up his third 300-yard game with the help of a career-high 26 completions... He has an uncharacteristic seven interceptions over his last two games dating back to last year, after having just six career picks prior to that.

Head coach Bob Biggs knew his 2004 signing class would make contributions but those redshirt freshmen are already big cogs in the Aggies' lineup... Two of them - RG Jonathan Compas and SLB Joshua Edwards - are listed as starters on the most-recent two-deep while seven other positions have a total of six redshirt freshmen listed as backups... OL Mario Gonzalez (6-1, 285) is backing up left guard and center and Max Chesmore (6-4, 275) is doing the same at right tackle... Backup WR Brandon Rice hauled in a one-yard TD pass from QB Jon Grant with 1:31 left on Saturday as UC Davis took a 13-10 lead... On the defensive side of the ball, LE Thomas Blake, RT John Faletoese and FS Nero Evero are also key backups.

It's nice to have your top tackler return and maybe even your top two. But the Aggies welcome back their top three stoppers to help anchor an active defensive unit... All three were honored by the Great West Football Conference last year... MLB Dan Elbanna had 84 total tackles and DT Ryan Sharp posted 49 on their way to second-team all-league honors while WLB Ben Reece finished with 53 and was selected honorable mention... The trio also combined for 7.5 sacks and 30 tackles-for-losses.

You don't average 400 yards off offense (as the Aggies did in 2004) without a strong line, and you don't do that year after year without some continuity in the ranks... This season, UC Davis returns just two starters in LG Kyle Skierski (6-5, 265, Jr.) and RT Elliot Vallejo (6-8, 295, Jr.) but looks to continue standout play with talented youth... LT Greg Bellasis (6-6, 272, So.), C Timothy Keane (6-4, 280, Jr.) and RG Jonathan Compas (6-3, 265, RFr.) will help form a non-senior offensive line for the Aggies in 2005... UC Davis lost three starters from 2004, including standouts LT Cory Lekkerkerker and C Marc Manfredda... Lekkerkerker was signed to a free-agent NFL contract while Manfredda was selected for the East-West Shrine Game.

No one can accuse UC Davis of ducking behind the cover of an easy schedule... With nonconference games against a pair of I-AA quarterfinalists from last year in UNH and Eastern Washington, a road game at Pac-10 member Stanford, a long trip to Nacogoches, Texas, to face Stephen F. Austin, and games against Big Sky Conference members Sacramento State and Portland State, it's easy to see why Matt Dougherty (exec. director of I-AA football for The Sports Network), ranked UC Davis' the second-toughest nonleague slate in the country... Two opponents - Portland State and Cal Poly - ranked second and third, respectively... The toughest? Appalachian State who has I-A games against Kansas and LSU on their plate.

Among the streaks UC Davis enters the season with: · 35 consecutive winning seasons (fourth-longest active streak in collegiate football, and best among non-Div. III programs.) · 35 consecutive non-losing seasons. · Having scored in 168 straight games... The last shutout was 19-0 vs. Cal Poly in 1990. · Having not had less than 200 yards in total offense (according to our records) since a 30-12 loss to Nevada in 1969... That's 389 games.

Charter members of the GWFC, UC Davis begins its second season of competition in the six-team league which also consists of Cal Poly, Northern Colorado, North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Southern Utah... Cal Poly and Southern Utah are Div. I-AA members while the others are in the process of reclassifying to I-AA... Cal Poly claimed the inaugural conference championship with a 4-1 record while UC Davis finished alone in second at 3-2... UC Davis punt returner Jesse Oliva was tabbed Special Teams Player of the Year... Aggie returnees honored by the league: QB Jon Grant (first team), DT Ryan Sharp (second), DE Pila Fatukala (second), MLB Dan Elbanna (second), WR Tony Kays (honorable mention) and WLB Ben Reece (HM)... The conference affiliation is the first for UC Davis since the American West Conference (1993) and the fourth overall (Far Western Conference, 1925-81; Northern California Athletic Conference, 1982-92).

When UC Davis faces Stanford on Sept. 17 at Stanford Stadium, it'll mark the Aggies' first matchup against a Div. I-A team since a 44-14 defeat at Idaho in 1997... UC Davis trailed just 23-14 with 53 seconds left in the third quarter of that game but a pair of fourth-quarter turnovers helped the Vandals pull away... The Aggies last played Stanford in 1932, a 59-0 win for Stanford... UC Davis did face the Stanford reserves four times between 1946 and 1950.

Will the real "Ryan Smith" please stand up? How about the real "Chris Carter"? This season, UC Davis has a pair of each, although Ryan Smith and Chris Carter are both redshirting. They're also both on the active roster. Confused? Yeah, me too. Actually, it's true that one of each pair of names is redshirting but WR Ryan Smith (the senior) - the one on the active roster - is making things easier by going by his middle name this season: Blaise (pronounced "Blaze", appropriate for a receiver)... As for the older Chris Carter, he's a linebacker and has made no mention of altering his moniker.... yet... This is the first time UC Davis has had two sets of players with the same name, let alone two pairs.

TE Daniel Fells was named a preseason first-team All-American by The Sports Network and was third-team pick by

For a while, it looked like UC Davis' run to a 35th consecutive winning season would be no problem... The Aggies vaulted to a 5-0 record, steadily climbing the national polls until peaking at No.21 by both major rankings at the midway point of the season... UC Davis was averaging 45 ppg. and outscoring opponents by nearly 31 ppg... But narrow losses to Stephen F. Austin and Southern Utah gave the Aggies their first two-game losing streak in the same season since 1997... However, a dramatic 36-33 win at No.5 Cal Poly in the eighth game brought home the winning season before losses to North Dakota State and Portland State cooled the end of the season.

UC Davis players elect their team captains following the final game of the previous season and select two from the offense and two from the defense... The 2005 captains are WR Tony Kays, TE Daniel Fells, DT Ryan Sharp and MLB Dan Elbanna... Kays is a junior while the others are seniors.

On the loss to New Hampshire:

"I thought our defensive effort was just tremendous given the explosiveness of their offense. It's unfortunate we didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had. I think that the missed opportunities with the extra points, field goals and being in the red-zone and not being being able to convert, throwing the interception, really came back to haunt us. We couldn't expect our defense to hold their offense down forever and so it's not too unexpected that they were able to put those two drives together at the end. It's just unfortunate we just hadn't made plays earlier that came back to haunt us."

On what he learned about UC Davis in its opener:
"(It's) what I knew about this team, that they have tremendous character. They played their hearts out and deserved to have a chance to win that game, they really did. Hopefully we can take some positives from this and know that we can compete with ranked teams and really there's nobody on our schedule, I don't think, we can't compete with. So, if we just continue to play as hard as we play and cut down on the mistakes, we have a chance to be in every game.

On last year's game against Portland State:
"Once we settled down and started to play, we played them very even. We just dug too big a hole for ourselves to dig out of... They've lost some key people from last year but they seem to be always able to reload."

On the 2005 schedule:
"It's a difficult schedule but it's a measuring stick and that's what we want. We want to find out what it takes to be one of the elite or top I-AA teams. I think it helps us in recruiting in terms of what kind of players we're recruiting. And I think we're playing with a lot of young players this year so it gives us a chance to build for the future."

UC Davis' success on the football can be traced in a major way to the continuity of its staff... Five members of the coaching staff have completed 109 "coaching-years" together, having been together the last 17 seasons... Bob Biggs (27 total years, 12 as head coach), Fred Arp (39th year), Lou Bronzan (22nd year) Mike Moroski (18th year) and Greg Chapla (17th year) make up the impressive group... Oh, and they're all graduates of UC Davis.

The Aggies venture into the world of Div. I-AA football having been one of the most successful Div. II programs... UC Davis finished its Div. II run in 2002 with seven consecutive playoff appearances, including national semifinal showings in 200 and 2001... The Aggies finished with a Div. II-record 18 playoff appearances (one ahead of GWFC rival North Dakota State) and a berth in the 1982 NCAA Championship where UC Davis lost to Southwest Texas State (34-9)... Additionally, the Aggies set Div. II records for most consecutive winning seasons and non-losing seasons, both 34... UC Davis extended both streaks to 35 with a 6-4 record last year, its first playing a Div. I-AA schedule.

Three UC Davis football players began this year, including QB J.T. O'Sullivan (1998-2001) who was with the Green Bay Packers before being released this weekend and then quickly signed by the Chicago Bears... Brothers Brad Lekkerkerker (Oakland Raiders) and Corey Lekkerkerker (San Diego), both offensive tackles, were also in camps before being released and then resigned to their teams' practice squads over the weekend... Brad played at UC Davis in 2002-03 while Corey played 2003-04... Both were undrafted... O'Sullivan was a sixth-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2002... Since 1979, UC Davis has had seven QB's drafted into the NFL... Additonally, Khari Jones (1991-93) has enjoyed a long career in the Canadian Football League where he is a former winner of the league MVP award... He is currently with the Hamilton Tiger Cats... Mark Grieb (1994-96) has been a standout QB with the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League and was the 2002 AFL MVP.

UC Davis is beginning its third year of a four-year reclassification to NCAA Division I status... Officially, UC Davis (like all other institutions currently reclassifying) is a Div. II institution until its first active year of Div. I (for UC Davis, that's in 2007-08)... However, the university was required to follow all NCAA Div. I rules and regulations, including those governing scheduling, beginning in 2004-05... Similarly, UC Davis began counting last year as a Div. I team for its opponents strength-of-schedule purposes, started to be included in Div. I stats, and has been added to most media coverage of Div. I athletics, primarily because of its competition... UC Davis will become official members of the Big West Conference in 2007-08 but has been fully integrated into regular-season scheduling in all its member sports.

It started during the last game of the 1949 home season and - if all goes to plan - will end during the final game of the 2005 season... What is it? The Aggies' calling Toomey Field home... That's because UC Davis is scheduled to move into its new multi-use stadium (it'll share it with women's lacrosse) beginning with the 2006 season... The campus officially broke ground on the $29.75 million stadium in June and excavation is currently taking place at the site, located on the northwest side of campus adjacent to the Schaal Aquatics Center... The stadium is scheduled to open with approximately 10,000 seats and numerous amenities... With weather always a factor in building, the Aggies will be hoping Mother Nature cooperates on the tight schedule... A $7.7 million capital campaign to help complete funding for Phase I of the stadium is currently taking place.

All UC Davis games can also be also be heard free of charge at Live stats from all home games can also be accessed through the website along with complete results, statistics, rosters and other information on all 26 Aggie sports.