Aggies finish nonconference schedule at Hawai'i

Manusamoa Luuga leads the Aggies in rushing yards and receptions.
Sept. 16, 2015

UC DAVIS FOOTBALL GAME NOTES - Game 3 at Hawai'i
Sat., Sept. 19 • 9 p.m. (PDT)
Honolulu, Hawaii • Aloha Stadium (50,000)

Notes: UC Davis | Hawaii | Big Sky
Gameday links: Audio | Video | Live Stats | Twitter (in-game updates)

Aggie Information Guide

OPENING KICKOFF
• UC Davis returns to the road, making its fourth try for the 500th win in program history... The Aggies are 499-400-33 (.620) since 1915, playing everyone from the U.S.S Boston (W,19-0) in 1919 to No. 5 Boise State (L,34-16) in 2009.
• The Aggies return to Hawaii to play the Rainbow Warriors for just the second time ever and the first time since falling 56-14 in 2011... It’s also the second Mountain West Conference opponent for UC Davis this season and marks the final nonconference game of the year.
• UC Davis is playing two FBS opponents in the same season for the second straight year and fourth time since 2009.
• Saturday’s game has the late-night kickoff time of 9 p.m. (PDT) and will be streamed through the Mountain West Network... Links will be available on www.ucdavisaggies.com.
• After covering 4,924 roundtrip miles to the Aloha State this week, the Aggies will add 2,768 during next week’s haul to North Dakota,   bringing their two-week travels to 7,962... It’s reminiscent of the start of 2006 when UC Davis covered 10,968 miles with five straight road games (Northern Colorado, TCU, Montana St., Youngstown St., Cal Poly).
• QB Ben Scott has spread the ball around through the first two games, hitting 11 different receivers with at least two catches each.
• A week after not turning the ball over against Nevada, the Aggies had four turnovers (3 int., 1 fum) against South Dakota, just their third time with at least three miscues since the start of 2014.
• WR Chris Martin posted a career-high five catches for a career-best 121 yards against South Dakota... Included was a 75-yard TD reception from QB Ben Scott, the program’s longest TD pass since 2004.
• K Brady Stuart was good from 40 yards last weekend, his fifth consecutive made field goal going back to last season and his longest since hitting from 41 against Montana State midway through 2014... He added two extra-points, giving him 100 for his career and solidifying his No. 5 spot in the Aggies’ annals.
• UC Davis remains perfect in the red-zone (4 for 4), but made just one trip inside the 20 against the Coyotes... The Aggies are 14 for 14 over their last four games.
• A season after being ranked fifth in the FCS for fewest penalties at 4.45 pg, UC Davis is currently T-33rd at 5.50... They were flagged seven times for 73 yards against South Dakota, their highest total since 7-for-82 against Fort Lewis in the second game last season.

LAST MEETING
• Hawai’i dominated the only other meeting between the programs by jumping to a 14-0 lead barely three minutes into the game, a 28-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter and then 49-0 bulge at halftime... The final score was 56-14.
• RB Nick Aprile had a 1-yard TD run and WR ANTHONY SOTO – now responsible for offensive quality control for the Aggies – caught a 21-yard scoring pass from QB Randy Wright.
• UC Davis was outgained, 637-196, had just 49 rushing yards and had four turnovers in the game played at Aloha Stadium.

NOTES FROM SOUTH DAKOTA
• The Aggies held a possession time advantage for the second straight game (31:13-28:47) but did not have an advantage more than a minute in any particular quarter.
• UC Davis was 6 for 16 on third down but couldn’t capitalize on the Coyotes going 0 for 9.
• The Aggies allowed four sacks in a game for the first time since the 2014 opener at Stanford... Saturday’s sacks totaled 43 yards in losses.
• Their 60 rushing yards (1.9 avg.) were the fewest since only gaining 51 at Northern Colorado in the eighth game last season.
• Sophomore TE Nolan Tooley had a career-high two receptions for 16 yards.
• LB Russell Reeder and S Keleen Culberson each had six tackles with Reeder posting all solo stops... DE Walter Earnest had the Aggies’ lone sack, a 4-yarder against USD QB Ryan Saeger in the first quarter... Earnest had 2.0 TFLs overall.
• CB PATRICK WELL’s interception in the second quarter was the second of his Aggie career.
• USD’s Trevor Bouma’s 168 rushing yards were the most by an opponent since Portland State’s D.J. Adams went for 208 in 2013.

THIRD DOWNS ON UPSWING
• The Aggies struggled on third down last season, converting just 36% of their attempts on offense while allowing 49% on defense.
• Through two games in 2015, those numbers are beginning to reverse themselves... UC Davis is 15 for 34 (44%) on third down so far while allowing a paltry 6 for 19 (32%) on defense.
• The Aggies got off to a good start by making 9 of 18 third-down tries at Nevada and then held South Dakota to 0 for 9 last week.
• UC Davis is ranked 31st in converting third downs in the early season and 27th in defense.

SECOND-HALF SCORING
• Though it’s still a small sample size, UC Davis  has shown a much more propensity to score in the second half compared to the first.
• The Aggies have four touchdowns – two each in the third and fourth quarters – after halftime but have just single field goals in each of the first two quarters.

VARGAS MAKES RUN
• WR Ramon Vargas strung together three straight 100-yard receiving games (141 vs. MSU, 129 vs. Montana, 122 vs. UNC) last season, 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.

UC DAVIS VS. FBS TEAMS
• The Aggies have played at least one FBS team in the past 11 seasons and are 2-12 (.143) during that time.
• Their wins came in 2005 at Stanford (20-17) and in 2010 at San Jose State (14-13).
• UC Davis is 29-49-6 (.381) all-time against current members of the Mountain West Conference... It’ll add to that list in 2015 with a game at Wyoming and in 2017 at San Diego State.

TEAM CAPTAINS
• OL Parker Smith and SS Keleen Culberson will serve as team captains during the 2015 season... It is each of their first years serving in the leadership role.
• The Aggies will have two other captains each game... Those will be selected on a game-by-game basis... This week’s captains will be DE Walter Earnest and WR Chris Martin.

GREAT SCOTT! WHAT A START
• QB Ben Scott had one game and five career passes prior to starting his first game when the Aggies hosted Montana State last season.
• All he did was go 27 of 46 for 379 yds and 4 TDs... They were the most yards by a UC Davis QB in their debut start and tied for 23rd most in a game... Scott also had a 31-yard run, the longest by an Aggie since J.T. O’Sullivan in 2001.
• Scott’s passing yardage tied him with former Aggie QB and current offensive coordinator Kevin Daft (vs. Sac State in 1997).

SMITH GETS 0-LINE CYCLE
• OL Parker Smith played both right and left guard earlier during his Aggie career before starting last season at right tackle for injured teammate Christian Schneider.
• Another injury to former OL Jay Luchetti moved him over to center for the balance of 2014 where he earned All-Big Sky honorable mention.
• Smith completes the cycle in 2015 by taking his talents to left tackle where he’ll face the opponent’s top rusher while protecting QB BEN SCOTT’s blindside... Smith, called the Aggies’ best lineman by head coach Ron Gould, replaces Ian Joseph who started all 45 games of his UC Davis career prior to graduating.

LOOKING TO KICK BACK
• Senior K Brady Stuart needs five field goals to tie Sean Kelley (44, 2008-11) for No. 2 on the Aggies’ career list and is eight away from leader EDDIE LORETTO (47, 1985-88).
• Stuart was well on his way to both after making a school-record 17 in 2013 and earning All-Big Sky third-team honors... He was just 5 of 11 last year while also moving up on career attempts (3rd, 57), PATs (7th, 92) and PAT attempts (7th, 96).
• The end of the 2014 season provided renewed optimism with Stuart making his final three attempts (28, 24 vs. CP; 32 vs. Sac St.).

CULBERSON BREAKS OUT
• S Keleen Culberson flew under the radar with a redshirt year in 2012 and a injury depleted campaign in 2013... But, 2014 proved to be his coming-out party after the junior posted a team-high 73 tackles... He also led the team in solo stops (47) and assisted tackles (26).
• His 13 tackles (10 solo) helped key a 48-35 win at Cal Poly in the “Battle for the Golden Horseshoe” and were second-most on the team last year... Culberson averaged 9.5 tackles during a four-game stretch late in the year.

CANNON GETS 6TH YEAR
• WR ALEX CANNON may be the fastest player on the Aggies and he’ll get a chance to prove it one more year after receiving a clock extension from the NCAA for a sixth year.
• Cannon received medical hardship waivers after suffering season-ending injuries for the 2011 and 2013 seasons, leading to the successful petition for another season of eligibility.
• He enters the 2015 campaign with 28 catches for 484 yards and a touchdown in his career.

WADMAN A TOP PUNTER
• P Colby Wadman has followed a tough act with a tough one of his own... He replaced All-Big Sky punter Colton Schmidt (now starting for the Buffalo Bills) and averaged 40.0 yds through 125 punts over two seasons.
• His 42.3 average (rounded from 42.26) last year is fourth-best for a season, barely trailing BILL INGRAM (42.28)... Schmidt (44.5, 42.3) is 1-2 on the single-season list.
• Wadman is on pace to become just the third Aggie to average 40.0 yds for a career... He ranked fifth in the Big Sky, which is loaded with good punters, and 14th in FCS.
• Wadman put a third of his 54 punts inside the 20 in 2014, had 13 fair-caught and posted a long of 65 yards... He earned Big Sky honorable mention for the second straight year.

WRIGHT GOES LONG
• KR Shamawn Wright ranked 24th in FCS last year with a 24.0-yd kick return average... He had an 89-yard TD against Ft. Lewis, the Aggies’ first since 2012... Wright ranked 27th nationally for average while his score tied him for fourth.

STAFF PHOTO GETS NEW SMILES
• Head coach Ron Gould welcomed three new faces to the coaching staff photo and five new smiles overall with the addition of WES NURSE (cornerbacks), JIM CHAPIN (running backs) and David Braun (def. line) during the winter.
• Nurse was on the Aggie staff in 2011 before leaving and returning, Chapin was most recently at Indiana Univ. (Pennsylvania), and Braun spent the last four years at his alma mater of Winona State (Minn.).
• Also joining the Aggies are Matt Ulrich (def. quality control) and Darren Ervin (spec. teams quality control; dir. of player personnel).

‘14 POSTSEASON HONORS
• UC Davis had 10 Aggies recognized by the Big Sky on its postseason honor roll... OL Ian Joseph (1st team) and RB Gabe Manzanares (2nd team) are both graduated... FS CHARLES BOYETT, TE Mark Martindale, LB Steven Pitts and FB Dalton Turay are departed seniors who were each honorable mention.
• OL Parker Smith, QB Ben Scott, WR Ramon Vargas and P Colby Wadman are returners that picked up honorable mention accolades.
PRESEASON POLLS
• UC Davis was voted selected 12th by the head coaches and 11th by the media in the Big Sky’s preseason polls.
• Montana State edged defending champion Eastern Washington for the No. 1 spot from the coaches while the order was reversed in a close media vote.
• No Aggies were selected to the 30-play Preseason All-Big Sky team.

INSTANT REPLAY IS HERE
• The Big Sky has joined a growing number of FCS conferences by adding instant replay to its league games.
• Notable items: All plays will be reviewed by a replay official in the booth but play will not be stopped unless necessary... The game will not be stopped by the replay official if it does not effect the “competitive balance” of the game (although coaches may still challenge the call).
• The presumption is the on-field call is correct and only indisputable video evidence can overturn it.
• Head coaches receive one challenge per game but will get a second one if he is successful on the first... If they lose a challenge, the team will be charged a timeout.

CLASSROOM EXCELLENCE
• The Aggies posted an NCAA Academic Progress Rate of 974 to lead the Big Sky Conference for the third consecutive year... The distinction earned them an APR Award from the FCS Athletics Directors Assocition for the third straight year as well.
• 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 four straight).
• The APR measures student-athlete retention and eligibility and helps provide a real-time mark of classroom performance.

NEW STADIUM TURF
• Aggie Stadium opened for business in 2007 and has new artificial turf for the first time since... Shaw Sports Turf was installed over the summer, providing a marked difference to the FieldTurf that preceded it.
• Most notably, the new turf is 3/4-inch shorter (2” vs. 2.75”) while the turf inlay is equal parts sand and rubber, compared to the all-rubber inlay previously.
• Visually, the turf alternates shades of green every five yards, except for a 10-yard stretch of dark green at midfield that serves as the background for the traditional Mustang C logo.
• The endzones are blue with “Vegas gold” lettering... The campus’ official UC Davis wordmark is in the south endzone while “Aggies” is in the north.
• The 105,000-square foot playing surface, which is also home to the Aggies’ women’s lacrosse team and features its playing lines, was installed by ProSpectra Contract Flooring and was funded through the Facilities And Campus Enhancement Initiative (F.A.C.E.) passed by undergraduates in 1999.

ARP CONTINUES GAME STREAK
Fred Arp coached the defensive line at UC Davis from 1967-2007, becoming not only one of the most beloved Aggie coaches in school history, but turned out some of the best players the program has ever seen.
• The purveyor of “Club Fred” – as his players called their position group – only missed one game as a coach and that was for the birth of his son, Ben.
• Otherwise, Arp was perfect on the sidelines and that streak continues to this day... Saturday marks his 424th consecutive Aggie game that he’s attended.
• Arp was also a winner of the AFCA Div. II Assistant Coach of the Year Award.

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.
• Currently, his former players form a ‘who’s who’ of NFL standouts: Marshawn Lynch (Seattle), Shane Vereen (New York 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.

ROOT FOR THE AGGIES
• UC Davis will be featured on ROOT SPORTS for the fourth 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 2015 season.
• The Aggies will host Montana on Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. as part of the package... UC Davis also hosted ROOT SPORTS games against Montana (2013) and Montana State (2012, 2014) and were shown last season at Portland State as well... UC Davis is 0-5 in ROOT SPORTS games.

COACHING TREE
• 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.

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.
• Did we say ‘thank you’? Consider it said.

MARTIN ENJOYS CAREER DAY
• WR Chris Martin had more receiving yards against South Dakota last weekend than he did in his two-year career entering this season.
• Martin caught five passes for 121 yards, surpassing the 117 career yards he had going in. His previous high for catches was two which he’d done three times while his previous best for yards was 33 which came against Idaho State during his freshman season in 2013.
• Martin’s 75-yard TD reception against South Dakota was the Aggies’ longest since RB O.J. SWANIGAN’s 84-yard catch from QB Jon Grant against Weber State in 1984.

AGGIE PROGRAM NEARS 500
• UC Davis needs one win to reach 500 in the 100-year history of the program. The Aggies have been stuck on 499 since beating Cal Poly in the 10th game of last season.
• UC Davis did not play games in 1918 or from 1943-45 and have used 16 head coaches to amass those wins... JACK GLASCOCK (1-2; 1917) has the fewest while JIM SOCHOR (156-41-5) has the most.  

HISTORICAL STREAKS
• Some notable streaks have been associated with the UC Davis football program through the years:
• 37 - Consecutive winning seasons from 1970-2006... The first 35 came when the Aggies were officially playing as a Div. II program and still stands as the Div. II record.
• 20 - Consecutive years (1971-1993) of either winning outright or sharing a conference championship during UC Davis’ tenure in the Far Western Conference, Northern California Athletic Conference and American West Conference.
• 442 - Consecutive games from 1969-2010 that the Aggies had at least 200 yards of total offense.

PRO FOOTBALL CONNECTIONS
• UC Davis currently has two players in the NFL and another in the CFL.
• TE Daniel Fells is currently with the New York Giants where he opened the season with three catches for 33 yards against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday... He’s played for five different teams since breaking into the league in 2006.
Colton Schmidt is in his second season as the starting punter for the Buffalo Bills and earned rave reviews from head coach Rex Ryan following the team’s win over the Indianapolis Colts... Schmidt averaged a career-high 50.4 yards on five punts.
• Neither Fells nor Schmidt were drafted after their UC Davis careers... Schmidt had training camp stints with the San Francisco 49ers in both 2013 and 2014 while Fells broke in with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006.
• Up north, WR Bakari Grant has 25 catches for 389 yards and 4 TDs for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this season... He has 232 receptions for 2,924 yards and 16 TDs since joining the league in 2011.
• For the record, the last UC Davis player drafted into the NFL was QB J.T. O’SULLIVAN in 2002.

AGGIES, ROTC FORM BOND
• UC Davis players carry three items when entering the field during pregame... The first is a sledgehammer which is carried by the Aggies’ special teams player of the week.
• The team also brings an American flag onto the field as well as a flag representing the Forged Gold Battalion ROTC at UC Davis.
• The ROTC and the Aggies formed a bond during the preseason when they combined for leadership “boot camp” on Sunday, Aug. 9.
• The players had been told they’d have Sundays off during preseason camp but were then told the night of Aug. 8 to report to Toomey Field at 5 a.m. the next morning... It was there that they learned and experienced the dedication and leadership of the Army ROTC.

LOOKING AHEAD
• UC Davis stays on the road for next week’s game at the University of North Dakota, which also brings the start of the Big Sky schedule.
• The Aggies hold a 4-2 all-time series lead over UND and are 1-1 in Grand Forks, N.D.... The loss came during the 2001 NCAA Div. II playoff semifinals.
• UC Davis won 35-16 in 2010 in its most recent visit to the Alerus Center.

The Last Meeting
UC Davis14
Hawai'i56
September 24, 2011
Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawai'i Uses Early Lead To Top UC Davis, 56-14
Bryant Moniz passed for 424 yards and seven touchdowns in the first half alone and Royce Pollard added 145 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the opening half, as Hawai'i jumped out to a 49-0 lead at the intermission before a final 56-14 win over UC Davis at Aloha Stadium.