UC Davis Welcomes Portland State to Aggie Stadium

Gabe Manzanares is the Aggies' leading rusher so far this season.

Sept. 18, 2013

UC Davis game notes | Portland State game notes | Live Audio | Live Video | Twitter in-game updates 

Portland State (2-1) at UC Davis (0-3)

Saturday, Sept. 21 • 6 pm (kickoff 6:06)  • Davis, Calif.
Aggie Stadium (10,849; Shaw Sports Turf)
TV - None
Radio - KHTK (1140 AM) • Pregame begins at 5:30 pm • KDVS (90.3 FM)
Live Video: www.WatchBigSky.com (Free)

Series Record: Portland State leads 8-4
Live Audio: www.ucdavisaggies.com
Last Meeting: Oct. 27, 2012; PSU won 49-21
Last Meeting Location: Davis, Calif.
Longest Aggie Win Streak: 3 (2007-09)
Last Aggie Win: 34-31 (10/24/09 in Portland)
Last Viking Win: Oct. 27, 2012; PSU won 49-21
Longest PSU Win Streak: 6 (1975-2005)

UC Davis and Portland State meet for the eighth time since 2004, including the third straight meeting at Aggie Stadium when they renew their rivalry - which dates back to 1974 - on Saturday... The game is the second consecutive nonconference matchup against a Big Sky Conference opponent and is the last non-league game before conference action begins next week... The Aggies are winless after three games for the first time since 1979 (0-2-1) and are 0-3 for the first time since 1965 when they started 0-4... Despite the rough start, UC Davis features the 33rd-ranked defense, allowing 337.3 ypg... Only two other winless teams (No. 28 Hampton, No. 42 Mississippi Valley State) are ranked among the top 50 defensive teams... The Aggies have been particularly tough against the pass, giving up just 161.3 ypg., 24th-best among FCS teams... DE Nick King had 3.0 sacks against Northern Arizona and is ranked ninth nationally (1.3 pg)... He has the fourth-most among all FCS ranked players...  CB Shamawn Wright continues to give UC Davis good field position, averaging 29.0 yards per kick return; best in the Big Sky and 29th among all FCS players... Wright has three of the Aggies’ nine longest plays so far this season.



Saturday’s game will be aired on KHTK-Radio (1140 AM) with UC Davis alum SCOTT MARSH (play-by-play) and DOUG KELLY (analyst) in the booth... They’ll be joined by BILL HERENDA (sidelines)... The pregame show begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be streamed (free) on www.ucdavisaggies.com... Campus station KDVS-Radio (90.3 FM) will also air the game... KHTK’s call will be simulcast on www.ucdavisaggies.com.

There is no television coverage of Saturday’s game...  It will be available, however, free of charge through the Big Sky Conference on www.WatchBigSky.com... A link is available through the schedule page at www.ucdavisaggies.com... All remaining regular season Aggie games will also be available.

The Aggies and Vikings began playing in 1974 when both were members of NCAA Div. II... The teams played just twice before taking a break from 1976 until the 1992 Div. II playoffs... Portland State won six straight before a 26-17 Aggie win at in 2007 started three consecutive wins by UC Davis... UC Davis won the inaugural match, 50-21, which nearly matched Portland State’s 49-21 win in last year’s game... QB Randy Wright threw for 269 yards and 2 TDs in last season’s matchup but PSU rushed for 285 yards and had 540 yards of total offense... The teams were tied 14-14 at half before the Vikings scored 35 of the next 42 points... QB KIERAN McDONOUGH threw for 255 yards while RB DJ ADAMS carried the ball 19 times for 139 yards... Portland State has won the last two games in the series... UC Davis is 2-3 in the series at home including a 1-2 mark at Aggie Stadium. 

Portland State brings one of the nation’s highest-powered offenses to Aggie Stadium on Saturday, one that is ranked among the top eight in five different FCS stat categories: total offense (2nd, 615.7 ypg.), rushing offense (4th, 295.0 ypg.), team passing efficiency (6th, 170.25), scoring offense (43.3 ppg.) and passing offense (320.7 ypg)... Individually, QB KIERAN McDONOUGH is ranked first for passing yards per completion (20.85) and fifth in total offense (328.7 ypg) while WR KASEY CLOSS is fourth for total receiving yards (382) and fifth for receiving yards per game (127.3)... McDonough and Closs hooked up for an 81-yard TD pass on the second play of the game at Cal on Sept. 7 as Portland State took an early lead on the Bears... The Vikings led the game into third quarter before seeing their upset bid fall just short, 37-30... The offense added 622 yards last weekend in an easy 43-6 win over Humboldt State as McDonough threw for 377 yards, 205 of them to Closs... Defensively, the Vikings have been more effective against the rush (127.7 ypg), ranking 26th in the FCS, but have been targeted through the air, ranking 111th  at 340.3 ypg... S DEAN FADDIS has 24 total tackles (20 solo) and an interception while both DT JUNIOR ALEXIS and DE BRYANT LONG share the team lead with 2.5 sacks each... Portland State already has 14 sacks through its first three games and is fourth nationally (4.67)... Its 11.7 TFLs per game is first in the country.

UC Davis held the Lumberjacks to 191 total yards, the first time the Aggies limited an opponent to less than 200 since beating nationally ranked Montana State (194 yds) in 2006... DE Nick King posted a career-high three sacks, beating the two he had at South Dakota State last year... The defense bottled up Payton Award-candidate RB ZACH BAUMAN who was held to 56 yards on 18 carries... The Aggies shut down NAU’s running game overall, giving up just 66 yards and just a 2.1 yards per carry average... UC Davis forced the Lumberjacks to punt on 10 of 13 drives including eight in a row between the second and early fourth quarters (one drive ended the first half)... The passing defense held QB KYREN POE in check, giving up just 125 yards and no gain longer than 19 yards... UC Davis had a season-low 245 yards of total offense and were held to 91 rushing, the first time this season the Aggies gained less than 100... DB LUCKY DOZIER’s 78-yard interception return was the first TD of its kind since Portland State’s LB IAN SLUSS went 31 yards against the Aggies last season... NAU held the ball for 10:01 of the first quarter but the Aggies won the possession time battle the rest of the way, twice having it more than nine minutes in a quarter... With 20 combined punts, it’s easy to see how the third-down conversion numbers correlated: (NAU, 2 of 13; UC Davis 4 of 18)...WR Tom Hemmingsen had a diving 40-yard catch from QB Jimmy Laughrea, the longest play of the game... Laughrea’s 23-yard TD run was the longest run of any kind by an Aggie QB since Matt Engle went 27 yards in a 63-28 loss to visiting Cal Poly in 2007... K BRADY STUART’s 25-yard field goal in the third quarter was his first of the season... The Aggies’ 10 punts were the most since booting 10 at Cal on Sept. 4, 2010.

The Aggies are winless after three games for the first time since 1979 when they started 0-2-1, and are 0-3 for the first time since 1965... The good news? The 1979 team won six of its final seven games to finish 6-3-1 while the 1965 squad, which eventually went to 0-4, won four of its last six and had a respectable 4-6 mark.

When asked during the preseason what kind of offense he would run, head coach Ron Gould only promised the Aggies would try and be balanced... So far, he’s holding to that...  The Aggies have run 178 plays through their first three games; 94 of them (52.8%) have been on the ground and 84 (47.2%) have been via the pass... And as much as UC Davis has had a reputation for being Passing Offensive U., last year posted similar numbers: rush - 52.2%, 47.8% pass.

WR TOM HEMMINGSEN’s two-yard punt return early in the third quarter against Northern Arizona last week was the Aggies’ first of the year... Opponents have punted 18 times - five have been fair caught and one has resulted in a touchback.

UC Davis has made just four trips into the red zone through its first three games... Two of them came at South Dakota while each of the last two games have featured just one... The Aggies have scored twice; a TD against USD and last weekend’s field goal against Northern Arizona... Opponents have 10 red-zone trips and have scored eight times (6 TDs)... They’ve outscored UC Davis 47-10.

The Aggies are averaging 122.0 rushing ypg., and are averaging 3.9 yards per attempt... But, at the top of the charts, RB Gabe Manzanares (4.5), RB Tavior Mowry (4.2) and RB Manusamoa Luuga (6.2) boast solid averages when they touch the ball... Manzanares’ 131 rushing yards lead the team.

UC Davis has posted nine plays of last 28 yards with four of them coming on special teams, and three of those by CB Shamawn Wright who has kickoff returns of 59, 35 and 31 yards... 59 yards also represents the longest pass play of the year (QB Jimmy Laughrea to WR Alex Cannon) at Nevada... RB MANUSAMOA LUUGA’s 46-yard rush at Nevada is the longest of its type this season for the Aggies and came on his first career touch. 

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... Hemmingsen is off to a similar start this season, collecting a team-high nine catches for 103 yards and a touchdown (vs. Nevada)... He has 76 career grabs for 915 yards as he closes in on 100 career catches and 1,000 career 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... He had four catches for 34 yards against Northern Arizona, giving him 71 receptions for 1,005 yards in his career.

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. 

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).

The list of players that are or have recently been on NFL rosters include:

C.J. Anderson (Denver Broncos) Eric Stevens (St. Louis Rams)
Justin Forsett (Jacksonville Jaguars) Shane Vereen (New England Patriots)
Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks) Jahvid Best (Detroit Lions) 
Will Ta’ufo’ou (Jacksonville Jaguars)

LB Jonathan Bias and LB Steven Pitts helped pace the UC Davis defense against Nevada with career-high tackle totals... Bias had 11 stops, three of them solo, and was a nominee for the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week award... Pitts added 11 tackles as well, two of them solo... Bias had eight tackles during his first season on the field in 2012 and had five in this year’s opener... Pitts also had a career-high total last weekend, eclipsing the 10 he had at South Dakota State last season... There efforts against Nevada remain season-highs for the Aggies.

DE Nick King has four sacks so far this season, ranking him second in the Big Sky with a 1.3 pg. average, and ninth in the FCS... His three sacks against Northern Arizona QB KYREN POE last weekend are a career-high, one better than the two he had at South Dakota State last year, best on the team for the 2012 season... With 4.5 TFL’s, King’s ranked 33rd nationally in that category... He 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).

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’ and Cleveland Browns’ preseason camp... 2012 NCAA ranks: 

Net punting - 1st (41.4 avg.)
Kick returns -1st (26.4 avg.)
Kick returns (ind.) - 16. Alex Hines (26.9)
Kick returns (ind.) - 30. Jonathan Perkins (24.9)
Punting (ind.) - 6. COLTON  SCHMIDT (44.5)

Perkins had an 81-yard TD return against Sacramento State in the Causeway Classic, the fifth-longest return for a score in school history.

As noted above, the Aggies led the FCS in kickoff returns in 2012, and 2013 is shaping up to be more of the same... UC Davis, with its 27.4 average per return is already ahead of last year’s mark and is ranked 13rd nationally... CB Shamawn Wright is averaging 29.0 yards per return, ranking him 19th in the FCS... His big return was a 59-yarder which he took at the 1-yard line against Nevada, sprinted up the middle and then cut to the right before finally being stopped deep inside Wolf Pack Territory... It helped set up the Aggies’ lone touchdown... Wright also had a 31-yarder against South Dakota on Aug. 31.

Senior S AARYN JONES is back this year as the Aggies’ top returning tackler from 2012... He had 52 stops to go with an interception during his junior season, finishing third on the team in tackles... He’s wasted little time getting off to a similar start this year, leading UC Davis with nine tackles, eight of them solo, at South Dakota and then posting eight more (six solo) at Nevada... Jones currently leads the Aggies with 24 tackles, including a team-high 18 solo tackles.

The Aggies have found it rough going on third down so far this season, converting just 11 of 43 (28%) opportunities... Opponents are moving the chains at a 36.4% clip (16 of 44), a figure inflated by Nevada which went 11 of 19 (57.9%)... South Dakota and Northern Arizona are a combined 5 of 25 (20%).

UC Davis returns veteran experience on the offensive line in left tackle Ian Joseph and right guard Jimmy Kunkel... Joseph, a 6-6, 300, junior from Placerville is working on a streak of 25 consecutive starts... He was the Aggies’ first freshman full-time start at left tackle in more than a decade when he opened his career at Arizona State in the 2011 opener... Kunkel, a 6-3, 305, senior from Lakehead, Calif., made his Aggie debut in the 2010 opener at Cal but began his starting streak the same game as Joseph in 2011, putting his run at 25 games as well.

Similar courtesy of consecutive streaks can be said of the Aggies’ defensive backfield as well... CB Jonathan Perkins, who earned All-Big Sky Conference honorable mention accolades last year, has started the last 35 games going back to his redshirt freshman season.... He was an All-Great West Conference second-team pick in 2010 before gaining Big Sky honors last year... Perkins is a senior from Gardena, Calif.....  Dre Allen, a senior from Compton, Calif., has started 14 consecutive games including all 11 last year... Allen has 14 career starts. 

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 All-Big Sky Teams - FB Dalton Turay, TE Taylor Sloat, DE Nick King AND CB Jonathan Perkins.

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).

College Sports Madness Preseason All-Big Sky Teams - TE Taylor Sloat (2nd team), DE Nick King (3rd team), CB Jonathan Perkins (third team).

College Football Performance Awards Watch Lists - Tight ends: Taylor Sloat; Placekickers: Brady Stuart; Kick returners: Jonathan Perkins.

UC Davis has 100 players on its roster and if 99 of them ever need to find a ride home during vacation, they will very likely have a teammate that’s from a nearby locale... That’s because 99 percent (that’s 99 of 100) of the Aggies’ roster is home-grown from California... Freshman LB Xavier Griggs is the lone player who might have to scramble for a ride since he hails from Portland, Ore... Griggs is the first out-of-state player since former QB Sean Maraz who was from Phoenix, Ariz., and was on the 2011 roster. 


UC Davis will be selecting its team captains on a week-to-week basis:

SOUTH DAKOTA - DE Nick King; OL Jimmy Kunkel; TE Taylor Sloat; CB Dre Allen.
NEVADA - WR Tom Hemmingsen, DE Colin Kelly, DE Nick King, OL Parker SMITH 
NORTHERN ARIZONA - OL Ian Joseph, DE Nick King, OL Jimmy Kunkel, LB Steven Pitts
PORTLAND STATE - DT Khalid Jones, DE Nick King, OL Jimmy Kunkel, TE Mark Martindale

The league office selects offensive, defense and special teams players of the week every Monday during the football season.

Sept. 2 - Offense: QB Vernon ADAMS, Eastern Washington; Defense: DE Brady DALY, Montana State; Special Teams: K Colton COOK, Southern Utah.

Sept. 9 - Offense: QB Kieran MCDONAGH, Portland State; Defense: LB MATT HOLLEY, Southern Utah; Special Teams: Brendon GARCIA, Idaho State.

Sept. 16 - Offense: QB Jordan JOHNSON, Montana; Defense: S Lucky DOZIER, Northern Arizona; Special Teams: K Brendon Garcia, Idaho State.

Spring practices were livened up this year with visits from three players that were either on NFL rosters or on their way... Former Cal running back great - and most recently a member of the Detroit Lions - JAHVID BEST came by on Apr. 6 and spoke to the team after practice... He relayed a story about being called into RON GOULD’s office... Best thought he was in trouble but instead he said Gould told him, “I’m going to push you and I’m going to test you everyday, no matter what. You can either embrace that or you can fight it.”... Best embraced it, finishing his career with 2,668 rushing yards and 29 TDs... He was joined at practice by FB ERIC STEVENS who earned a spot on the St. Louis Rams’ practice squad this season... NFL veteran TE Daniel Fells, most recently with the New England Patriots, visited on Apr. 12... Fells had 59 catches for 964 career yards as an Aggie from 2002-05... He was on the Aggies’ team in 2005 when it posted its stunning 20-17 win over Stanford. 

Sept. 21 has been a good day to play for the Aggies who are 4-1 on the date since 1962... All of the games have been at home... Most recently, they beat North Dakota State 35-7 in 2002 at Toomey Field... Other wins came against Santa Clara in 1985 (34-21) and 1991 (31-21), and against UC Riverside in 1974 (42-7)... The only blemish was a 27-24 defeat to Sacramento State in the 1996 Causeway Classic.

The Aggies played an NCAA Div. I FBS opponent for the ninth consecutive season when they traveled to Nevada on Sept. 7... They are 2-9 with victories over Stanford (20-17; 2005) and San Jose State (14-13, 2010)... Among the other FBS teams they’ve faced are TCU, Arizona State, Hawai’i, Boise State, Cal and Fresno State... UC Davis also had a memorable upset against (then-called) Div. I-A Pacific in 1986, beating the Tigers 46-41... UC Davis has FBS opponents lined up for each of the next three seasons: Stanford (2014), Nevada (2015) and Oregon (2016).

UC Davis will play one game televised locally when it travels to rival Sacramento State for the 60th Causeway Classic on Sept. 23... The game will be broadcast by Comcast SportsNet California... Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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.

Former head coach JIM SOCHOR, still a highly visible member of the Aggie community after bringing great success to UC Davis from 1970-88, helped spawn the coaching careers of several prominent collegiate and professional coaches... CHRIS PETERSEN (Boise State) is an alum of UC Davis who quarterbacked the Aggies in the 1980s, GARY PATTERSON (TCU) is a former coach under Sochor, DAN HAWKINS is another Aggie alum who most notably coached at Boise State and Colorado, Aggie player MIKE BELLOTTI (Oregon) was a highly successful collegiate coach, former player NICK ALIOTTI is currently the defensive coordinator at Oregon, and PAUL HACKETT played for UC Davis before a prominent NFL and collegiate coaching career... And proving the apple doesn’t fall far from the Hackett tree, former UC Davis LB Nathaniel Hackett (1999-2002), son of Dan, is currently the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills... The younger Hackett’s teammate, S Ejiro Evero, is an offensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers... A pair of playing alums - QB MARK GRIEB and DB Keith Buckley - are head coaches at the Div. III level... In fact, this weekend (Sept. 21), Grieb’s Menlo Oaks will host Buck’s Pacific (Ore.) Boxers

The Aggies are playing 12 game in the regular season for the second time since 2008 and just the second time ever... They’ve played at least 12 a dozen other times but 11 have come with the help of playoff games... The most? Fourteen in 1997 thanks to a Div. II semifinal run. 

UC Davis finishes its three-game homestand when it hosts Idaho State on Sept. 28 in the Big Sky opener for both teams... The Aggies and Bengals had an offensive shootout last season in Pocatello, Idaho, which UC Davis won 52-45... QB Randy Wright threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns and RB Colton Silveria (120) and RB Marquis Nicolis (105) each went over the 100-yard mark on the ground... UC Davis finished with 640 yards of total offense.

The Last Meeting
Portland State (Parent and Family Weekend)49
UC Davis21
October 27, 2012
Davis, Calif.
Portland State Pulls Away In Second Half, 49-21
Final Stats
UC Davis receiver Anthony Soto caught two touchdowns in the first half but Portland State outscored the Aggies by 28 points in the second as the Vikings beat UC Davis 49-21 in a Big Sky Conference football game played before 7,826 fans at Aggie Stadium on Saturday afternoon.