News, notes and headline items to get things started... Many will be expanded later on in these notes.
UC Davis returns to the road for the third time in its first four games, traveling to face future fellow Big Sky Conference opponent Weber State for just the second time ever.
The Aggies snapped a three-game road losing streak, dating back to last year, with its win at the University of San Diego on Saturday... Prior to that, their last road victory came at Portland State last Oct. 24.
UC Davis is 15-18 (.455) on the road since the start of the 2004 season - its first year playing an NCAA Div. I schedule - including a 7-5 (.583) road mark against Big Sky competition.
Weber State is the second of three Big Sky teams on the schedule this year, joining Portland State (L,41-33) and rival Sacramento State... The Aggies are 11-9 against the Big Sky since 2004... They're scheduled to join the league in 2012.
The Wildcats and Aggies' only other matchup came in 2004 with UC Davis capturing a 31-29 victory in Ogden, Utah.
Thanks to 104 rushing yards from junior RB Josh Reese - his second career 100-yard game - the Aggies amassed a season-high 186 yards on the ground at San Diego, just the third time they've gone over the century mark since the start of last season.
Reese, who also had two touchdowns, was named the Great West Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts... He is UC Davis' first winner of a conference weekly honor this year.
UC Davis entered last weekend's game ranked second nationally for fewest penalized yards but was whistled 10 times for 100 yards, its highest total since a 12-penalty, 115-yard game at Southern Utah in 2009... They now rank 33rd in the FCS.
K Sean Kelley has been good on 12 straight field goal attempts going back to last season when he had a 52-yarder blocked at national power Boise State... For the record, the NCAA FCS mark for most consecutive field goals is 26 by BRIAN MITCHELL from Northern Iowa from 1990-91.
The Aggies have averaged 3.0 turnovers through their first four games including four in each of the past two... For the season, they've had four interceptions and five fumbles which have resulted in 30 points... Opponents have only turned it over six times, leading to seven points.
Reese (137 yards) and RB Nick Aprile (132) have combined for 269 rushing yards so far... Reese has lost just five yards carrying the ball while Aprile, who is averaging 6.0 yards a carry, hasn't lost any.
Aprile also showed his versatility by throwing a 2-yard TD pass to TE Dean Rogers in the fourth quarter against the Toreros while operating out of the Aggies' version of the "Wildcat' offense... It's the second time in the past two years they've connected on a short touchdown pass.
Through two games, Aprile is averaging 139.5 all-purpose yards and 67.0 total offense yards. The Aggie defense stopped the Toreros' running game cold, limiting it to just 31 yards on 32 carries, including just seven yards in the second half... USD's total was the smallest for an opponent since Southern Utah gained just 13 (on 14 carries) in the seventh game of the 2008 season.
LB Marshall Congdon has helped spearhead the defensive attack, posting a team-high 3.0 TFL's so far this season... His 10 solo tackles overall are also a team-high... LB Dozie Amajoyi has 26 stops to pace the Aggies overall.
Due to injuries, UC Davis utilized a pair of redshirt freshmen at cornerback against USD in Dre Allen and Jonathan Perkins... Allen finished with a team-high eight tackles, including a TFL, while Perkins had five tackles, including three solo... Both are slated to start again this weekend with both CB Marcus North and CB Jonathan Calhoun nursing injuries from earlier this season.
Bob Biggs, with a 131-68-1 record, coached his 200th career game last weekend... The 18th-year head coach will tie legendary coach JIM SOCHOR (1970-88) for the most in school history when he reaches number 202 next week.
Sochor coached the first 19 seasons of the program's record 37 consecutive winning seasons, amassing 156 wins... The streak's start celebrates its 40th anniversary this season.
ALL-TIME SERIES VS. WEBER STATE
The Aggies and Wildcats have met just once before with UC Davis posting a 31-29 victory at Ogden, Utah on Sept. 19, 2004.
The Aggies led 28-10 at halftime but then surrendered 19 straight points to fall behind 29-28 in the fourth quarter... A 22-yard FG from K Emmanuel Benjamin delivered UC Davis the winning points with just over five minutes left... The Aggies held the ball for the final 4:19 to secure the win.
Bob Biggs (UC Davis `73) is in his 18th season at the helm of the Aggies and his 33rd with the program overall.
He owns a 131-68-1 (.658) overall record and is 60-47-0 (.561) against NCAA Div. I teams... Biggs is also 38-27-1 (.583) in the month of September and is 58-45-0 (.563) on the road.
Biggs is the second-winningest coach in the history of the UC Davis program, trailing only Jim Sochor whose 156-41-5 record between 1970-88 led to his enshrinement into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Four of Biggs' QB's have gone on to play professional football, including current San Diego backup QB J.T. O'SULLIVAN (1998-2001) and former San Jose SaberCats (AFL) starter MARK GRIEB (1994-96)... Others include KHARI JONES (1991-93) who had a standout career in the Canadian Football League and Kevin Daft (1995-98) who was a reserve on the Tennessee Titans when they went to the Super Bowl XXXIV.
RON McBRIDE (San Jose State `63) is 33-29 (.532) and in his sixth season with the Wildcats... He holds an overall record of 121-92 (.568) in his 19th season of collegiate coaching.
He has led Weber State to two straight NCAA Div. I FCS Playoff appearances including 2008 when it tied for the Big Sky Conference championship... The Wildcats were 10-4 that season.
McBride was the head coach for Utah from 1990-2002, leading the Utes to six bowl games including three wins... His 1994 team finished 10-2 while his 1995 and 1999 teams captured conference titles.
BRIEF WEBER STATE SCOUTING REPORT
The Wildcats opened Big Sky Conference play on Saturday with a 24-17 loss at Sacramento State, a game they trailed 14-3 at halftime.
QB CAMERON HIGGINS, a two-time finalist for the Walter Payton Award as the top player in the NCAA FCS, threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns against the Hornets... He's thrown for 10,567 yards and 90 touchdowns in his impressive career and has 15 300-yard efforts including three games over 400.
WR JOE COLLINS had five catches for 110 yards on Saturday while WR MIKE PHILLIPS had seven receptions giving him 24 for the season... RB JOSH BOOKER. who had 56 yards on the ground, is averaging 6.8 yards a carry so far.
Higgins is currently 18th nationally in total offense (276.7 ypg) while Phillips is ranked among the leaders in catches (T-11th, 8.0 pg) and yards (12th, 100.7 ypg).
Weber State has a prolific offense that is averaging 290.0 passing yards (11th nationally), 430.7 total yards (15th) and 29.0 ppg. (37th).
The offense had a difficult time finding rhythm against Sacramento State, punting on four of its first six drives... An interception and downs turned the Wildcats away on their other two drives.
NICK WEBB and Jordan Brown have been among the leaders of the defense, ranking 1-2 in tackles... Webb has 24 (20 solo) while Brown has 23 (13 solo).
Defensively, the Wildcats are allowing 420.0 ypg. (90th) - 140.7 ypg (53rd) of it coming on the ground and 206.7 (65th) through the air... Webb picked up 11 stops (10 solo) during the loss at Sacramento State while also forcing a fumble.
Weber State has just two sacks through three games, both of them from DE GABE BOWERS.. MLB TAYLOR SEDILLO and CB DAVID JAMES have the only interceptions so far.
K SHAUN McCLAIN has been effective on special teams, making 6 of 7 field goal tries so far, including a perfect 4-for-4 performance from between 30-39 yards... His only miss came from 52 yards in the opener at Boston College... Since then, McClain's made five straight.
P TONY EPPERSON and P JOSH KEALAMAKIA have split punting duties through the first three games... Kealamakia (6 punts) has posted a 40.8 average while Epperson (7 punts) has averaged 33.6 yards.... Kealamakia had five of the team's six punts against Sacramento State.
Brown has averaged 10.6 yards on five punt returns but 49 of his 53 total yards came on a return against the Hornets.
NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE TOREROS GAME
UC Davis gained 186 rushing yards, its best performance so far this season and its first effort in triple digits since gaining 244 at Southern Utah in the eighth game of last season.
The Aggies held the ball just 4:58 of the first quarter and only 5:09 of the second, yet led 21-10 at halftime.
The defense, which limited the Toreros to just 31 rushing yards on 32 tries, turned away San Diego on 14 of 18 third-down attempts... The Toreros had better success on fourth, going 2 for 3.
UC Davis also clamped down inside the red-zone, turning USD away on half of its six tries... The Toreros got the ball three times inside the Aggies' 20 but only scored one touchdown... They missed a field goal and had a field goal, the latter coming after they took over at the 6 but couldn't punch it across.
DE Eric Sobotka and DE Tommy Grillo each had sacks for UC Davis with Sobotka's resulting in a fumble by QB MASON MILLS that gave the ball to the Aggies at USD's 7.
UC Davis had 12.0 TFL's for 32 yards in losses with Sobotka picking up two of them.
RB Nick Aprile had 85 rushing yards on 10 carries including a 23-yard gain... He's had a run at least that long in each of his first two games and is averaging 66.0 ypg while posting a 6.0 average.
Redshirt freshman QB Randy Wright continues to settle in to the Aggies' offense, compling 14 of 23 passes for 202 yards and a pair of scores but was picked twice for the second straight game... He had a long connection of 38 yards to TE Dean Rogers resulting in UC Davis' first score.
Speaking of Rogers, he had his second career two-touchdown game (UND, 2008), hauling in a short pass from Aprile in the fourth quarter in addition to his long catch of 38.
Besides converting from 35 yards, Kelley was perfect on extra points, making all five he tried.
USD had better success through the air, collecting 265 yards on 25-41-0 passing.
"HART" OF THE AGGIE DEFENSE IS A SAFETY
UC Davis is the third (and final) collegiate stop for SS Danny Hart who redshirted at Sacramento State before moving on to Sierra College where he saw his first collegiate game action and then to the Aggies... He has found a home in the UC Davis secondary and is entering his third year with the team.
Hart started every game last year, finishing second with 53 tackles (30 solo) while breaking up four passes and recovering a team-high three fumbles (returning one for 39 yards).
His best two games came on the road, including an outstanding effort at No. 5 Boise State where he posted a career-best 14 tackles (8 solo)... Hart had another double-digit effort at the end of the month, finishing with 13 stops (8 solo) at Southern Utah.
Three times he was voted the team's Defensive Player of the Week and was named All-GWC honorable mention in 2009.
Hart has continued to play well during his senior season, picking up 10 tackles, including a TFL, at Cal and then tying for team-high honors with six stops against Portland State... He is currently second on the team with 24 tackles.
APRILE IS "MR. VERSATILITY" FOR AGGIES
Coaches like to list some players' position on the roster as "Athlete" rather than assign one of the traditional position monikers... That certainly holds true for Nick Aprile, a former high school quarterback who came to UC Davis to play defense but has found himself also carrying the ball, throwing it and returning kicks.
He served notice last year by directing the Aggies' version of the "Wildcat" offense where he rushed for 126 yards and four touchdowns while throwing for another... For good measure, he made seven tackles on defense and had an interception.
Aprile missed the first game of this season with injury but came on strong against Portland State, rushing for 47 yards (including a 26-yarder), catching two passes for 56 yards (including a 50-yarder) and returning a kickoff 38 yards.
He continued his great start last weekend, rushing for 85 yards (8.5 avg), completing a 2-yard TD pass to TE Dean Rogers out of the "Wildcat", and returning three kickoffs for 53 yards... He had a long rush of 23 yards and a long return of 28.
REESE EARNS GREAT WEST OFFENSIVE HONOR
RB Josh Reese was named the Great West Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against San Diego on Sept. 18.
Reese rushed 13 times for 104 yards (8.0 avg.), scoring from 12 yards in the first quarter and from 17 yards in the fourth... It was his first career game with two touchdowns.
It was also his second career 100-yard rushing game, the other coming at Southern Utah last year when he had 101... That was also the last such game for the Aggies overall.
The award was Reese's first conference honor and also the first of the season for the team... For the year, he leads UC Davis with 137 rushing yards and has caught 10 passes for 71 yards... His receptions rank second on the team.
Amajoyi has 26 stops, Congdon has pitched in with 19 and Glass - a transfer from Utah State - has 18... Congdon has a team-best 10 solo stops.
The trio has also combined for 5.0 TFL's with Congdon collecting three of them... Amajoyi has UC Davis' lone interception while Glass has settled into a starting role in just his first season.
UC DAVIS AGAINST THE BIG SKY CONFERENCE
The Aggies have played at least three Big Sky opponents each season since 2004 and are 11-9 during that span including a 4-4 record at home.
The year-by-year records:
2004: 2-1 (1-0 at home)
2005: 1-2 (0-1 at home)
2006: 3-0 (1-0 at home)
2007: 2-1 (all on the road)
2008: 2-2 (2-1 at home)
2009: 1-2 (0-1 at home)
2010: 0-1 (0-1 at home)
ROGERS OFF TO STRONG SENIOR SEASON
TE Dean Rogers has made the most of his nine catches so far this season, picking up 145 yards (16.1 avg) to go with two touchdowns, both of them coming at San Diego... His yardage is second on the team.
Rogers, an All-GWC first-team selection last year after catching 30 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns, beat the defense for a 38-yard score against the Toreros in the first quarter, and then hauled in a short 2-yarder from RB Nick Aprile in the fourth.
It was Rogers' first career two touchdown reception game although he did have two rushing touchdowns against North Dakota in 2008.
RED-ZONE HAS BEEN PRODUCTIVE IN 2010
UC Davis has converted 10 of 11 opportunities when getting in the red-zone so far this season, resulting in 57 points.
Their .910 percentage ties the Aggies for 26th-best among FCS teams... Of the 10 scores, seven of them have been touchdowns and three have been field goals.
Conversely, after permitting opponents to score on all nine of their chances through the first two games, UC Davis tightened the reins against San Diego, allowing it just a 3-for-6 showing.
Opponents have made 12 of 15 (.800) overall, tying UC Davis for 52nd in the FCS.
KELLEY LOOKS FOR BAKERS' DOZEN STREAK
With last week's 35-yardre, K Sean Kelley has made 12 straight field goals with his last miss coming against Boise State (52-yd att, blocked) in the fourth game of 2009.
Streak breakdown: 1-1 (15-20 yds), 6-6 (30-39), 4-4 (40-49), 1-1 (50+)... He is 4 for 4 this season and 26 for 32 in his career.
Kelley is currently fifth all-time with 27 field goals, including his school-record tying 52-yarder against Cal Poly in 2009... He needs just three field goals to tie former Aggie ROLF BENIRSCHKE for fourth.
TOS ANCHORS OFFENSIVE LINE
OT Mark Tos has been a mainstay on the offensive line for UC Davis, starting all 11 games at right tackle last year and pushing his consecutive starting streak to 37 consecutive games after opening the year with three straight.
That durability has helped earn him All-Great West Conference second-team accolades in 2008 and first-team honors last year... It's also helped put him on the national radar with Phil Steele's College Football Preview and The Sports Network each naming him to their preseason All-America third teams.
The Sports Network also selected him as one of its Top 10 returning offensive lineman for 2010.
Longevity on the line is not a stranger at UC Davis... C Tommy Hernandez, who was mini-camp last spring with the Minnesota Vikings, finished his career last year with 34 straight starts... G Jonathan Compas, most recently with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, started all 40 of his career games before finishing in 2008, while G Mario Gonzalez ended his career at the same time with 34 straight starts.
AGGIES HOPE THEY HAVE THE "WRIGHT" STUFF
Redshirt freshman QB Randy Wright's start against Cal marked the first time a freshman has opened the season behind center for UC Davis since QB Ryan Flanigan did so in 2000... No other freshman for at least the last 40 years is believed to have started a season opener.
He didn't have an easy inaugural assignment, facing the second-most successful Pac-10 program over the past decade... He was 8 of 22 for 57 yards but showed mobility by escaping several would-be tacklers to be sacked just once... He rebounded with a strong effort against Portland State (20 for 32, 261 yds, 2 TD's) but was intercepted twice... He added 202 passing yards last weekend at San Diego.
He redshirted in `09 but traveled as an emergency backup.
He enjoyed a stellar prep career at Cardinal Newman HS in Santa Rosa where he threw for 2,702 yards and 30 touchdowns with just two interceptions in 2008... He also ran for 368 yards and eight more scores.
PRESEASON ACCOLADES FOR UC DAVIS
UC Davis is defending Great West Conference champion and that helped the league's head coaches to favor it to win it again in 2010... The Aggies received three first-pace votes and 23 points to out-distance Cal Poly which had one first-place vote and 18 points... Southern Utah garnered the remaining vote and had 14 points while South Dakota (11) and North Dakota (9) were picked fourth and fifth, respectively.
OT Mark Tos was named to third-team preseason All-America squads by both Phil Steele's College Football Preview and the Sports Network.
Kelley was selected the GWC Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year.
STREAKS OF NOTE
UC Davis saw its streak of 212 games in which it had scored a point come to an end at Fresno State (L,51-0) in last year's season-opener... The last shutout prior to that was a 19-0 defeat to Cal Poly in 1990... The streak nearly ended in 2001 when the Aggies faced North Dakota in the postseaso but UND took a safety late in the game, helping the Aggies' preserve the streak... North Dakota won 14-2.
They have, however, not been shut out in 109 straight home games. (includes "home" games at Hughes Stadium during Causeway Classic).
A long streak came to an end in this year's opener at Cal after the Aggies were held to just 81 total yards... It's believed to be the first time they had less than 200 yards in total offense since a 30-12 loss to Nevada in 1969, a streak that ends at 442 games... UC Davis had 130 in that game.
UC DAVIS TO MOVE TO BIG SKY CONFERENCE
UC Davis announced on Sept. 7 it had accepted an offer to join the Big Sky Conference for the sport of football only with anticipated competition in the newly expanded league to start for the Aggies in 2012.
The move will benefit the football program in scheduling (an expected eight games - at least - will be provided with Big Sky competition), travel will be mostly regional, helping with cost-containment concerns, and rivalries will either be created or strengthened.
The Big Sky also offers an automatic berth to the NCAA Div. I FCS Championships, marking the first time that UC Davis has been in a league with an automatic qualification.
The Aggies will join the Big Sky with current Great West Conference member Cal Poly... Both institutions are joining for football only and remain committed members of the Big West Conference which is home to a majority of their other sports.
Causeway Classic rival Sacramento State - which UC Davis has played annually since 1954 - is a member of the Big Sky which will consist of 11 of the 13 scholarship football programs in the West once it expands.
It'll be the fourth conference in the 92-year history of the program: Far Western (1925-81), Northern California Athletic Conference (1982-92), American West Conference (1993) and its current Great West Conference (since 2004).
UC Davis is 11-9 versus Big Sky competition since the start of the 2004 season and has games scheduled this year against Portland State (L,41-33), Weber State (Sept. 25) and Sacramento State (Nov. 20).
Current members of the Big Sky are: Eastern Washington, Idaho State, Montana, Montana State, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Portland State, Sacramento State and Weber State.
40-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF STREAK START
The UC Davis football program has been defined by many outstanding attributes including prolific quarterbacks, stingy run defenses and stability in its coaching ranks... However, for most of the past two decades, it became synonymous with its streak of consecutive winning seasons that reached 37 before being snapped in 2007.
It was started in 1970 during former head coach JIM SOCHOR's first season when he went 6-4... It then continued and continued and continued until reaching an NCAA Division II record of 33 straight seasons.
The streak continued through the UC Davis' reclassification period from (2003-06) before being snapped with a 5-6 mark in 2007.
A 5-7 record followed in 2008 but the ship was righted last year with a 6-5 record, giving UC Davis 38 winning seasons in its last 40.
Before being ended three seasons ago, UC Davis' run was the longest active of any non-NCAA Division III program.
The streak was marked by 20 straight league titles and 19 trips to the NCAA Division Playoffs.
AGGIE QUARTERBACK LEGACY HAS LON
The Aggies' coaching tree is just one trademark of the football program... The other is its ability to turn out prolific quarterbacks.
Despite being a Div. II program until 2007, UC Davis has had six signal-callers chosen in the NFL Draft since 1979: Mike Moroski (Falcons, `79), KEN O'BRIEN (Jets, `83), SCOTT BARRY (49ers, `85), JEFF BRIDEWELL (Cardinals, `91), Kevin Daft (Titans, `99) and J.T. O'SULLIVAN (Saints, `02).
O'Sullivan has played with several teams and was most recently a backup with Cincinnati before being released this past weekend, Moroski is in his 23rd year on the Aggies' coaching staff and Daft is an assistant coach at Cal.
O'Brien was a member of the famed NFL QB class of `83 that also included Dan Marino, John Elway, Todd Blackledge, Jim Kelly and Tony Eason being drafted in the first round.
In addition to the draftees, QB KHARI JONES (1991-93) enjoyed a prolific career in the Canadian Football League and was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player in `01.
QB MARK GRIEB (1994-96) was an ArenaBowl MVP and champion with the San Jose Sabercats and holds several league passing records.
QB Jon Grant (2003-06) was a member of the Berlin Adler whose team won the 21st German Bowl in 2009... He was the Aggies' signal-caller when they drove for the winning touchdown against Stanford in 2005.
Current coach Bob Biggs played pro football, spending some time in the CFL and the WFL before joining the Aggies' staff.
AGGIE COACHING TREE INCLUDES BIG NAMES
Besides becoming the all-time winningest coach at UC Davis, former mentor JIM SOCHOR has several former players and assistants who have gone to notable college or pro coaching careers, including:
MIKE BELLOTTI (Oregon, former head coach), who played for Sochor in 1969-72 and was a subsequent assistant coach.
DAN HAWKINS (Colorado, head coach) played for UC Davis in 1981-82, was later an assistant with the Aggies and subsequently was head coach at Boise State .
CHRIS PETERSEN (Boise State, head coach), who played for UC Davis in 1985-86 and was also an assistant... He has led Boise State to national prominence including unbeaten years in 2006 and 2009.
PAUL HACKETT (Oakland Raiders, asst. coach), who played from 1966-68, was an assistant at UC Davis as well a head coach at USC, Pittsburgh and an assistant with the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
BIGGS PLANTING HIS OWN COACHING TREE
Head coach Bob Biggs is also beginning to turn out coaches from his ranks, including current Cal assistant and former Aggie QB Kevin Daft... Also:
KHARI JONES, a record-setting QB for UC Davis from 1991-93, is the quarterbacks coach for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League... Jones is fourth all-time on the program's total offense list (6,564 yards).
Nathaniel Hackett, son of former NFL and college coach Paul Hackett, was a linebacker and exceptional long-snapper for UC Davis from 1999-2002 and is currently the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse... He also calls the plays for the Orange.
UC Davis owns an all-time record of 479-358-33 (.570) as it plays its 92nd season of football... The Aggies started playing in 1915 and have played continuously except for 1918, and 1943-45.
A total of 15 head coaches, beginning with R.E. HARMON (1915-16) have directed the Aggies' program with College Football Hall of Fame Inductee JIM SOCHOR (1969-88) winning a program-best 156 games.
Since opening Aggie Stadium in 2007, the Aggies have gone 11-6 including a 4-1 mark last season... Portland State's win snapped a modest four-game winning streak at the facility.