The Aggies look to return to the Big Sky win column when they make their first trip to face Portland State since 2009, ending a string of three straight matchups with the Vikings at Aggie Stadium - all of them losses... UC Davis is 4-4 in Big Sky road games since joining the league in 2012, a mark that includes it winning three of its past four... WR COREY GALINDO needs just one reception to reach 100 for his career to pair with the 1,358 yards and nine touchdowns... CB SHAMAWN WRIGHT, who had an 89-yard kickoff return against Fort Lewis on Sept. 6, is ranked fifth in the FCS in combined kick return yardage (446 yds) and 21st in kick returns (26.2 avg.)... Wright is one of just 11 FCS players to return a kick to the house so far this season... QB LONDON LACY, in his first season as starting quarterback, is 20th in completion pct. (63.4)... The Aggies' two turnovers were their first since the season opener at Stanford... RB COLTON SILVERIA gained 38 yards against No. 2 Eastern Washington last weekend, moving him past LONNIE CAGLE (1,431) for No. 10 on the Aggies' career rushing list with 1,435... He is also 10th with 315 career attempts.
RADIO/INTERNET AUDIO COVERAGE
Saturday's game will be aired on KHTK-Radio (1140 AM)... UC Davis alum SCOTT MARSH will handle play-by-play this weekend with longtime broadcaster DOUG KELLY providing analysis.. The pregame show begins at 4:00 p.m. and will be streamed (free) on www.ucdavisaggies.com.
TELEVISION/INTERNET VIDEO COVERAGE
ROOT Sports will televise Saturday's game as part of its Big Sky Game of the Week package... It's the first of two straight Aggie games on ROOT with next week's homecoming matchup against Montana State providing the next one... As a result of the television broadcast, both games will not be available on the internet on WatchBigSky.com.
UC Davis and Portland State have enjoyed a long-standing rivalry that spans both programs' eras as Div. I and II schools... The Vikings own a 9-4 all-time advantage and have a three-game winning streak - all at Aggie Stadium - since 2010... The Aggies are 2-5 against the Vikings in Portland but have won the last two at Providence Park... QB AUSTIN HEYWORTH, now a special assistant to John A. Perez, Speaker of the California Assembly, could've been elected President after rallying the Aggies with two TD passes during a 17-point fourth quarter that saw UC Davis rally from a 28-17 deficit to a 34-31 win its last visit there in 2009... He was called into action after an injury to starting QB GREG DENHAM and was subsequently named the Great West Conference offensive player of the week... WR KASEY CLOSS, QB KIERAN McDONOUGH and RB D.J. ADAMS each scored two touchdowns during Portland State's 41-10 nonconference win last season... Adams scored on an 85-yard run, Closs caught a 68-yd TD pass and the Vikings had 601 yards of total offense... K BRADY STUART had a career-best 47-yard field goal for UC Davis .
ABOUT PORTLAND STATE
The Vikings enter the game looking to end a two-game losing streak and - like UC Davis - post their first Div. I win of the season... Portland State's offense is averaging 342.4 ypg, split almost evenly between the rush (172.5) and the pass (170.0)... RB SHAQ RICHARD (68.8 ypg.) is ninth in the Big Sky in rushing while WR KASEY CLOSS is T-7th in receptions per game (5.2)... Portland State is scoring at a 23.5 ppg... QB KIERAN McDONAGH has thrown for 144.0 ypg., while connecting on four touchdowns, two of them to WR KASEY CLOSS who is T-7th in the league in receptions/game (5.2)... McDonagh is completing 51 pct. of his passes... The Vikings have struggled defensively, allowing 542.8 ypg. (117th of 121 in FCS) and 42.0 ppg. (112th)... Included in the totals are 358.0 ypg. passing (120th)... S DARIEN WASHINGTON is T-3rd in the Big Sky in passes defended (1.0 avg.) while DE SADAT SULLEYMAN has forced two fumbles... P KYLE LOOMIS has helped anchor the special teams with a 46.3 avg., second-best in the Big Sky... K JONATHAN GONZALES is perfect (13 for 13) on extra-points but has made just 1 of 4 field goal attempts (21 yds vs. Western Oregon)... He has not attempted a field goal in the last two games... Portland State had five turnovers in its first game against Oregon State and had nine over the first three games but played mistake-free football at Cal Poly.
THREE-DOT NOTES FROM THE EASTERN WASHINGTON GAME
UC Davis held the Eagles to nine first-half points, their lowest total over the first two quarters since scoring 21 against Sam Houston State in their opener... Eastern Washington's 37 points were 13 below the 50.3 ppg. avg. it had entering the game... The Eagles' 21 points were the first in the third quarter against the Aggies this season... LB STEVEN PITTS' 11 tackles are tied for his second-highest career total (13 vs. Sac State, `13) while his 3.5 TFL's tied a career-best, also achieved against the Hornets last season... The Aggies were held to 10 first downs - only two by rushing - for their second-lowest total besides the six they had at Stanford... UC Davis was the first team to hold EWU without a score in the red-zone this season (Eagles entered 19-for-19; went 4-for-5 vs. Aggies)... The Eagles scored touchdowns on both of the Aggies' turnovers, bringing the season total against UC Davis to just 14 points through four games... True freshman WR KEELAN DOSS hauled in a 70-yard TD pass from QB LONDON LACY, longest for the team this year... WR CHRIS MARTIN returned punts for the first time in his career, filling in for injured S CHARLES BOYETT... He had a 12-yard return early in the fourth quarter for his longest of the game... DT KYLE DeVAUGHN's sack of elusive QB VERNON ADAMS, Jr., was his first of the year and gave him 4.5 for his career... UC Davis had three sacks in the game...The Aggies' first TD, a two-yard plunge by RB MANUSAMOA LUUGA, capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive, their longest of the game... Adams finished 23 of 28 yards for 298 yards and two scores.
JERMALE JEFFERSON TURNS ON THE JETS
True freshman WR JERMALE JEFFERSON has made an immediate impact during the early part of his Aggie career... The speedster has reeled off three rushes of at least 34 yards, two of them for touchdowns, among his only 13 carries so far... He had TD runs of 43 and 68 yards against Fort Lewis and then posted a 34-yard gain against Eastern Washington last week... Jefferson's picked up 178 yards and two scores so far and is averaging a mind-numbing 14.8 yards per carry... 0He has seven catches for 16 yards.
BIG PLAYS ALREADY ECLIPSING 2013
UC Davis didn't have a big-play offense last season with no plays covering more than 59 yards... Through four games, the Aggies have already picked up five plays of at least 62 yards including four from the line of scrimmage... Altogether, they've strung together 14 plays of at least 26 yards.
WRIGHT IS RIGHT-ON WITH KICK RETURNS
CB SHAMAWN WRIGHT has evolved into of the nation's leading kick returners, averaging 26.2 yards per return thus far... That ranks him 21st in the FCS... His 446 total return yards (all on kickoffs) is fifth nationally for combined kick returns (punts/kickoffs)... Wright returned an 89-yarder against Fort Lewis for his first career TD kick return... It stands as the longest play for the Aggies this season... He has six returns of at least 26 yards and all six rank among the 14 longest plays for UC Davis in 2014... Wright averaged 25.8 yards on 16 returns last year, had a long of 59 yards at Nevada and carries a 25.5 career average.
TRUE FRESHMAN MAKING THE GRADE
They haven't even attended their first classes at UC Davis yet but some true freshmen are already figuring prominently into the Aggies' game plans... Seven have seen significant playing time... WR JERMALE JEFFERSON has been a threat to score every time he touches the ball, averaging 14.8 yards per carry and scoring touchdowns of 68 and 43 yards... He has 178 yards on the ground in just 12 carries... WR KEELAN DOSS has nine catches for 164 yards, including a long of 70 yards... TE NOLAN TOOLEY has moved into the offensive rotation, helping the Aggies up front... OL RAMSEY HUFFORD is providing depth along the line... DL JORDAN HOYT has five tackles, including a 0.5 TFL... CB ISIAH OLAVE has six solo tackles and seven overall... And DE AMONAI ITTAAEHAU has four early season tackles while seeing strong playing time on the defensive side of the ball... Last season, half of the Aggies' 16 true freshmen gained valuable game-experience.
LACY GETS STARTING QUARTERBACK DUTIES IN 2014
If patience is a virtue then QB LONDON LACY might be the most virtuous person around... Entering his fifth season in the program, Lacy had played in a total of just eight games - none since 2012 - and had 21 career passing attempts to his name... With the graduation of four-year starter RANDY WRIGHT at the end of the 2013 season, Lacy found himself in a preseason competition to become the starter for the season opener at Stanford... He got the nod and has started all four games... He's averaging 150.0 passing ypg., and completed 21 of 34 passes for 200 yards at Colorado State... Lacy entered the year with 187 career passing yards... He's thrown four touchdowns... His first career TD toss was a 20-yarder to WR COREY GALINDO early in the second quarter against Fort Lewis while his longest was a 70-yard rocket to WR KEELAN DOSS against Eastern Washington.
FBS ON SLATE FOR 10TH STRAIGHT YEAR
UC Davis is 2-12 since starting to play FBS teams regularly in 2005 and 3-11 against FBS/I-A programs since 1986 (W,45-41 vs. Pacific).(see right)
PREVIOUSLY.... ON OCT. 4
The fourth day of October has been a very good one for UC Davis, which has posted a 6-1 record on that date since dates in the Aggie annals started being recorded in 1962... Among the memorable victories was the "Hail Bakari" game of 2008 when QB GREG DENHAM threw a xx-yard TD pass to WR BAKARI GRANT on the final play of the game for an exciting 34-30 win at Aggie Stadium... UC Davis also owns a program-marker win from 1986 when it upset Div. I-A Pacific, 45-41... Other wins came in Causeway Classic showdowns with Sacramento State (31-27 in `03; 16-6 in `80), vs. Central Washington (32-6) in 1997 and vs. Chico State (31-0) in 1975... The only loss was an 18-10 setback to the Hornets in 1969.
2013 POSTSEASON HONOR PARADE
The Big Sky honored 13 UC Davis players on its postseason awards list last fall with nine of them returning to this year's team... RB GABE MANZANARES, as mentioned, was selected the Newcomer of the Year and to the All-Big Sky third team, while Stuart was also a third-team pick... Earning honorable mention accolades were C JAY LUCHETTI, T IAN JOSEPH, FB DALTON TURAY, S CHARLES BOYETT (as a return specialist), LB STEVEN PITTS, Wright and Wadman... DE NICK KING was a second-team pick while CB JONATHON PERKINS was picked to the third team... Both graduated along with WR TOM HEMMINGSEN and TE TAYLOR SLOAT, who were also honorable mention... Returners Manzanares and Turay, T CHRISTIAN SCHNEIDER and TE MARK MARTINDALE were recognized for distinction in the classroom, earning All-Academic honors from the Big Sky after posting GPAs of at least 3.20 while playing in at least half of the games.
MANZANARES A 1,000-YARD RUSHER AND THEN SOME
Five straight 100-yard games and seven overall last season by RB GABE MANZANARES helped him post the fifth-highest single-season rushing total in school history with 1,285 yards... Manzanares was the first 1,000-yard rusher for the Aggies since RB MATT MASSARI went for 1,274 yards in 2002... Manzanares only missed one game last season (Nevada)... Manzanares ranked 11th nationally in yards per game (116.3), 16th for total rushing yards (1,163) and was third in the Big Sky in both categories... He also caught 23 receptions for 290 yards, pushing his all-purpose yardage to 145.3 ypg.
GOULD HAS MENTORED SOME OF FOOTBALL'S TOP RUNNING BACKS
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, (Baltimore Ravens), Shane Vereen (New England Patriots), Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks), Jahvid Best (Detroit Lions) and Will Ta'ufo'ou (Jacksonville Jaguars).
The Aggies are 22-16 (.579) all-time at Aggie Stadium... Their best season at the stadium was a 5-1 mark in 2008... UC Davis has an all-time record of 498-385-33 (.563) dating back to its first season in 1915... 70.5 percent of the all-time wins have come since 1970: JIM SOCHOR (156), BOB FOSTER (30), BOB BIGGS (144) and RON GOULD (5)... UC Davis is in its 96th season of football...Gould is 6-10 overall: 0-2 in August, 1-5 in September, 2-2 in October and 2-1 in November, 2-5 at home, 3-5 on the road, 3-4 in day games, 2-6 in night games, and 5-4 in the Big Sky Conference... He is the 16th coach in the history of the program.
NOTABLE PROGRAM STREAKS
Besides 20 consecutive league titles, UC Davis has enjoyed other notable streaks:
442 - Consecutive games with at least 200 yds of offense. (Began in 1969; ended vs. Cal in 2010; 81 yds)
212 - Consecutive games without being shut out. (ended vs. Fresno State, 51-0, in 2009)
37 - Consecutive winning seasons (1970-2006).
35 - Consecutive winning Div. II seasons (1970-2004). (NCAA Div.II record)
AGGIES IN THE NFL
UC Davis currently has two players on NFL rosters - TE DANIEL FELLS and P COLTON SCHMIDT... Fells in his sixth NFL season and currently plays for the N.Y. Football Giants, his fourth club... He is in his first year with the Giants and has scored two touchdowns already... Fells, who played for UC Davis from 2003-05 while earning All-Great West Conference honors, has 93 career receptions as a pro for 1,093 yards and eight touchdowns... Schmidt was an All-Big Sky selection during his senior season in 2012 when he posted a school-record 44.5 avg... He spent the last two preseasons with the San Francisco 49ers before being winning the starting job two weeks ago with the Buffalo Bills... He averaged 43.0 yards on six punts in their opener at Chicago last week, pinning four inside the 20 - second-best among all kickers.
COACHING TREE HAS MANY LIMBS
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 (Washington) 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 and was named this week as the head coach of the USA football team, Aggie player MIKE BELLOTTI (Oregon) was a highly successful collegiate coach, former player NICK ALIOTTI was longtime 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 Paul, 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... Former Aggie assistant coach MIKE MOROSKI, who also spent time in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers, is currently the head coach at the College of Idaho which is revived football and is playing its first season in 37 years in 2014.
UC Davis returns home next weekend for its annual homecoming game when it hosts Montana State at 4 p.m... The matchup is the second straight home game against the Bobcats that will be televised by ROOT Sports... The Aggies nearly upset No. 2 Montana State in that game, falling 48-41 in a shootout.