No. 2 Montana State Makes Visit For Homecoming

Corey Galindo leads UC Davis with 15 receptions.
 
Corey Galindo leads UC Davis with 15 receptions.
 

Oct. 4, 2012

UC Davis game notes | Montana State game notes | Big Sky Conference notes
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No. 2 Montana State (5-0, 2-0)
at
UC Davis (2-3, 1-1)

Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012
4:15 p.m.  • Davis, Calif.
Aggie Stadium (10,849)
KHTK (1140 AM) • ROOT SPORTS
www.ucdavisaggies.com 

OPENING KICKOFFS
• UC Davis hosts the highest-ranked FCS team its faced at Aggie Stadium when No. 2 Montana State visits on Saturday for the annual Homecoming game. 
• Montana was ranked No. 4 by The Sports Network and No. 5 in the FCS Coaches poll when the Grizzlies visited in 2009, holding on for a 17-10 win over the Aggies.
• Since moving to Aggie Stadium, UC Davis is 4-1 in Homecoming matchups, winning its past four including a 38-17 win over UTSA last season.
•  The Bobcats bring a formidable rush defense into this week's game, allowing an average just 63.4 ypg, 4th-best among FCS teams... Montana State is 18th in total yards allowed (309.00) and 26th in points allowed (19.6 ppg).
• UC Davis holds a trio of top-20 national stat rankings: net punting yardage (8th, 39.9 avg.), kickoff returns (18th, 24.5 avg.) and tackles for loss (18th, 7.2 pg)... DE Nick King is T-9th in TFLS (1.7 pg.)
• The Aggies are trying to win back-to-back games in the same season since capturing the last three games of the 2010 season... That winning streak gave UC Davis a 6-5 record, its last winning season.
• UC Davis has had the ball first against every opponent except South Dakota State and has scored each time... It scored TD's against Azusa Pacific, San Jose State and Weber State while picking up a field goal versus Cal Poly.
• The Aggies are 14 of 15 in the red zone, having scored 10 touchdowns and a field goal... Their 93% succession rate is T-16th nationally... UC Davis has scored 81 points in the red zone... The only game the Aggies did not get into the red zone was at South Dakota State... Coincidentally, neither did the Jackrabbits in the defensive battle.
• UC Davis has not given up a sack in either of its home games this season but has allowed 15.5 over three road matchups... The Aggies had four sacks last week, one shy of their season-high from South Dakota State.
• Head coach Bob Biggs is coaching his final season with UC Davis after announcing his retirement after last season... He is the second-winningest coach (142 wins) in program history, trailing only JIM SOCHOR (156; 1970-88).

 

 

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. MONTANA STATE
• UC Davis and Montana State have split their only two meetings, both of them in Bozeman, Mont. 
• The Aggies posted a 45-0 shutout on Sept. 16, 2006 in the inaugural matchup, scoring 21 points in the third quarter to take a 38-0 lead... UC Davis was ranked No. 21 while the Bobcats were No. 20.
• That was the last time the Aggies have not allowed a point in a game.
• Former WR Tony Kays caught 10 passes for 143 yards and 3 TD's (2, 22, and 21 yards)... Former QB Jon Grant tossed for 324 yards... Current Aggie assistant coach QB Tim Plough came off the bench and completed 5 of 6 passes for 69 yards and a 33-yard TD pass to WR Kale Turner.
 • The game was the third of five straight road games to start the `06 season, a stretch where UC Davis played a game in each timezone in the continental United States... It was also the only time a luggage tag on baggage referred to the school as "U.C. David."
•  RB CODY KIRK rushed for 155 yards and two touchdowns and QB DeNARIUS McGHEE threw for 257 yards and a pair of scores as Montana State exacted revenge with a 38-14 win last season.
• WR Corey Galindo had four catches for 76 yards to help lead UC Davis... LB Jordan Glass had nine tackles and a fumble recovery for the defense.

HEAD COACHES
Bob Biggs (UC Davis `73) is in his 20th season and final season at the helm of the Aggies and his 35th with the program overall.
• He owns a 142-81-1 (.636) overall record and is 65-56-0 (.537) against NCAA Div. I (FBS, FCS) teams... Biggs is also 56-23 (.709) in the month of October, 78-27-1 (.741) for all home games and 18-10 (.643) at Aggie Stadium.
• 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 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... Daft is now an assistant coach at with the Aggies.
• ROB ASH (Cornell {Iowa} `73) is 44-20 and in his sixth year with the Bobcats, having led them to a winning season each season and to the FCS playoffs each of the last two years.
• Ash was named the Liberty Mutual 2011 National Coach of the Year for the Football Championship Subdivision after leading the Bobcats to the Big Sky Conference championship.
• He has also coached at Juniata College and Drake University.

MONTANA STATE SCOUTING REPORT
• Montana State has won 14 of its past 15 regular-season games and 16 of its last 18 dating back to the start of the 2011 season.
• QB DeNARIUS McGHEE is 14th nationally in total offense (279.2 avg.), WR TANNER BLESKIN is 27th in receiving yards (84.0 avg.) and DE CALEB SCHREIBELS is T-10th in sacks (0.70)... Schreibels, however, will miss Saturday's game due to suspension by the Big Sky.
• MSU is averaging 2.8 sacks, T-16th natonally.
• Montana State scored on a three-yard TD pass from McGhee to WR BRIAN FLOTKOETTER with less than three minutes remaining last week to turn back host Southern Utah 24-17... It was the first time MSU has been held to less than 33 points this season.
• The Bobcats rank among the national leaders in passing yards (19th, 259.9 avg.), total yards (24th, 440.0 avg.) and scoring offense (18th, 35.0 avg.).
• The defense has been just as noteworthy, ranking 18th in yards allowed (309.0 avg.).
• Montana State has been to the FCS playoffs each of the past two seasons, advancing to the second round in 2011... The Bobcats have 11 straight winning seasons.

NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE WEBER STATE GAME
• Redshirt freshman Brady Stuart's three field goals (44, 32, 40 yds) marked the second three-field-goal game for the Aggies in the past six games after Sean Kelley did it in the finale against Sacramento State last season.
• The last Aggie before FB Dalton Turay last week to score three touchdowns in a game was QB Jon Grant who had a pair of one-yard plunges and a TD run of nine yards in the first half against North Dakota State on Nov. 3, 2006 (NDSU won 28-24).
• Turay now has five touchdowns this season, just one off the six that RB Colton Silveria had to lead the team for all of last year.
• WR Tim Benton's 17-yard TD reception on the opening drive of the game was the first of his career.
• UC Davis had a season-high 14 penalties for 110 yards.
• The Aggies' 31 points were the most for a first half since leading 38-0 against Winstom-Salem State on Oct. 17, 2009.
• P Colton Schmidt averaged 47.8 yards on four punts including putting two inside the 20-yard line and two at least 50 yards.
• The Aggies scored on four straight possessions in the first half, picking up touchdowns on three of them... An average starting yardline of their own 42 in the first half helped their cause... Conversely, the Wildcats' average starting position in the first half was their own 20.
• CB Frederick Rice made his first career interception in the fourth quarter.

KICKOFF RETURNS AMONG FCS'S BEST 
• UC Davis is ranked 18th for kickoff returns, averaging 24.5 yards... CB Alex Hines is T-19th at 27.4 yards and has a team-best 51-yard return against San Jose State.

STUART OFF TO A GOOD START  
• K Brady Stuart is 7 for 8 in field goals during his redshirt freshman season, including making his last five in a row.
• He is 3 for 3 beyond 40 yard and had a season-best 44-yarder against Weber State last week... Stuart needs just three more to move into a tie for 10th on the Aggies' single-season list.
• He ranks T-18th among FCS kickers (1.4 pg).

DIMINO BLOCKS PUNT VS. WILDCATS 
• LB Ryan Dimino blocked a punt off the leg of TONY EPPERSON - the leading punter in the FCS - during the second quarter of last week's game against Weber State... It was not advanced.
• It was the first blocked punt by an Aggie since LB Brock Butler swatted one against Southern Utah on Oct. 11, 2008... That ball was scooped up by FS Danny Hart and returned for a touchdown.

STRONG STARTS AND FINISHES 
• UC Davis dominates the first quarter, having outscored opponents 37-7... Those also hold advantages in the second (46-36) and fourth quarters (29-23).
• The only quarter they've trailed their opponents is the third, although it is rather decisive (35-7).

BIG GAMES FOR GRUENDL RECENTLY
• LB Byron Gruendl posted a game-high 15 tackles, including 12 solo, during the Sept. 22 loss at Cal Poly... Both also represented career-highs for Gruendl whose previous best for total tackles came against North Dakota last year when he had 11..
• His previous best for solo stops was seven which he did  twice, most recently at Hawaii on Sept. 24, 2011.
• Gruendl kept the momentum going last week with a pair of interceptions against Weber State to go with seven tackles.
• The picks represented half his career total (he had two in 2010) and tied him for second for most in a game this year among all FCS players.
 • The last UC Davis player to have at least two interceptions in a game was FS Jonathan Barsi who had three against Sacramento State on Nov. 18, 2006.

PITTS ENJOYS BREAKOUT GAME AT SDSU
• LB Steven Pitts had double-digit tackles at South Dakota State on Sept. 15 when he posted 10, including eight assisted.
• That game equaled his total output from 2011, his redshirt freshman season.
• Pitts currently has 27 tackles, third-best on the team, and leads the Aggies with two quarterback hurries.
• His 16 solo tackles rank third on the team.

FBS TEAMS ON SCHEDULE ONCE AGAIN 
• The Aggies faced an FBS team (San Jose State) this season for the seventh straight year... They squared off against the Spartans for the fourth time in that span and are 1-3 in the games. .
• Altogther, UC Davis is 2-8 (.200) versus FBS competition since 2005 with the other win besides San Jose State coming at Stanford in 2005 (20-17)... Other FBS foes included Boise State (2009), Fresno State (2009), Hawai'i (2011), Arizona State (2011) and TCU (2006).

GOING OLD SCHOOL WITH THE WHITES
• UC Davis has new adidas uniforms this season, including both gold and white pants, and white and blue jerseys.
• Against San Jose State on Sept. 15, the Aggies wore both white jerseys and pants... It's believed (at least according to former lonnngggggtime assistant coach Fred Arp) the first time UC Davis has worn white pants - rather than its traditional gold  - in at least the last 45 years.
• The Aggies also wore the all-white attire at Cal Poly on Sept.  22.

FIRST-TIME OPPONENTS LINING UP
• UC Davis travels to Idaho State next week and then Northern Arizona for more Big Sky Conference action while also facing two more new foes on the schedule.
• The opener against Azusa Pacific also marked a newbie.
• The last time the Aggies have had that many new teams was in 2006 (TCU, Montana State, Youngstown State, Central Arkansas.)

SCHMIDT ELEVATES PUNTING GAME
• The year before P Colton Schmidt arrived at UC Davis, the Aggies struggled mightily in the punting department, averaging just 33.4 yards per kick and have five of them blocked.
• Since then, Schmidt has moved among the elite ranks of all-time punters at UC Davis... He averaged 40.1 yards per kick over his first three years, including a school-record 42.3 yards last season.
• His true freshman year was just as impressive when he averaged 39.1 yards.
• Schmidt entered the year having pinned 56 kicks inside the 20, last year had 13 punts go at least 50 yards, booted a 67-yarder as a freshman and a year later set a school record with a 78-yard punt at North Dakota.
• The school record for career average is well within reach... It's held by Chris Shibel (40.72 from 2001-04).
• He's averaging 42.2 ypg (23rdd in FCS) while helping the Aggies net 39.9 yards (8th).
• Schmidt is currently ranked 18th among FCS punters for career average (40.4)... His 206 punts are third-most among active FCS punters.

VETERANS ACROSS THE OFFENSIVE LINE
• UC Davis returns four-fifths of its starting offensive line from last season with all four returners starting every game they played... T Ian Joseph, OG Sean Davies and OG Jimmy Kunkel each started all 11 games in the season while C Ray Wilburn got the starting nod in all 10 games he played.

WRIGHT MOVING UP TOP 10 LISTS
• QB Randy Wright threw for 194 yards at San Jose State on Sept. 8, pushing his career total past the 5,000-yard mark... He now has 5,626 total yards, current Boise State head coach CHRIS PETERSEN (5,555 yds, 1985-86) for No. 9 all-time at UC Davis.
• Wright's 481 completions (5th) and 826 attempts (6th) are already in the top 10 while his 35 touchdowns are just two away from earning a spot on that list... He needs just four attempts to catch KEN O'BRIEN (830, 1980-82)
• He's currently ranked 12th among active FCS quarterbacks for passing yards per game (208.4), 13th for career yards and 12th for completions.

KASPAR GOES HEAD UP AGAINST BROTHER
• DT Anthony Kaspar had the unique opportunity to go head-to-head with his younger brother, NICHOLAS, an offensive guard for San Jose State, when the teams met on Sept. 8.
• The two were lined up across from each other most of the game as they faced each other in an official game for the first times in their careers.

The Last Meeting
UC Davis14
Montana State38
September 10, 2011
Bozeman, Mont.
Big First Half Propels No. 6 Bobcats Past Aggies
Denarius McGhee threw for two passing touchdowns and added a rushing score, while Cody Kirk posted 155 rushing yards and two touchdowns to help No. 6 Montana State break away in the first half and hold on for a 38-14 win over UC Davis on Saturday afternoon at Bobcat Stadium.

  

ALL-TIME RECORD
• UC Davis owns an all-time record of 490--371-33 (.566) as it plays its 94th 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 17-10 (.629) including a 3-2 mark last season.
• UC Davis played at Toomey Field from 1949-2006 before moving to its current home.

CONFERENCE HISTORY
• The Aggies are debuting in their fifth conference since 1925 and their first new conference since 2004... They joined the Great West Conference in `04 and were eight-year members of the league along with Cal Poly and Southern Utah who now join them in the Big Sky Conference.
• The Aggies are no strangers to conference success, having won outright or shared 20 consecutive titles from 1971-1990 in the Far Western Conference and Northern California Athletic Conference.
• UC Davis' conference affiliation: Far Western Conference (1925-81), NCAC (1982-92), American West (1993) and Great West (2004-2011).

TEAM CAPTAINS
• UC Davis has four team captains this season in DE Bobby Erskine, FS Kevyn Lewis, C Ray Wilburn and G Sean Davies... Both Erskine and Lewis are injured and not playing.

NEW COACHES WELCOMED TO STAFF 
• Aggie coach Bob Biggs welcomed three new coaches to his staff for the upcoming season including one he used to coach.
Kevin Daft, a standout QB for the Aggies in the mid-1990's who was drafted by the Tennesee Titans in 1999, returns to his alma mater to as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach... Daft was most recently an assistant at Cal.
• WILL COFE joins as a coach on the defensive line... The former Arizona State player and Sun Devils alum came to the Aggies from Pacific University in Oregon where he assisted former Aggie assistant Keith Buckley restart that Div. III program.
Damaro Wheeler spent the last two years at Div. II powerhouse Central Washington as a graduate assistant and will oversee the Aggie cornerbacks this season... He also brings collegiate experience from Southern Oregon (2007-09).