UC Davis Brings Winning Streak Against #11/10 Montana

Randy Wright

Oct. 7, 2013

UC Davis game notesListenWatchTwitter Updates

No. 11/10 Montana (4-1, 1-1) at UC Davis (2-4, 2-0) 

Saturday, Oct. 12 • 4 pm (kickoff 4:07)  • Davis, Calif.
Aggie Stadium (10,849; Shaw Sports Turf)
TV - Max Media (local to Montana)
Radio - KHTK (1140 AM) • Pregame begins at 3:30 pm • KDVS (90.3 FM)
Live Video: www.WatchBigSky.com (Free)
Live Audio: www.ucdavisaggies.com (Free) 

Series Record: Montana leads 4-0
Last Meeting: Sept. 12, 2009; Montana won 17-10
Last Meeting Location: Davis, Calif.
Longest Aggie Win Streak: NA  
Longest Montana Win Streak: 4 (current)
Last Aggie Win: NA
Last Grizzlies Win: 2009

UC Davis returns for its annual homecoming game, facing its second ranked opponent of the season (#25 Northern Arizona) while looking for its first three-game winning streak since the end of the 2010 season... UC Davis and Montana are meeting for the first time since 2009... The Aggies are also winners of at least two games in a row for the first time since 2010 and are 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2008 when they were members of the Great West Conference... Saturday’s win at Southern Utah snapped a four-game road losing streak and marked the third straight year the Aggies have allowed an opponent nothing more than a field goal... RB Gabe Manzanares followed up his 208-yard performance against Idaho State with 175 yards versus the Thunderbirds... He now owns two of the top 25 single-game rushing performances in school history... UC Davis continues to be the best team in the Big Sky on third-down defense (27-for-90; .300)... DE Nick King picked up another sack last weekend, now has 5.0 sacks this season, and is ranked 18th nationally... The Aggies are one of just three 2-0 teams in the Big Sky.   



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... The pregame show begins at 11:30 a.m. and will be streamed (free) on www.ucdavisaggies.com... KHTK’s call will be simulcast on www.ucdavisaggies.com... GREG WONG (play-by-play) and SAMMY MECKLER (analyst) will have the call for campus station KDVS (90.3 FM).

Saturday’s game is being televised local to the Montana area by Max Media... 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.

UC Davis and Montana first played in 1926 (UM, 21-0) but the teams took a 69-year break after that and did not resume their series until 1995 (UM, 41-20)... The Grizzlies own a 4-0 series lead including a 29-24 victory in 2008 in Missoula and a 17-10 win at Aggie Stadium in 2009... UC Davis led 10-0 in the latter matchup before Montana rattled off 17 straight points... The Aggies had a chance to tie the game on their final drive, but facing a 4th-and-7 at the 12-yard line - and after a 16-minute delay when the stadium lights inadvertently went out - UC Davis QB Greg Denham was intercepted by DB TRUMAINE JOHNSON... Aggie WR Chris Carter set a school record with 18 receptions while Denham tied a school record with 43 completions... UC Davis held a 24-23 lead late in the 2008 matchup before Montana scored on 9-yard TD reception by WR MARC MARIANI to win it. 

Montana brings one of the FCS’s top scoring offenses into Aggie Stadium on Saturday, ranking ninth at 40.6 ppg... That total is fueled by a rushing attack that is ranked 18th (234.8 ypg) and a passing game that is 32nd (250.0 ypg)... The Grizzlies have a team passing rating of 187.98, best in the FCS... Most of that is sparked by QB JORDAN JOHNSON whose nation-leading 190.5 efficiency rating features 14 touchdown passes and no interceptions (66-110-0, 1,159 yds)... RB TRAVON VAN (379 yds, 3 TDs) and RB JORDAN CANADA (345 yds, 4 TDs) pace the ground game... WR ELLIS HENDERSON (12-270, 5 TDs) is the top receiver and one of only two players along with WR JAMAAL JONES (11-179) who have double-digit catches... While UC Davis is the top Big Sky team at stopping third down conversions (30 pct.), the Grizzlies are the best in the conference in converting on third down (50 pct.)... The defensive side of the ball is also potent for Montana which is 19th nationally against the run (115.6 ypg) and 41st in total defense (357.0 ypg)... A big part of that effort is in the secondary where CB ANTHONY GOODWIN is No. 1 in passes defended (2.8 pg)... He has 12 pass-breakups so far, including seven last week... He was named The Sports Network Player of the Week... DE ZACK WAGENMANN has a team-high 9.5 TFLs and 2.0 sacks while LB JORDAN TRIPP, DB DEREK CRITTENDEN and CB NATE HARRIS each have two picks... P STEPHEN SHAW is averaging 47.3 yards per kick while PR ELLIS HENDERSON is averaging 13.7 yards per punt return, best in the Big Sky and eighth in FCS. 

UC Davis snapped a three-game losing streak to Southern Utah, including a two-game streak in Cedar City... The Aggies held the T-Birds to just 45 rushing yards, the second opponent they’ve held below 100 yards this season (NAU, 66 yds)... P Colby Wadman averaged 36.3 yards on seven punts, putting six of them inside the 20-yard line, including three inside the 5... UC Davis had more rushes (44) than passes (25) for the fourth straight game and the fifth time this year... The Aggies posted a season-high 4.0 sacks, giving them 7.0 in the last two games... CB JONATHAN PERKINS’ first-quarter block of K COLTON COOK’s 29-yard field goal attempt was the first for the Aggies since 2009... Southern Utah QB AARON CANTU’s 281 passing yards were the most by an opponent this season... After yielding 87 yards and 17 plays on the T-Birds’ first two drives, the Aggie defense gave up just 34 yards on 23 plays over the next six drives... QB Randy Wright had a one-yard rush on fourth down in the first quarter, the first fourth-down conversion for UC Davis this season (now 1 for 5)... RB Gabe Manzanares rushed for 31 yards on his first touchdown’s scoring drive, including bouncing in from 16 yards for the score... LB Steven Pitts had a game-high six solo tackles and seven stops overall... S CHARLES BOYETT led UC Davis with eight total tackles... The Aggies went 3 for 3 in the red zone, the first time this season they had more than one visit inside the 20 and converted each time... Conversely, the T-Birds’ 1-for-4 showing inside the red zone was worst by an opponent in 2013... Southern Utah’s three points were fewest by an opponent since the 2012 opener (Azusa Pacific, 41-3) and marked the third straight year a foe has been held to a field goal (San Diego, 31-3, 2011)... The Aggies improved their series lead over Southern Utah to 11-6.

UC Davis and Montana are both very good on third down, just on opposite sides of the ball... The Grizzlies are ranked seventh nationally and lead the Big Sky in third-down conversions (32 for 64, .500) while the Aggies are No. 14 in the FCS and are tops in the Big Sky in stopping teams on third down (27 for 90, .300)... The Aggies held Southern Utah to just 4 of 15 (.267) last weekend.

QB Randy Wright was the first Aggie freshman - albeit a redshirt freshman - since 2000 to start at signal-caller when he opened his playing career at Cal in 2010... He started 34 consecutive games through the season opener this year, had a trio of 300-yard games along the way, and is entrenching his name throughout the Aggies’ career charts... Here’s a quick look.

Passing yards - 4th (7,546 yards) (needs 55 for No. 3)
Total offense - 4th (7,273 yards)  (needs 423 for No. 3)
Passing attempts - 2nd (1,107) (needs 48 for No. 1)
Completions - 3rd (637) (needs 33 for No. 2 and 54 for No. 1)
Touchdowns - 5th (47) (needs 3 to tie No. 3)

Wright is currently ranked eighth for career passing yards among active FCS players and seventh in completions.

After going just 2 for 4 in the red zone over their first three games and scoring just 10 points, the Aggies have been much more productive over the last three games... They’ve converted 11 of 13 trips inside their opponents’ 20-yard line and have scored 61 points... UC Davis was 2 for 3 (10 pts) against Portland State, 6 for 7 (30 pts) against Idaho State, and was a perfect 3 for 3 (21 pts) at Southern Utah... The Thunderbirds, conversely, had the most difficult time scoring from the red zone, going just 1 for 4 (3 pts)... The Aggies have allowed just one touchdown in the red zone over their last two games. 

DE Nick King has 5.0 sacks this season, tying him for 18th in the FCS at 0.8 per game... He is also second in the Big Sky... King, who led the Aggies in both sacks (6.5) and TFLs (14.0) during his breakout junior season last year, had a single sack at Nevada on Sept. 7 and followed with 3.0 against Portland State and then another at Southern Utah last weekend which also caused a fumble.

After not picking up an interception in their first three games, the Aggies have six in their last three... S AARYN JONES, CB Jonathan Perkins and S CHARLES BOYETT each had one against Portland State, Jones picked up another against Idaho State, and CB Dre Allen and CB Shamawn Wright added a pair at Southern Utah... It’s UC Davis’ best three-game performance since opening the 2011 season against Arizona State (1), Montana State (1) and San Diego (4).

UC Davis has no interceptions and just two lost fumbles over its last three games... The Aggies are +5 in the turnover department (gained 7, lost 2) in that time... After four interceptions over their first 80 passes, Aggie quarterbacks have not thrown one over their past 89 attempts.

RB Gabe Manzanares broke open his inaugural season with the Aggies by rushing for 208 yards (34 carries) against Idaho State on Sept. 28... He followed that with 175 yards (33) at Southern Utah on Saturday... Manzanares is ranked 26th among FCS runners for yards (671) and is 32nd in touchdowns (5)... His 383 yards over the last two games rank seventh in the Aggies’ recordbook for back-to-back efforts. The others? 

1. MIKE ICHIYAMA, 614 (309-Chico State, 305-San Francisco State, 1994)
2. Preston Jackson, 430 (187-San Francisco State; 243-Sacramento State, 1993)
3. Preston Jackson, 415 (243-Sacramento State, 172-Fort Hays State, 1993)
4. Matt Massari, 401 (221-Cal Poly, 180-Saint Mary’s, 2002)
5. JERMAINE RUCKER, 399 (238-Saint Mary’s, 161-Western New Mexico, 1996)
6. Preston Jackson, 391 (168-Humboldt State, 223-Chico State, 1992)

Manzanare’s 208 yards against Idaho State rank T-10th all-time at UC Davis while his 175 yards are 24th... He was the first Aggie to go over 200 yards since RB Matt Massari in 2002 against Cal Poly (221)... Massari did it twice in ‘02, earlier gaining 237 against Abilene Christian.  

K Brady Stuart was named the Big Sky Conference Co-Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 30 after kicking a career-high tying three field goals against Idaho State... After missing from 21 yards early, Stuart rebounded to connect from 34, 36 and 20 yards - all in the first half - while also making all three of his extra points... He shared the honor with K COLTON COOK of Southern Utah... Stuart is the Aggies’ first Big Sky honoree this season and the second since UC Davis joined the conference last year (QB Randy Wright, Oct. 15, 2012).

WR Tom Hemmingsen caught a season-high nine passes for 86 yards against Portland State, pushing him over the 1,000-yard mark for his career... He leads the team with 26 receptions for 285 yards this year and now has 1,047 career years... Hemmingsen, who had a foot injury last year and did not play, was the Aggies’ leading receiver in 2011 (50 rec., 622 yards), earning him All-Great West Conference first-team honors.

UC Davis was 0-4 this season for the first time since 1965 when it turned things around by winning four of its final six that season...The Aggies’ win over Idaho State on Sept. 30 avoided their first 0-5 start since 1960 when the team finished 0-8-1.

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)

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 28 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 28 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 38 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 17 consecutive games, including all 11 last year.  

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-stater since QB Sean Maraz (who was from Phoenix, Ariz., and was on the ‘11 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
IDAHO STATE - DE Nick King, OL Jimmy Kunkel, CB Jonathan Perkins, FB Dalton Turay
SOUTHERN UTAH - DE Nick King, DT Anthony Kaspar, OL Jimmy Kunkel, RB Gabe MANZANARES 

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.

Sept. 23 - Offense: RB DJ Adams, Portland State; Defense: CB Anders Battle, Northern Arizona; 

Special Teams: K Ben Worst, Montana.

Sept. 30 - Offense: RB Cody Kirk, Montana State; Defense: DL Darnell Sankey, Sacramento State; Special Teams: K Brady Stuart, UC Davis; K Colton Cook, Southern Utah.

Oct. 7 - Offense: Garrett Safron, Sacramento State; Defense: CB Anthony Goodwin, Montana; Special Teams: KR Greg Hardin, North Dakota; KR Shawn Johnson, Montana State.

UC Davis is 4-1 since 1962 when playing on Oct. 12, including a 2-0 mark at home... The Aggies own wins over Nevada (8-6, 1962) and Cal State Northridge (29-17, 1991) at home, and twice at Chico State (28-0, 1974; 27-8, 1985)... The only blemish was a 24-7 loss at rival Sacramento State in 1968.

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 locally televised 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, Grieb’s Menlo Oaks will hosted Buck’s Pacific (Ore.) Boxers... Pacific won the matchup, 28-21.

UC Davis is in its second season of membership in the Big Sky Conference, joining as an affiliated member for the 2012 season... It’s the Aggies’ fifth league since beginning football in 1915... Other conferences:

1925-81 - Far Western Conference
1982-92 - Northern California Athletic Conference
1993 - American West Conference
2004-11 - Great West Conference

UC Davis has won or shared 30 conference championships in its 95-year history, including 20 straight between 1971-90... The Aggies’ most recent title came when it won the 2009 Great West title.

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)

The Aggies are playing 12 games 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. 

The Sept. 21matchup with the Vikings was halted at 6:44 p.m. because of lightning in the area... There was 14:48 left in the second quarter when the 36-minute delay occurred... It was third such delay of an Aggie game since 2000...  The 2010 Causeway Classic with Sacramento State at Aggie Stadium was stopped for 47 minutes because of lightning... The game was resumed and UC Davis won 17-16... A 41-28 win at Abilene Christian (Texas) in 2001 nearly didn’t finish because of a 90-minute delay due to a spectacular lightning display... Officials were within minutes of cancelling the remainder of the game before it was able to be resumed... Ironically, a nearby, fully lit carnival continued on throughout the storm. 

UC Davis returns to the road for its final two flying trips of the year when they visit Northern Colorado (Oct. 19) and Montana State (Oct. 26) over the next two weekends... It’ll be the Aggies first visit to Greeley, Colo., since 2006 and just their fourth overall game against Montana State. 

The Last Meeting
UC Davis10
September 12, 2009
Davis, Calif.
Montana Rallies For 17-10 Win Over UC Davis
Chase Reynolds' scored on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter on Saturday night, giving No. 4/5 Montana the lead for good as the Grizzlies rallied for a 17-10 nonconference football win over UC Davis before 9,087 fans at Aggie Stadium.