UC Davis to wrestle Bears in Homecoming matchup

Joshua Kelley runs behind guard Julian Bertero
Oct. 11, 2016

Game 7
Northern Colorado (3-2, 1-1) at UC Davis (1-5, 0-3)

Saturday, October 15, 2016  • 4 p.m.  
Aggie Stadium (10,849) • Davis, Calif.

Radio: KSAC (105.5 FM)  
TV: None
Live statswww.ucdavisaggiess.com
Complete Notes: UC Davis | Northern Colorado | Big Sky

Official Gameday Program

• UC Davis tries for its second straight homecoming win when the Aggies host Northern Colorado for the first time since the "Hail Bakari" game in 2008... ("Hail Bakari", of course, referring to WR BAKARI GRANT's winning 38-yard TD catch from QB Greg Denham on the game's final play during 34-30 victory.)



• The Aggies beat Northern Arizona, 38-24, last year, snapping a three-game losing homecoming losing streak and picking up their first win of the year.

• The defense turned in its best showing of the season last week at Southern Utah, holding the Thunderbirds to 77 rushing yards and 260 total yards - both lows for an Aggie opponent this year... UC Davis also had a season-high four sacks, including three in the first quarter.

• QB Brock Dale completed 23 passes for 219 yards in his first Aggie start... He was filling in for QB Ben Scott, who missed the game because of injury but is expected back this week.

• WR Keelan Doss continues to be the go-to receiver for the Aggies... His 34 catches are 18 more than any other player while his 443 yards are nearly double... Doss' 4  TD catches are a team-high and rank him 31st in the FCS.

• The Aggies were +5 in turnovers through their first three games but are -3 over their last three... They're ranked 36th in turnover margin (0.50) and are 27th in turnovers gained (11).

• UC Davis is just 12 of 46 (.261) on third down over the last three weeks but are coming off a season-best performance at SUU (4 for 16) in holding down an opponent in the same situation.

• A week after posting a season-high 247 rushing yards (6.7 avg.) at Eastern Washington, the Aggies were held in check at Southern Utah with just 71 yards (2.1 avg.).

• The red-zone was the score-zone through the first five games, with UC Davis converting 17 of 18 opportunities including 15 straight... It was slowed last weekend, going just 1 of 4... The Aggies (.818) are now 60th in the FCS.

• RB Joshua Kelley continues to be among the top FCS kick returners... His 26.5 average is 23rd nationally and third-best in the Big Sky... He has a 91-yard TD return (Weber State) this year.

• According to the NCAA, the Aggies schedule is currently rated the 17th-toughest in the FCS... Oregon (#24, FBS), Southern Oregon (#2, NAIA) and Eastern Washington (#4, FCS) were each ranked in a top 25 poll when they faced UC Davis... Southern Utah was receiving votes... No. 19 Cal Poly awaits the Aggies next week.

• UC Davis is trying to avoid its third straight 1-6 start to the season.

• UC Davis holds a 5-3 lead over Northern Colorado in a series that began in 2003 (L,35-28)... The Bears, however, have won the last two meetings after the Aggies had won the previous five.

• UC Davis is 2-1 against UNC in Davis (1-0 at Aggie Stadium, 1-1 at Toomey Field) with the last meeting coming in 2008... That game provided perhaps the most exciting finish to a UC Davis game thanks to "Hail Bakari" (see page 1 for details).

• The Bears scored 21 points in each of the first two quarters in Greeley last year and took a 42-3 halftime lead on their way to a 56-27 victory... RB BRANDON CARTAGENA rushed for 112 yards and 2 TDs for UNC while K Brady Stuart hit two field goals (19, 21) to tie the Aggies' career mark that he would eventually break.

• The Aggies request media properly refer to the school's name when referencing the university... The correct name is "UC Davis"... Please note the refreshing lack of hyphens and periods... "California-Davis", "Cal-Davis", "U.C. Davis", "UC-Davis" and similar combinations of letters and punctuation are also incorrect.

The Last Meeting
UC Davis27
Northern Colorado56
October 17, 2015
Greeley, Colo.
Stuart ties field goal record during road defeat
UC Davis senior Brady Stuart kicked two fields on Saturday, tying the Aggie career record of 47 held by Eddie Loretto (1985-88), but the day otherwise belonged to Northern Colorado which raced to a big halftime lead on its way to a 56-27 Big Sky football win at Nottingham Field.

• The Aggies have scored 170 points this season, averaging 28.3 ppg... They've scored those points nearly evenly over the four quarters of the game: 1st (41 pts), 2nd (46 pts), 3rd (40 pts), 4th (43 pts).

• Conversely, the second quarter has been the toughest for the Aggies' defense with opponents scoring 83 of their 258 points during that period.

• UC Davis has only given up 48 points (8.0 ppg.) in the fourth quarter.

• The Aggies went into last week's game against the Thunderbirds allowing foes 547.4 ypg. of total offense, including 220.6 ypg. on the ground... However, a stout defensive performance proved to be their best of the year.

• UC Davis allowed season-lows for total yards (260), rushing yards (77), passing yards (183), first downs (12), plays (59), yards per rush (2.5), yards per play (4.4) and third-down conversions (4 for 15).

• The Aggies held an opponent below 100 rushing yards for the first time this season, the first time since beating Sacramento State (64 yds) last season, and for the second time overall the past two seasons.

• The name of the game was defense during the first quarter of last week's matchup at Southern Utah... How much defense?

• Each team had four drives in the first period, all of them resulting in punts... Each team held the other to a trio of three-and-outs, and the remaining drives for UC Davis and Southern Utah were only six plays each.

• Six of the eight drives lasted less than two minutes and four weren't longer than 90 seconds.

• UC Davis posted a season-high four sacks in the game with three of them coming during that opening defensive onslaught: DE Anthony Baumgart (10 yards), LB Nas Anesi (9 yards) and S Ryan Parenteau (9 yards) all got to SUU QB PATRICK TYLER early in the game.

• The Aggies totaled just 23 total yards while the Thunderbirds managed just 3.

Zach Jones has made his name not only as a strong safety for the Aggies but for his versatility which has allowed the coaching staff to move him into linebacker duties as well this year.

• The hard-hitting senior has turned in a strong season, posting team-highs for solo (26) and total tackles (37)... He's also broken up a pass, intercepted a pass and has three forced fumbles; the latter which ranks him T-10th nationally at 0.5 pg.

• He had a team-high 10 tackles at Eastern Washington, marking his fourth career game with at least that many... His career-high was a 14-tackle effort in the 2014 Causeway Classic.

• Red - the jersey color for Aggies that need to avoid contact during practices - is almost becoming an unofficial school color thanks to the injury bug that has plagued the team recently.

• UC Davis was missing six starters when it went to Southern Utah last week: QB Ben Scott, TE Nehemiah Winston, WR Ramon Vargas, C Kevin Gavigan, his replacement OL Alex Hanes, LB Russell Reeder and LB Brady Stibi.

• Scott and Winston are expected back this weekend... Additionally, backup QB C.J. Spencer has been lost since playing just one play against Southern Oregon in the Aggies' second game.

• UC Davis ranked among the top 20 teams in red-zone efficiency going into last week's game, converting 17 of 18 trips into points, including 14 in a row. Those 17 visits resulted in 15 TDs and 112 points.

• The Aggies were held to just 1 for 4 at Southern Utah after only scoring a second-quarter field goal... Their consecutive-scoring streak was stopped at 15 while their season percentage dropped to 81.8.

• Two missed trips last week came on downs while another was stopped by an interception.

• They're now ranked 60th in the FCS and seventh in the Big Sky... UC Davis finished the 2015 season T-5th nationally.

• UC Davis is hoping to improve its efficiency on third down after entering this week ranked 106th at 29.9%... The Aggies have converted just four third downs into first downs in each of their last three games and are 12 for 46 (.261) during that stretch.

• Third down hasn't been a lot kinder for the defense either with opponents moving the chains on 47.7% of their third-down attempts... The news was better at Southern Utah with the defense allowing a season-low four conversions (4 for 15 overall).

Christian Leota was recruited to UC Davis as a quarterback and spent last year honing his craft there... But, he's moved over to the other side of the line where he is a linebacker and special teams standout.

• The result? How about 20 tackles (ninth-best on team), including a trio of TFLs... Leota has worked himself into a starting position for this week's game.

• RB Manusamoa Luuga ran for a career-high 160 yards on a season-high tying 22 carries at Eastern Washington on Oct. 1... It was his second 100-yard game of the year and third of his career.

• Included in Luuga's totals this year is a career-long 90-yard TD rush against Southern Oregon that ranks T-2nd at UC Davis all-time and third in the FCS this year.

• Luuga is ranked among the FCS leaders in the following: all-purpose ypg (57th, 113.0); rush yds/att. (64th, 4.9); rush TDs (12th, 7); rushing yds (21st, 512); rushing ypg. (33rd, 85.3) and scoring (36th, 8.0 ppg.).

• His 102 carries are 62 more than RB Joshua Kelley, who's next on the list with 42.

• RB Joshua Kelley has wasted little time in establishing himself as a big-play threat as both a running back and a kick returner, having already posted six plays in two years of at least 40 yards.

• Named All-Big Sky honorable mention as a kick returner last year, Kelley has continued his prowess in that area, averaging 26.5 yards per return in 2016... He ranks third in the conference and 23rd nationally.

• His 91-yard TD return against Weber State is T-14th in the FCS this year while his 58-yard TD run at Eastern Washington is a career-best and second-longest on the team this year.

BIGGEST PLAYS BY Joshua Kelley (min. 40 yds)
Yards Type Opponent Date
91* KR Weber State 9/24/17
58* Rush E. Washington 10/1/16
56 KR No. Colorado 10/17/15
55 KR Wyoming 9/17/16
55 KR Hawai'i 9/19/15
40 KR Weber State 11/7/15

Fred Arp was an assistant coach with the Aggies for more than 40 years before retiring at the end of the 2007 season... His accomplishments as defensive line coach and his reverance from the players he coached helped lead to his eventual enshrinement in the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame.

• He has been a constant on the sidelines as a coach and as a program alum... This week's game against Northern Colorado will mark th 438th consecutive UC Davis game he has witnessed... Now, THAT's a streak.

• WR Keelan Doss already has a pair of 100-yard receiving games this season, picking up career-high 116 yards against Oregon in the season opener and then adding 104 at Wyoming two weeks later... Both came on seven catches.

• Combined with WR Ramon Vargas' 208-yard effort against Southern Oregon, Doss' exploits helped give UC Davis five straight 100-yard games dating back to last season.

• Doss is a redshirt sophomore after missing last season with injury but is showing why he was a dangerous target (22-325, 2 TDs, long of 70) as a true freshman in 2014... He leads UC Davis with 34 catches for 443 yards and 4 TDs this season... Doss has 18 more grabs than the next closest Aggies.

• He's ranked among the top 50 FCS players in rec. TDs (31st, 4), rec. yds. (38th, 387) and rec/gm (43rd, 5.7). 

• OL Christian Schneider, RB Manusamoa Luuga, DT Inoke Raikadroka, LB Russell Reeder.

• UC Davis was selected 13th by the head coaches and 12th by the media in the Big Sky's preseason polls released in July.

• Northern Arizona, which lost to UC Davis last season, was the pick by both the coaches and media to win the conference race this fall.

• No Aggies were selected to the 29-player Preseason All-Big Sky team.

• HEAD COACH Ron Gould was regarded as one of the nation's top recruiters during his long tenure at Cal and he's brought that prowess to UC Davis.

• His most recent recruiting class this past February was ranked No. 10 among all FCS and tops in the Big Sky by Saturday Blitz, and was No. 17 by Hero Sports (third in the Big Sky).

• Gould's 2014 class was comprised of 12 players rated two stars by Scout.com.

• The Aggies posted an NCAA Academic Progress Rate of 981 to lead the Big Sky Conference for the fourth consecutive year... The distinction earned them an APR Award from the FCS Athletics Directors Association for the fourth straight year.

• UC Davis has increased its APR each year during the impressive run and owns the second-longest active streak of APR Awards. (Bryant University has won five straight).

• The APR measures student-athlete retention and eligibility and helps provide a real-time mark of classroom performance.

• The Aggies also had an NCAA graduation success rate of 83 percent in the most recent report, marking the second straight year they've led the Big Sky in that measurement as well... For the record, the entire UC Davis athletics program had a graduation rate of 88 percent... The program has led the Big West four straight years and seven of eight since reclassifying to Div. I in 2007-08.

• UC Davis plays the first of its two annual rivalry games when the Aggies travel to San Luis Obispo to take on No. 19 Cal Poly in the annual "Battle for the Golden Horseshoe."... Kickoff for the game is 6:05 p.m.

• UC Davis leads the all-time series with the Mustangs, 20-19-2.