Aggies Return to Big Sky Road To Face No. Colorado

Aaryn Jones is second on the team in tackles.

Oct. 14, 2013

UC Davis game notes | Listen | Watch | Twitter In-Game Updates | Gameday Central

UC Davis (2-5, 2-1) at Northern Colorado (1-6, 0-3)

Saturday, Oct. 19 • 12:35 pm (Pacific) • Greeley, Colo.
Nottingham Field (8,500; natural grass)

TV - None
Radio - KHTK (1140 AM) • Pregame begins at Noon
Live Video: (Free)
Live Audio: (Free)
Twitter Updates:
Series Record: UC Davis leads 4-1
Last Meeting: Oct. 4, 2008; Aggies won 34-30
Last Meeting Location: Davis, Calif.
Longest Aggie Win Streak: 4 (current)
Longest No. Colorado Win Streak: 1 
Last Aggie Win: Oct. 4, 2008
Last Bears Win: 2003

The Aggies hit the road for the fourth time this season, making their first trip to Greeley, Colo., since 2006 when they play Northern Colorado for the first time since 2008 (otherwise known to UC Davis fans as the "Hail Bakari" game - more on that below)... UC Davis will be trying to string back-to-back road wins together for the first time since winning at North Dakota and Cal Poly in successive weeks near the end of the 2010 season... The Aggies continue to rank among the FCS leaders stopping opponents on third down... Their 31.4 pct. rate is 17th nationally and first in the Big Sky Conference... UC Davis is also 22nd in the FCS for fewest penalty yards per game (42.4) and 32nd in passing yards allowed per game (188.0)... DE Nick King is third in the Big Sky in sacks (0.7 pg) and RB Gabe Manzanares - who's rushed for 443 yards in his last three games - is fourth in the league with 606 yards... QB Randy Wright has moved into the No. 3 Aggie position for career passing yards (7,672) and needs just 21 pass attempts and 18 completions to move up to No. 1 and No. 2 on those career lists, respectively.

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 noon (Pacific) and will be streamed (free) on KHTK's call will be simulcast on

Saturday's game will not be televised... It will be available, however, free of charge through the Big Sky Conference on A link is available through the schedule page at All remaining regular-season Aggie games will also be available online

The Aggies and Bears began their rivalry in 2003 when both were members of the former Great West Conference... UC Davis lost that game, 35-28, as UNC's WR VINCENT JACKSON - now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - caught seven passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns... SS REED DOUGHTY, now with the Washington Redskins, had a team-high six solo tackles... Since then, however, the Aggies have had the upper hand, winning all four games for a 4-1 series lead... They've scored at least 24 points in each win and 30 points in three of them... The most dramatic win was the most recent one on Oct. 4, 2008 when QB Greg Denham threw a 38-yard pass to the left side of the end zone to WR Bakari Grant on the game's final play... Grant went up between four defenders to grab the game-winning TD in the 34-30 victory, setting off bedlam at Aggie Stadium... The play is now known in Aggie lore as "Hail Bakari"... UC Davis is 2-0 at Northern Colorado, beating the Bears 38-7 in 2006 in the last matchup at Nottingham Field.

Northern Colorado enters this weekend with a six-game losing streak, including having lost three straight at home... The Bears have struggled running the ball, ranking 117th among FCS teams with a 72.1 ypg average... Conversely, however, they are among the nation's best passing teams, ranking 14th while averaging 304.7 ypg... Overall, the offense is 66th in the FCS (376.9)... QB SETH LOBATO is throwing for 299.8 ypg., having already picked up 1,499 yards and nine touchdowns... The receiving corps are also dangerous with both WR DIMITRI STIMPHIL (41-660, 4 TDs) and WR JACE DAVIS (39-612, 5 TDs) piling up big numbers... Stimphil is sixth nationally and second in the Big Sky for receiving yards, while Davis is 13th and fourth, respectively... Altogether, six Bears have at least 12 receptions and 131 yards while three have caught at least two toucdown passes... RB TROMAINE DENNIS has 346 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Bears' ground game which is averaging just 2.8 yards per carry... LB MAX FLORES has 64 tackles, including 5.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks, to help lead the defense which is 82nd nationally in allowing 417.0 ypg... LB CLARENCE BUMPAS has 59 tackles, but since he's only played in six games, his 10.0 average (when rounded up), ranks 21st nationally... UNC has been effective against the run (37th, 138.3 ypg) but has been allowing 287.7 ypg via the pass; 108th in FCS... DT LEXINGTON SMITH has a team-best 3.0 sacks while LB CONOR SPARACIO and SS KYLE GRIFFIN each have two interceptions... P TANNER ELLINGSEN ranks 25th nationally in punting (42.3 ypg) and has a long of 60 yards. 

The Aggies had a season-low 237 total yards against the Grizzlies, second only to the 245 gained versus Northern Arizona... UC Davis is now 0-2 against ranked teams... The Aggies did not have a first down in the first quarter, moving the sticks for the first time on the third play of the second quarter when QB Randy Wright hit WR TJ King for a 41-yard gain down the Montana sideline... It was a season-long pass for Wright and a career-long catch for King... The Aggies held Southern Utah to just 4 of 15 (.267) on third down last weekend... UC Davis had "three-and-out" drives on three of its first four drives and had just two possessions over seven yards in the first half... The Aggies were just 4 of 14 on third down including 1 for 8 over the first two quarters... UC Davis' 70-yard scoring drive featured just six passing yards and had eight rushing plays (totaling 64 yards)... RB Gabe Manzanares (12 yds) and RB Manusamoa Luuga (14) had double-digit gains while Wright had a career-long 14-yarder... Wright carried the ball three times for 32 yards on the drive, capping it with a nine-yard scamper on the left side, diving and reaching the ball over the goal line before falling out of bounds... DT Anthony Kaspar and LB Steven Pitts each had sacks and 2.0 TFLs... The Grizzlies had an average starting position of the Aggies' 37-yard line in the first half and 27-yard line in the second... Montana had an opponent-high four sacks... UC Davis did not have an interception for the first time in three games and did not gain a turnover for just the second time... The season-high 42 points allowed were the most by an opponent since Portland State's 49-21 in the ninth game last year... UC Davis didn't win the time-of-possession battle (26:12-33:48) for the first time since the Nevada game.

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... With 126 yards against Montana, he moved passed his position coach and the Aggies' current offensive coordinator Kevin Daft (7,601 yds, 1995-98) for third place on the career yards chart... Here's a quick look.
Passing yards - 3rd (7,672 yards) (needs 550 for No. 2)
Total offense - 4th (7,403 yards)  (needs 293 for No. 3)
Passing attempts - 2nd (1,134) (needs 21 for No. 1)
Completions - 3rd (652) (needs 18 for No. 2 and 39 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.

UC Davis is displaying good team defense... Four players have between 41-46 tackles, 13 different Aggies have recorded TFLs, five have sacks and five have interceptions... S Charles Boyett leads the team with 46 total tackles, just one ahead of S Aarynn Jones who has a team-high two interceptions and four PBUs... DR Nick King is third in tackles (42), first in sacks (5.0) and shares the team-lead in TFLs (5.5) with teammate LB Steven Pitts who had 41 stops and 3.0 sacks.

The Aggies continue to lead the Big Sky Conference on third-down defense, only letting opponents convert at a 31.4 pct. clip (32 for 102), a mark that also ranks 17th nationally... Cal Poly is a close second (31.9)... UC Davis is also among the league leaders in red-zone defense (73.9; 3rd), with opponents scoring on 17 of 23 attempts... Northern Colorado, this week's opponent is 13th at 93.1 pct. (27 of 29).

UC Davis is third in the Big Sky and 22nd nationally in penalty yards so far this season, giving up just 42.4 yards per game to the yellow hankies...  The Aggies were penalized just 29 yards against Montana last week, second only to the 27 yards they had versus Portland State... They've been penalized less than 50 yards in five of the seven games and have not had more than 66 yards (Nevada) taken away from them in 2013... UC Davis' 33 penalties are third-lowest in the Big Sky and its 4.7 per game is T-18th nationally.

UC Davis has had a tough time scoring a lot of points, but when they do, the extra points are automatic... K Brady Stuart is 11 for 11, helping UC Davis be the only Big Sky team to not miss a PAT try this season.

The defense is ranked 59th (383.3 ypg) overall but has been particularly effective against the pass, allowing just 188.0 ypg... That mark sits 32nd nationally and second in the Big Sky... S AARYN JONES has two interceptions for UC Davis which didn't have one through the first three games but then had six over the next three.

UC Davis was -3 (5 lost, 2 gained) in the turnover department in the first three games before reversing that over the next three by going +4 in the next three (3 lost, 7 gained)... They stand at -1 for the year... The Aggies had two against Montana while the Grizzlies joined Northern Arizona as the only opponents not to have one this season.

DE Nick King has 5.0 sacks this season, tying him for 17th in the FCS at 0.9 per game... He is also T-2nd 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 on Oct. 5 which also caused a fumble.

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 a week later on Oct. 5... Manzanares is ranked 28th among FCS runners for yards (606) and is 28th in rushing yards per game (101.0)... His 383 yards over those 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... Overall, Manzanares has 443 yards during his last three games. 

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 28 receptions for 307 yards this year and now has 1,069 career yards... 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.

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 29 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 29 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 39 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 18 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 
MONTANA - S Charles Boyett, DE Nick King, WR TJ King, OL Jimmy Kunkel

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.
Oct. 14 - Offense: QB Chase Cartwright, Northern Arizona; WR Luke Austin, Idaho State; Defense: Tyree Mills, Southern Utah; Special Teams: P Brock Miller, Southern Utah.

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 is 4-2 since 1962 when playing on Oct. 19 with a themes of Humboldt State and lots of scoring dominating the date... The Aggies have played the Lumberjacks four times, losing the first two (10-0, `63; 29-8 `68) but winning the last two by wide margins (44-6, `91; 49-14, `02)... Sandwiched between those games were big home wins over Cal State Hayward (37-0, `74) and San Francisco State (65-12, `85)... The 65 points scored against the Gators is tied for the most in a game in school history (65-26 vs. Preston Academy, `16).

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... The Aggies' home game against Montana on Oct. 12 was broadcast by Max Media and aired on ROOTS SPORTS regional network.

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 make their final airplane trip of the regular season next week when they travel to Bozeman, Mont., for the second time in the past three years to face Montana State... The Bobcats beat UC Davis 38-14 in 2011... The teams were engaged in a shootout last year at Aggie Stadium with second-ranked MSU edging UC Davis 48-41.