Aggies Renew Rivalry With Portland State

Andrew Benjamin has been one of the leaders on the defensive line this season.
Andrew Benjamin has been one of the leaders on the defensive line this season.

Oct. 24, 2012

UC Davis game notes | Portland State game notes | Big Sky weekly release
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Game 9
UC DAVIS (3-5, 2-3)
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012
2  p.m. (PDT)  • Davis, Calif.
Aggie Stadium (10,849)
KHTK (1140 AM)  • KDVS (90.3 FM)
Big Sky TV  



The Last Meeting
Portland State41
UC Davis33
September 11, 2010
Davis, Calif.
Portland State Turns Back UC Davis 41-33 At Aggie Stadium
Cory McCaffrey rushed for 116 yards including a 40-yard touchdown, Connor Kavanaugh passed for 178 and ran for 56 more and Portland State held off UC Davis down the stretch on Saturday night at Aggie Stadium as the Vikings snapped a three-game losing streak to their hosts with a 41-33 nonconference football victory.

• UC Davis returns to Aggie Stadium for Parent and Family Weekend, renewing a rivalry with Portland State but for the first meeting with both as members of the Big Sky Conference.
• The Aggies enter the game on the heels of their lowest scoring output of the season after averaging 43.3 ppg. their previous three games.
• UC Davis needs a three-game winning streak to ensure its 40th winning season since 1970... It’s also trying to avoid a second straight campaign with at least six losses.
• A victory in either one of its final two home games will guarantee a winning record at Aggie Stadium for the fourth time in its six seasons of existence.
• P Colton Schmidt averaged 46.3 yards per punt last weekend, putting his season average at 43.33, which if he sustains it over the final three games would break his school record of 42.33 yards set last year... Schmidt is ranked 12th among FCS punters.
• His punting has also helped the Aggies net 39.7 yards per attempt, ranking them No. 3 nationally... It’s the team’s highest statistical ranking.
• Schmidt also handles kickoff duties and has 13 consecutive touchbacks... The last kick of his to be returned came in the third quarter against Montana State on Oct. 5... The last 11 have come indoors.
• UC Davis has rushed for at least 100 yards in four straight games for the first time since 2003 when it achieved the feat against Sacramento State, Western Oregon, Western Washington and Saint Mary’s... The Aggies had at least 200 in three of those matchups... Its average over the last four games is 117.0 ypg.
• Northern Arizona ran for 204 yards last week, ending a streak of three straight games where the Aggie defense held its  opponents below 100... Opponents averaged 73.0 ypg. in the previous three games.
• The Aggies have outscored opponents 61-28 in the first quarter but have been outscored in the other three although the deficit is a slim 54-53 in the fourth. 
• Biggs picked up career win No. 143 two weeks ago, solidfying his second-place position at UC Davis (JIM SOCHOR, 156 from 1970-88)... Biggs is retiring at the end of the 2012 season.

• UC Davis and Portland State are meeting for the 12th time with the Vikings holding a 7-4 series advantage... The teams are tied 2-2 in Davis, including a 1-1 record at Aggie Stadium.
• The Aggies and Vikings first played in 1974 at Toomey Field (UCD, 50-21) and met once in the NCAA Div. II Playoffs in Portland (PSU, 42-28).
• Portland State enjoyed a six-game winning streak in the series from 1975-2004 before UC Davis rattled off three straight, including two in the Pacific Northwest.
• QB Randy Wright threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns and four Aggies had six tackles each but the Vikings picked up a 41-33 win at Aggie Stadium in 2010... They trailed 3-0 but wouldn’t get behind again in the scorefest.

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 143-83-1 (.632) overall record and is 66-58-0 (.532) against NCAA Div. I (FBS, FCS) teams... Biggs is also 57-25 (.695) in the month of October, and 80-28-1 (.739) in home games
• 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.
• NIGEL BURTON (‘99) is 11-18 and in his third year with the Vikings... His 2011 team finished 7-4 overall, 5-3 in the Big Sky and made a playoff run.
• Burton, who grew up in Sacramento and attended Jesuit HS, was the defensive coordinator at Nevada before returning to Portland State where he had previously served as an assistant.
• He was a three-year starter at safety while at Washington... The Huskies went to three bowl games during his career while he earned a trio of Academic All-Pac-10 distinctions.

•  Portland State brings an offense which ranks 17th among FCS teams in total yards (442.3 pg), 18th in scoring (34.6 ppg) and 20th in rushing (202.7 ypg).
• The Vikings’ scoring output has been helped by a 77-10 win over Idaho State on Oct. 6... The points are the second-most for an FCS team this fall... Twice this season they’ve scored at least 35 points but lost.
• Portland State is coming off a 37-25 defeat last week at current No. 11 Cal Poly, a game it led twice in the first half... A 32-yard TD pass from QB KIERAN McDONAGH to WR JUSTIN MONAHAN just 37 seconds into the matchup provided the first lead while a 57-yard fumble recovery by LB IAN STUSS led to the second.
• Monahan had four catches for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the loss.
• The offensive line has been doing a good job for the Vikings, allowing just three sacks all season and ranking third nationally.
• McDonagh ranks 21st in total offense (266.71 ypg), a figure that includes 38.7 rushing ypg.
• Portland State’s defense is ranked 72nd in total yards (389.3 pg) and 100th in scoring (33.9)... Like UC Davis, the Vikings are among the nation’s TFL leaders, ranking seventh (8.1 pg)... Their defensive pass efficiency rating (155.3) ranks 114th in the FCS.
• Opponents are averaging 243.3 passing ypg.
• K NICK FERNANDEZ is 5 of 9 in field goal attempts but three of his misses have come via blocks.

• The game was the second straight in a dome for UC Davis, believed to be a first in the history of the program.
• The Aggies and Lumberjacks exchanged punts for the first nine drives of the game and 11 of the first 12... Only a missed 33-yard FG by K Brady Stuart broke up that string... The longest drive during the first nine possessions was a 6-play, 37-yard drive by the Aggies... Two drives had negative yardage and two others were less than three yards.
• NAU’s 10 punts were the most for an Aggie opponent in 2012.
• LB JORDAN GLASS’ interception in the fourth quarter was his second of the season, tying LB Byron Gruendl for team-high honors.
• DE Walter Earnest had a game-high - and UC Davis season-best - 3.0 TFL’s which included a nine-yard sack.
• QB Randy Wright was sacked seven times which tied South Dakota State for most by an opponent this season... Three of the sacks came on the final series of the game.
• WR Corey Galindo was the second half of a double-pass that began with Wright... He tried to connect with WR Anthony Soto on the trick play in the fourth quarter but it was batted away in the endzone by DB BLAIR WISHOM.
• Wright was held without a passing touchdown for just the second time this season (also South Dakota State).
•  LB Byron Gruendl had 10 total tackles, the second time this season he’s had at least that many. (15 at Cal Poly).

• OL Sean Davies was named a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award earlier this season, a tribute to his outstanding academic, athletics and leadership achievements.
• Davies has started all 40 games of his Aggie career, is a Dean’s List honoree as a history and political science double-major, and serves as a team captain while also contributing to the team’s varied community service projects.
• Only one nominee was permitted per NCAA Div. I FBS and FCS, Div. II, Div. III and NAIA institution. A total of 147 were named semifinalists while 15 were named Wednesday as NFF Scholar-Athletes as well as finalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy.

• Four different Aggies - Colton Silveria, Marquis Nicolis, Courtney Williams and Dalton Turay - have shared the bulk of the load in the offensive backfield this season.
• Silveria has a team-high 418 rushing yards while Nicolis has 402, averaging 6.2 yards per carry.
• While those two have handled most of the yardage duties, Williams and Turay have been charged with punching it in the endzone...  Williams has six touchdowns, including three against Idaho State, while Turay, a fullback, has five including a trio of scores against Weber State.
• They’ve combined to help UC Davis post four straight games with at least 100 rushing yards, the first time that’s happened since it’s Div. II era in 2003.

• The statistics from the 52-45 win at Idaho State on Oct. 13 were among the best for UC Davis in several seasons... The Aggies’ 52 points and 640 total yards were the most since 2008, their 35 first downs were a school record, and UC Davis’ 331 rushing yards marked the program’s first time over 300 since beating Western Washington in 2002.
• QB Randy Wright (309 yds) had his third career 300-yard game while his 323 total yards were a career-high.
• The 97 combined points were the second-most in school history while UC Davis allowed at least 45 points and still won for the second time ever.

• UC Davis opponents have a countable record of 35-26 (.574) this season, giving the Aggies the fifth-toughest schedule among all NCAA Div. I FCS teams.
• The remaining three teams on the schedule - Portland State, top-ranked Eastern Washington and rival Sacramento State - have a combined countable record of 12-9 (.571), giving UC Davis the T-22nd toughest schedule coming home. 
• Three teams on the schedule this season - South Dakota State, Cal Poly and Eastern Washington - are currently ranked in the national polls. 

• LB Byron Gruendl and LB Jordan Glass are forming a potent 1-2 punch on the defensive side of the ball, combining for 120 tackles through the first eight games.
• GRUENDL has 62, including a team-high 40 solo stops, while Glass has 58, including a team-best 30 assists... Gruendl had a career-high 15 tackles at Cal Poly on Sept. 22 while Glass had 11 against Montana State two weeks later.
• Both have interceptions as well... Gruendl had two picks against Weber State on Sept. 29 while Glass got his first against Montana State, turning it into a seven-yard pick-six, before adding another last week at Northern Arizona.
 • They tied for the team lead last year with 68 stops each. 

• UC Davis is eighth among all FCS teams in kickoff returns, averaging 26.0 yards per return... CB Jonathan Perkins leads the way for the Aggies, averaging 22.6 yards a return.
• He has 339 total kick return yards and needs 148 to move into the program’s single-season top 10... Perkins has a long return of 44 yards.
• RB Courtney Williams had a 70-yarder against Montana State, the longest play for UC Davis this season... It’s T-46th among all FCS kick returns this season.

• UC Davis’ four longest plays this season all represent a different genre:
1. 70 yds - RB Courtney Williams kick return vs. MSU.
2. 69 yds - CB Jonathan Perkins int TD return vs. SDSU.
3. 67 yds - WR Corey Galindo TD catch vs. Cal Poly.
4. 55 yds - RB Courtney Williams TD run vs. ISU. 

• 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 currently at 40.70
• He’s averaging 43.4 ypg (12th in FCS) while helping the Aggies net 39.8 yards (3rd)... Schmidt is currently ranked 14th among FCS punters for career average (40.7)... His 219 punts are second-most among active FCS punters.

• 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.

• QB Randy Wright went over the 6,000-yard career mark for passing yards, just the seventh Aggie to ever do so...  He now has 6,358 total yards, passing QB MARK GRIEB (6,151 yds; 1994-96) for sixth and just 78 from overtaking QB Greg Denham (6,435 yds; 2007-09) for fifth... Former NFL Pro Bowler QB KEN O’BRIEN had 6,637 from 1980-82 and is next up after Denham.
• Wright’s 536 completions (5th) and 921 attempts (5th) are already in the top 10 while his 40 touchdowns makes him ninth on that list.
• He’s currently ranked 14th among active FCS quarterbacks for passing yards per game (211.9), and 13th for career yards and 13th for completions.

• 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.


• UC Davis owns an all-time record of 491--373-33 (.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 18-11 (.629) including a 3-2 mark last season.

• 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).

• 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.

• 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).