UC DAVIS FOOTBALL GAME NOTES
Game 9: UC Davis (1-7, 1-4) at Weber State (4-5, 3-3)
Sat., Nov. 7 • 11 a.m. (Pacific) • KHTK (Sports 1140 AM) • TV: None
Ogden, Utah • Stewart Stadium (17,500)
Notes (PDF): UC Davis | Weber State | Big Sky
Gameday links: Audio | Video | Live Stats | Twitter (in-game updates)
• Coming off its lone bye week of the season, the UC Davis Aggies return to the field looking for their first road win of the season.
• The Aggies are 5-8 coming off of bye weeks since 2006 with their last win coming 34-18 against North Dakota at home in 2013.
• UC Davis holds six top-4 rankings in this week’s NCAA stats: Time of possession (2nd, 36:06); Fewest penalties per game (2nd, 4.13); Fewest penalties (2nd, 33); Red-zone offense (3rd, .955); Fewest penalty yards (3rd, 281); Fewest penalty yards per game (4th, 35.13).
• K Brady Stuart is one field goal from becoming the first Aggie to reach 50 for a career... He has 49 after passing EDDIE LORETTO (47, 1985-88) for the school record two weeks ago... Stuart currently has the most career FGs of all active FCS kickers and is 18th among all collegiate kickers.
• Stuart has made 10 of 12 this season, ranking him ninth (.857) in FG pct. in the FCS... He had a career-long 48-yarder against Southern Utah on Oct. 24.
• RB Manusamoa Luuga (40), WR Chris Martin (32) and FB Derek Baljeu (20) have each caught passes in every game this season.
• Martin is averaging 10.1 yards on 10 punt returns, including gains of 49 (UND) and 40 yards (SUU)... His average puts him 22nd nationally.
• The Aggies have held time-of-possession advantages in every game this season,including at least 40 minutes each of the last two games... They’ve had 11 quarters (of 32 total) with at least 10 minutes of possession time.
• Freshman RB Joshua Kelley has kick returns of 56 (UNC) and 55 yards (UH) and is ranked 15th (27.1) nationally.
• UC Davis has just two turnovers in its past three games, its best three-game stretch of the season and tops since giving up only two from the second through fourth games of 2014... On the flipside, the Aggies have just seven takeaways this season (3 ints, 4 fumbles) and are ranked 115th nationally.
• UC Davis was held without a touchdown against Southern Utah, the first time that’s happened since opening the 2014 season at Stanford (L,45-0).
• SS Darryl Graham has a career-high 10 tackles twice in the last five games; the Aggies’ highest totals this year.
• The Aggies are 1-7 for the first time since 1959 (1-8)... UC Davis was 0-6-1 through seven games in 1960
• UC Davis is 1-9 in its last 10 road games.
• FB Dalton Turay scored three touchdowns in the second quarter (1, 5, 1 yd), UC Davis took a 31-6 halftime lead and the Aggies went on to post a 37-13 win at Aggie Stadium on Sept. 29, 2012 for a 2-1 all-time series lead.
• K Brady Stuart added three field goals (44, 32, 30 yds) to help UC Davis snap a three-game losing streak and pick up their first-ever Big Sky win with that victory.
• LB Byron Gruendl added a pair of interceptions which he returned for a total of 24 yards and DE Nick King had 1.5 sacks.
• The Aggies opened a 28-10 halftime lead in Ogden, Utah, in the teams’ inaugural meeting in 2004 before Weber State went up 29-28 in the fourth quarter... However, K EMMANUEL BENJAMIN’s 22-yd FG proved to be the game-winner.
• Of note from that game was an 84-yd TD passing play from QB Jon Grant to RB O.J. Swanigan, an 85-yard TD punt return by WR Jesse Oliva (2nd-longest in school history) and a 65-yard TD pass from Grant to WR Kevin Freeman.
• K Sean Kelley had 4 FGs (42, 24, 42 yds) but that was all the scoring the Aggies would have in their 20-9 loss at WSU in 2010.
NOTES FROM SO. UTAH
• DE Zak Pettit tied SS Darryl Graham for team-high tackling honors with 10... Pettit’s total marked a career-high, eclipsing the nine he had against Northern Colorado last year... Pettit also picked up his first sack of the season.
• LB Russell Reeder had nine tackles for the second time in the past three games... It was his third career game with at least nine stops and just one off his career-high of 10 against Portland State in 2014.
• LB TRAVON BROOKS posted eight tackles, only one back of his career-best nine from the win against Northern Arizona... DT INOKE RAIKADROKE joined the career-best tackle parade by picking up six.
• Freshman CB Vincent White had a career-high 3 PBUs, pushing his season total to a team-high seven. • Four different Aggies had at least four receptions each: RB Manusamoa Luuga (6-42), WR Chris Martin (5-30), WR Corey Collins (5-22) and FB Derek Baljeu (4-37).
• QB C.J. Spencer came in for injured QB Ben Scott and went 8-11-0 for 72 yards... He and Scott were sacked a season-high six times.
• UC Davis was a season-best 3 for 4 on fourth down but made just one trip into the red-zone. • The Aggies allowed a season-high 531 yards and gained a season-low 235 (78 rush, 157 pass). • UC Davis also had season-lows for third-down conversions (1 for 17) and third-down defense (8 for 16).
• The Aggies’ 195 passing yards were fewest this year but their 24 completions were third-most.
STUART SETS AGGIE RECORD
• K Brady Stuart became the Aggies’ all-time FG leader with 49 after converting a 33-yard with 6:04 left in the first quarter against Southern Utah... That broke a tie with EDDIE LORETTO (47, 1985-88) who was at the game and met with Stuart briefly afterwards to congratulate him.
• Stuart added to his total by making a career-best 48-yarder early in the second quarter, eclipsing his previous best of 47 yards against Portland State in 2013.
• His kicks make him 12 of 14 for the year... Stuart is ranked No. 1 in the Big Sky and No. 8 nationally for FGs/game (1.5), and he is No. 2 and No. 9, respectively for FG pct. (.857)... Those are the two highest individual NCAA rankings for the Aggies.
• Stuart had 15 FGs as a freshman in 2012, set a school record with 17 in 2013 and was limited to just five last year, but opened this year by making his first seven (10 straight going back to last year) before finally missing.
• Stuart was an All-Big Sky third selection in 2013, is the active FCS leader in career field goals and is 18th among all active college kickers.
• His second FG against Southern Utah also jumped him past K Sean Kelley (256, 2008-11) for the No. 2 spot on the program’s career scoring list... He has 258 and needs 16 to pass Loretto (273) for the top spot.
• While his 48-yarder against SUU is a career-best, Stuart also hit a 48-yard FG at North Dakota this year but the Aggies benefitted from a defensive penalty and had a down over in which they went for (and made it), negating the FG.
WHITE LOCKING DOWN
• CB Vincent White didn’t make his collegiate debut until the third week of the season but has made his presence felt while playing in five of the last six games.
• The true freshman from Lynwood, Calif., leads the team with seven pass-breakups, including three against Southern Utah, two against Northern Arizona and one each versus Montana and North Dakota.
• White has four more than any other Aggie and has added 12 tackles (9 solo) to the mix.
DT’S ARE WORKMANLIKE
• DT Kyle DeVaughn is the Aggies’ leading tackler on the defensive line with 26 total stops, including 13 solo... The mainstay had at least three tackles in each of UC Davis’ first seven games with a season-high four at Hawai’i.
• It’s also unusual to have a defensive tackle lead the team in sacks but DeVaughn has been a force with four, including two against Northern Arizona... For good measure, he returned a fumble 19 yards against the Lumberjacks as well.
• DT Inoke Raikadroka is providing balance on the other side with 22 tackles, highlighted by a season-best six against Southern Utah.
• Raikadroka has 2.5 TFLs and has an Aggie-best three quarterback-hurries.
LUUGA SHOULDERING LOAD
• RB Manusamoa Luuga has seen his role increase with last year’s graduation of RB Gabe Manzanares... It’s resulted in him starting all eight games so far which he has turned into team-highs in rushes (127), rushing yards (407), rushing TDs (4) and receptions (40).
• Luuga’s carries are 57 more than RB Joshua Kelley (70), who is next, while his catches are eight more than WR Chris Martin (32).
• Luuga entered the year with 67 carries over his first two seasons, 13 receptions and 3 TDs.
INTs HARD TO COME BY
• The Aggies have just three interceptions this season, the most recent coming on DB DELVIN ALEXANDER’s 9-yd pick-six against Northern Colorado on Oct. 17.
• UC Davis is currently on pace for its third straight season and fifth in the past six with less than 10... The Aggies had seven last year, its fewest since picking off six in 1980.
• The pass defense ranks 57th in the FCS and sixth in the Big Sky in passing yards allowed (210.3 ypg)... They’re part of a defense that is in the top half of the Big Sky (6th) overall at 428.0 ypg.
NAU WIN YIELDS HIGH MARKS
• The Aggies seemed to turn the corner with its first-ever winning over Northern Arizona on Oct. 10, producing season-best marks for first downs (27), rushing yards (208), passing yards (289), total yards (497), plays (83), avg. yards per rush (4.3) and avg. yards per play (6.8).
• UC Davis did not commit a turnover for the second time this season and held NAU to 2 of 13 on third down.
• The Aggies also led after the first quarter (14-7) for the first time this season and enjoyed their largest lead (38-17) of the year.
FIRST HOMECOMING WIN...
• The Aggies’ 38-24 win over NAU was not only its first in four all-time games against the Lumberjacks but snapped a four-game homecoming losing streak.
• Since beating UT-San Antonio, 38-17, in 2011, UC Davis had lost to Montana State (2012, 2014) and Montana (2013).
NOT PLAYING FLAG FOOTBALL
• After 21 penalties for 176 yards over their first three games, the Aggies have responded with just 12 penalties for 104 over their last five.
• That’s helped them rank among the national FCS leaders for fewest penalties per game (2nd, 4.13), fewest penalties (2nd, 33), fewest penalty yards (3rd, 281) and fewest penalty yards per game (4th, 35.13)... The Aggies are first in the Big Sky in the penalty stats and second (behind Idaho State) in the stats for penalty yards.
MARTIN MAKING MOST OF IT
• WR Chris Martin has caught 32 passes for 456 yards and five touchdowns (35th in FCS) with his latter two numbers leading the team... All three, however, have already buried the 13 receptions for 117 yards and 1 TD he had over the first two years of his career.
• Martin’s 15.8 average has been helped by two long TD receptions... He caught a 75-yarder from QB Ben Scott against South Dakota – the Aggies’ longest since 2004 – and then had a 69-yard score at Hawai’i a week later, both of them eclipsing his previous long of 27 yards in 2013 at Idaho State.
• Those two games featured back-to-back 100-yard efforts by Martin (121-USD, 123-UH).
• The good news is UC Davis is one of the most efficient FCS teams in the red-zone, ranking third overall and first in the Big Sky at.952 while converting 21 of 22 opportunities.
• The “not-so-good news” – and it’s relative since they ARE picking up points – is the Aggies have had to settle for field goals seven times after staring at 1st-and-goal opportunities in five of seven games.
• The tide turned against NAU with the Aggies capitalizing for scores on all three trips inside the 20, and all three resulting in TDs... That changed frustration over the first give games as described below:
• NO. COLORADO - 1st down at 7 (2nd qtr). Key: No gains after 2nd at 2. Result: 19-yd FG by Brady Stuart... 1st down at 7 (3rd qtr). Key: Just 3 yds in 3 plays. Result: 21-yard FG by Stuart.
• MONTANA - 1st down at 1. Key: no yards on 2 plays before QB Ben Scott was sacked by DE TYRONE HOLMES. Result: 20-yd FG by Brady Stuart.
• NORTH DAKOTA - 1st down at 2. Key: 2 rushes for -1 yards, incomplete pass. Result: 19-yd FG by Stuart.
• HAWAI’I - 1st down at 3. Key: Two rushes for -2 yds, incomplete pass. Result: 21-yd FG by Stuart... 1st down at 6. Key: delay of game penalty. Result: 27-yd FG by Stuart.
• NEVADA - 1st down at 4. Key: false start penalty. Result: 26-yd FG by Stuart.
• On the flipside, UC Davis is ranked 115th (.917; 33 of 36 att.) in red-zone defense.
INJURY BUG BITES AGGIES
• UC Davis skated through fall camp with minimal injury concerns and looked good through two games... But, how have times changed.
• Seven starters have been sidelined for at least three games... CB Shamawn Wright and his replacement CB Isiah Olave have gone down; S Keleen Culberson and LB Ryan Bua have joined them... Key reserve LB Artice Nelson has also been sidelined... On the offensive side, TE Zach Boman, WR Ramon Vargas and reserve RB Justin Williams have each missed games although Boman is expected back against Weber State... WR ALEX CANNON was a late scratch against Montana but returned for a big game (3 rec., 43 yds) against NAU.
NCAA STAT LEADERS
Individual top 50:
• K Brady Stuart - FG%: 9th (.857); FG/gm: 8th (1.50).
• QB Ben Scott - Comp.%: 25th (.637); Comp./gm: 23rd (19.8); Passing TDs: 39th (11); Passing yds: 42nd (1,598 yds); Passing ypg: 49th (199.8).
• SS Darryl Graham - For. fumbles: 43rd (0.25).
• RB Joshua Kelley - Kick Ret.: 15th (27.1); Combined kicks: 50th (406 yds).
• WR Chris Martin - Punt returns: 22nd (10.1).
Team top 40:
• Time of possession: 2nd (36:06)
• Fewest penalties/game: 2nd (4.13)
• Fewest penalties: 2nd (33)
• Fewest penalty yards: 3rd (281)
• Red-zone offense: 3rd (.955)
• Fewest penalty ypg.: 4th (35.1)
• Completion pct.: 11th (.650)
• Blocked kicks allowed: 27th (1)
• 3rd down defense: 31st (.338)
• 4th down conversion: 32nd (.588)
• 4th down def.: 32nd (.400)
• Punt returns: 39th (10.1)
• OL Parker Smith and SS Keleen Culberson will serve as team captains during the 2015 season... It is each of their first years serving in the leadership role.
• With Culberson injured, three other players are serving the role with Parker each game...Joining Smith this week are TE Atlas Smith, DE Zak Pettit and LB Russell Reeder.
STAFF PHOTO GETS NEW SMILES
• Head coach Ron Gould welcomed three new faces to the coaching staff photo and five new smiles overall with the addition of WES NURSE (cornerbacks), JIM CHAPIN (running backs) and David Braun (def. line) during the winter.
• Nurse was on the Aggie staff in 2011 before leaving and returning, Chapin was most recently at Indiana Univ. (Pennsylvania), and Braun spent the last four years at his alma mater of Winona State (Minn.).
• Also joining the Aggies are Matt Ulrich (def. quality control) and Darren Ervin (spec. teams quality control; dir. of player personnel).
NEW STADIUM TURF
• Aggie Stadium opened for business in 2007 and has new artificial turf for the first time since... Shaw Sports Turf was installed over the summer, providing a marked difference to the FieldTurf that preceded it.
• Most notably, the new turf is 3/4-inch shorter (2” vs. 2.75”) while the turf inlay is equal parts sand and rubber, compared to the all-rubber inlay previously.
• Visually, the turf alternates shades of green every five yards, except for a 10-yard stretch of dark green at midfield that serves as the background for the traditional Mustang C logo.
• The endzones are blue with “Vegas gold” lettering... The campus’ official UC Davis wordmark is in the south endzone while “Aggies” is in the north.
• The 105,000-square foot playing surface, which is also home to the Aggies’ women’s lacrosse team and features its playing lines, was installed by ProSpectra Contract Flooring and was funded through the Facilities And Campus Enhancement Initiative (F.A.C.E.) passed by undergraduates in 1999.
• The Aggies posted an NCAA Academic Progress Rate of 974 to lead the Big Sky Conference for the third consecutive year... The distinction earned them an APR Award from the FCS Athletics Directors Assocition for the third straight year as well.
• 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 four straight).
• The APR measures student-athlete retention and eligibility and helps provide a real-time mark of classroom performance.
GOULD PRODUCES RBs
• Head coach Ron Gould turned out a bevy of outstanding running backs during his 16-year career as an assistant/associate head coach at Cal prior to joining UC Davis in 2012.
• Currently, his former players form a ‘who’s who’ of NFL standouts: Marshawn Lynch (Seattle), Shane Vereen (New York Giants), Justin Forsett (Baltimore) and C.J. Anderson (Denver)... FB Will Ta’ufo’ou was most recently with Jacksonville... Retired RB Jahvid Best (Detroit) was another outstanding Cal player.
• Gould brought his expertise to UC Davis where he’s already turned out one of the Aggies’ all-time best with former RB Gabe Manzanares who gained 2,116 career yards, was named the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year in 2014 and twice earned all-conference recognition in 2013-14.
ARP CONTINUES GAME STREAK
• Fred Arp coached the defensive line at UC Davis from 1967-2007, becoming not only one of the most beloved Aggie coaches in school history, but turned out some of the best players the program has ever seen.
• The purveyor of “Club Fred” – as his players called their position group – only missed one game as a coach and that was for the birth of his son, Ben.
• Otherwise, Arp was perfect on the sidelines and that streak continues to this day... Saturday marks his 429th consecutive Aggie game that he’s attended.
• Arp was also a winner of the AFCA Div. II Assistant Coach of the Year Award.
• JIM SOCHOR, the winningest coach (156 wins) in school history, helped spawn the careers of several notable current head coaches including CHRIS PETERSEN (Washington) and GARY PATTERSON (TCU) who were both on staff... Additionally, Petersen was a QB for UC Davis in the mid-1980s... Former coaches to move through the Aggies as players and/or coaches include MIKE BELLOTTI (Oregon), NICK ALIOTTI (Oregon def. coord.) and PAUL HACKETT (NFL, college).
• Hackett’s son, Nathaniel, played for UC Davis from 1999-2002 before moving on to a successful coaching career as the offensive coordinator at Syracuse and the Buffalo Bills... He’s currently the QB coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
• 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.
• Did we say ‘thank you’? Consider it said.
AGGIES REACH 500TH WIN
• UC Davis picked up an elusive victory when it downed NAU on Oct. 10, giving it 500 in the 100-year history of the program. The Aggies had been stuck on 499 since beating Cal Poly in the 10th game of last season, a span covering six games.
• UC Davis did not play games in 1918 or from 1943-45 and have used 16 head coaches to amass those wins... JACK GLASCOCK (1-2; 1917) has the fewest while JIM SOCHOR (156-41-5) has the most.
• The Aggies are 500-396-33 (.556) all-time.
• Some notable streaks have been associated with the UC Davis football program through the years:
• 37 - Consecutive winning seasons from 1970-2006... The first 35 came when the Aggies were officially playing as a Div. II program and still stands as the Div. II record.
• 20 - Consecutive years (1971-1993) of either winning outright or sharing a conference championship during UC Davis’ tenure in the Far Western Conference, Northern California Athletic Conference and American West Conference.
• 442 - Consecutive games from 1969-2010 that the Aggies had at least 200 yards of total offense.
AGGIES, ROTC FORM BOND
• UC Davis players carry an American flag and an axe (for special teams player of the week) when entering the field... They also a flag representing the Forged Gold Battalion ROTC at UC Davis.
• The ROTC and the Aggies formed a bond during the preseason when they combined for leadership “boot camp” on Sunday, Aug. 9.
• The players had been told they’d have Sundays off during preseason camp but were then told the night of Aug. 8 to report to Toomey Field at 5 a.m. the next morning... It was there that they learned and experienced the dedication and leadership of the Army ROTC.
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