Battle for the Golden Horseshoe set for Saturday

Ben Scott has thrown for 13 touchdowns this season.
Nov. 10, 2014

GAME 10 - UC DAVIS (1-8, 0-6) at (RV/RV) CAL POLY (6-4, 5-2)
Saturday, Nov. 15 • 6:05 p.m. • San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Alex G. Spanos Stadium (11,075; natural grass)
TV - None
Radio - KSAC (105.5 FM) • Pregame begins at 5:30 p.m.
Live video: www.WatchBigSky.com
Live audiowww.ucdavisaggies.com (Free) 

 

 

OPENING KICKOFF
UC Davis returns to the road for the final time this season to play the first of two consecutive rivalry games to end the 2014 campaign... This is the 37th consecutive season that the teams have met, second only to Sacramento State, which is playing the Aggies for the 61st straight season, for the current opponent that has played the Aggies the most consecutive years... Five of UC Davis' seven FCS opponents this year have been ranked at the time of the game, another (Cal Poly) is receiving votes after also having been ranked, and the two FBS opponents were either ranked (Stanford) or are now ranked (Colorado State) in the top 25... The Aggies' Div. I opponents are a combined 60-39 (.606), seven of them have winning records and one (Sacramento State) is at .500... UC Davis is 1-8 for the first time since 1959 (it went 0-8-1 in 1960)... WR Ramon Vargas had his string of 100-yard games snapped at three after falling just eight yards short of another at Northern Arizona (4 rec., 92 yards)... He's scored two touchdowns in three straight, however, and has a team-high 7 TDs... The Aggies went more than four games of actual playing time without gaining a turnover until LB Russell Reeder picked off NAU QB JORDAN PERRY in the fourth quarter... QB Ben Scott has completed 91 passes for 1,170 yards and 13 TDs while starting the last four games.  
RADIO/INTERNET AUDIO COVERAGE
Due to a Sacramento Kings game on KHTK (1140 AM), Saturday's game will air on KSAC (105.5 FM) this week only... Veteran broadcaster BARRY TOMPKINS (play-by-play), UC Davis alum SCOTT MARSH (analysis) and DOUG KELLY (analysis) will call the action for the Aggies... The pregame show begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be streamed (free) on www.ucdavisaggies.com.
TELEVISION/INTERNET VIDEO COVERAGE
Saturday's game is also available through www.WatchBigSky.com... There is no charge to watch the game and an app is available to access the video stream on mobile devices, in addition to computers... All Big Sky games, except for those televised by ROOT Sports, are available through the service... All UC Davis games this year are available for viewing either by internet stream or television.
ALL-TIME SERIES
UC Davis and Cal Poly have been nearly even in their 39-game history which started in 1939 (Ags, 28-0)... The Aggies hold a 19-18-2 series advantage but have lost two straight... They also fell 28-20 in the most recent meeting at Alex G. Spanos Stadium in 2012, giving the Mustangs an 11-7 series lead in San Luis Obispo... UC Davis won four straight at Cal Poly between 1998-2004 and have captured five of the past eight matchups there... It's also rattled off winning streaks of five (1982-86) and three games (1998-2000, 2009-11) while the Mustangs' best are a pair of three-game streaks, most recently from 2006-08... Cal Poly had 414 yards on the ground, including 195 from QB CHRIS BROWN who scored twice in the fourth quarter to break open a tight game, as the Mustangs beat the Aggies 34-16 in Davis last season... Cal Poly led 28-10 at home in 2012 before holding on late.
ABOUT THE CAL POLY MUSTANGS
The Mustangs - who are receiving votes in both national polls dipped into a fourth-place tie after a 30-28 loss at Idaho State on Saturday kept them out of a tie for first place in the Big Sky with Eastern Washington, while also snapping their four-game winning streak... Cal Poly lost despite 425 rushing yards from its triple-option attack- including 195 yards and three touchdowns by QB JOSH BROWN - that helped it stay atop the FCS in rushing offense (358.2 ypg.)... Brown has scored a Big Sky-best 15 rushing touchdowns (8th in FCS) and is 10th nationally with 1,148 rushing yards... He's thrown for 10 touchdowns (124.2 ypg)... WR RONALD JACKSON has 11 catches for 351 yards to lead Cal Poly in the latter category... The Mustangs are third among all FCS teams in third-down conversions (.513) and 12th in total offense (485.3)... The Mustangs are averaging 33.7 ppg. and have not been held to less than 28 points in their last eight games... Defensively, they're allowing 416.8 ypg. (85th in FCS) and 29.2 ypg. (75th)... LB NICK DZUBNAR has led the defense, compiling 142 total tackles (51 more than nearest teammate), has a team-high tying three sacks and an Mustang-best nine TFLs... He leads the FCS with 14.2 tackles per game... DB JORDAN WILLIAMS and DB Karlton DENNIS each have three interceptions while DB CHRIS FLETCHER has eight of Cal Poly's 42 PBUs.
NORTHERN ARIZONA GAME BY THE GOOD OL' THREE DOTS
RB Gabe Manzanares threw a 29-yard TD pass to TE Mark Martindale in the second quarter, becoming the first non-quarterback to toss an Aggie touchdown pass since RB Nick Aprile found TE Dean Rogers for a two-yard score out of the wildcat formation in 2010 against San Diego... Manzanares took the handoff on Saturday and ran right before pulling up and lofting a pass along the sideline to Martindale who had slipped behind the defense... UC Davis was held to less than 100 rushing yards for the second straight game and fifth time this season after gaining just 81 at NAU... The Aggies outgained the Lumberjacks 179-74 in the second half overall and finished with just 10 less yards (324-314) for the game... NAU held the ball for 12:02 of the first quarter while outgaining UC Davis 97 yards to minus-4... The Aggies held an opponent scoreless in the second half for the first time this season... Manzanares also rushed for 83 yards and caught four passes for 47 more... The Aggie defense held an opponent without a rushing touchdown for the first time this year... The Lumberjacks scored on their first five possessions of the game but were held to field goals on three of them... S Keleen Culberson and CB Robert Taylor each had 2 PBUs while Culberson added a nine-yard sack and a quarterback-hurry... P Colby Wadman averaged 44.8 yards on six punts, including a 56-yarder in the second quarter... It was his 12th punt (among 50 overall) longer than 50 yards and improved him to fifth in the Big Sky and 20th nationally with a 41.5 avg... Saturday's game lasted just 2:48, the fastest of the year for UC Davis... The Aggies were held out of the red zone for the second time this year (Stanford).
AGGIES TRY TO REVERSE SLOW STARTS
UC Davis has been victimized by sluggish first halves during the last five games... The Aggies have been outscored an average of 19.2-6.2 ppg. while allowing an average of 272.4 total yards... Montana State was the biggest instigator of the trend, gaining 395 yards and scoring 35 points over the first two quarters... UC Davis has been held scoreless twice in the first half during that span, had a low of 70 total yards at Portland State and picked up just nine rushing yards at Northern Arizona... The Aggies have averaged 157.6 yards on their side of the ball before halftime.
TURNOVER TREND SLOWED AGAINST LUMBERJACKS
Takeaways were in the Aggies' favor during the first five games with UC Davis holding a +2 advantage... It went without a giveaway in two of those games (Fort Lewis, Colorado State)... The trend reversed over the next three games, however, primarily because Montana State, Montana and Northern Colorado each played errorless games... LB Russell Reeder's third-quarter interception at Northern Arizona on Saturday halted the surge and gave UC Davis its first turnover in more than four games of actual playing time going back to CB PATRICK WELLS' interception early in the second half at Portland State... For the season, the Aggies are -2 in giveaways (12) and takeaways (10). 
THIRD DOWN CONTINUES TO STIFLE AGGIES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL
UC Davis has not fared well when facing third down both on offense and defense... The Aggies are currently allowing opponents to be successful 49 pct. of the time, ranking UC Davis 13th in the Big Sky and 117th nationally... It's been good on 33 pct. of its own tries, putting the Aggies 11th in the Big Sky and 93rd nationally... They're 12th in both fourth-down defense and conversions in the league but have only tried six times (2 of 6)... Opponents are 7 for 12.
SCOTT RACKS UP YARDAGE AND TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST FOUR STARTS
QB Ben Scott's Aggie career consisted of five passing attempts against Fort Lewis early this season before he took over starting duties against Montana State... In four games he has already posted a pair of 300-yard efforts (379 vs. Montana State; 301 vs. Northern Colorado)... (see Scott's game-by-game totals in stats section of notes)... Scott's yards against MSU are T-23rd for most in an Aggie game and are the most by a UC Davis quarterback in their debut as a starter... His longest pass was a 58-yarder to WR Ramon Vargas down the right sideline at Montana... Scott has completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,201 yards (997 as starter), along with 13 TDs (4 each vs. MSU and Montana)... Scott added a 32-yard run against Montana State, the longest by an Aggie quarterback since J.T. O'SULLIVAN in 2000. 
MANZANARES RETURNS TO RUSHING FORM
RB Gabe Manzanares had seven 100-yard rushing games last season, including a 208-yard effort against Idaho State to start the streak and five straight to end the year on his way to Big Sky Newcomer of the Year honors... A preseason foot injury slowed his start this fall but he's seen action in the last seven games, adding 100-yard efforts against Montana State (179) and Montana (119)... With 1,745 career yards, Manzanares is now No. 9 all-time at UC Davis... He has RB SHAWN RODGERS (1,812, 1981-83) and RB Matt Massari (1814, 2001-02) in his sights... His 53-yard TD run against Montana State on Oct. 11 was a career-best... Manzanares also has 348 career attempts, ranking ninth also. 
VARGAS JUMPS TO TOP OF RECEIVING CORPS
WR Ramon Vargas worked his way up the depth chart this season, making his season debut at Portland State... Despite having just one career catch entering that game, he's quickly become QB Ben Scott's go-to receiver, compiling 33 receptions for 537 yards and 7 TDs in his four games, all best on the team... He strung together three straight 100-yard games, becoming the first to do so since former WR Sean Creadick had a school-record tying four in a row in 2010... He missed going past the century mark by just eight yards last week at NAU which would've also tied him with WR TONY KAYS (2005) and WR Michael Oliva (2001) for the Aggie record... Vargas added a 47-yard touchdown reception at NAU against the Lumberjack's All-Big Sky CB MARCUS ALFORD.   
UC DAVIS LEADS BIG SKY IN GRADUATION RATE
When the Aggies made the move to NCAA Div. I status in 2007-08, it was clear that academic achievement was going to be at the forefront of the reclassification... Football student-athletes that entered UC Davis that year took that to heart, posting an 82 pct. graduation success rate, according to figures released by the NCAA on Oct. 28... The Aggies' GSR is the highest in the Big Sky Conference... Overall, UC Davis posted an 88 pct. GSR for all of its student-athletes... It's the highest GSR in the Big West, the Aggies' primary athletics home.
FBS ON SLATE FOR 10TH STRAIGHT YEAR
UC Davis is 2-12 since starting to play FBS teams regularly in 2005 and 3-11 against FBS/I-A programs since 1986 (W,45-41 vs. Pacific).(see right) 
GOULD HAS MENTORED TOP RUNNING BACKS
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, (Baltimore Ravens), Shane Vereen (New England Patriots), Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks), Jahvid Best (Detroit Lions) and Will Ta'ufo'ou (Jacksonville Jaguars).
NOTABLE NUMBERS
The Aggies are 22-19 (.537) all-time at Aggie Stadium... Their best season at the stadium was a 5-1 mark in 2008... UC Davis has an all-time record of 498-390-33 (.560) dating back to its first season in 1915... 70.5 percent of the all-time wins have come since 1970: JIM SOCHOR (156), BOB FOSTER (30), Bob Biggs (144) and Ron Gould (5)... UC Davis is in its 96th season of football...Gould is 6-15 overall: 0-2 in August, 2-5 in September, 2-5 in October and 2-2 in November, 3-7 at home, 3-8 on the road, 4-11 in day games, 2-4 in night games, and 5-9 in the Big Sky Conference... He is the 16th coach in the history of the program. 
NOTABLE PROGRAM STREAKS
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)
2014 PRESEASON HONOR PARADE
Several Aggies were recognized on preseason teams and watch lists... RB Gabe Manzanares and K Brady Stuart are both on the All-Big Sky teams... FB Dalton Turay is a preseason Sports Network third-team preseason All-American... Stuart is on the Fred Mitchell Award watch list, given to a kicker from any level besides FBS that displays the best combination of athletics and community service... Several Aggies have been named to watch lists by College Football Performance Awards which uses primarily objective criteria: Manzanares (running backs and all-purpose), Stuart (kickers), P Colby Wadman (punters) and CB Shamawn Wright (cornerbacks).
AGGIES IN THE NFL
UC Davis currently has two players on NFL rosters - TE Daniel Fells and P Colton Schmidt... Fells in his sixth NFL season and currently plays for the N.Y. Football Giants, his fourth club... He is in his first year with the Giants and has scored four touchdowns already... Fells, who played for UC Davis from 2003-05 while earning All-Great West Conference honors, has 102 career receptions as a pro for 1,203 yards and 12 touchdowns... Schmidt was an All-Big Sky selection during his senior season in 2012 when he posted a school-record 44.5 avg... He spent the last two preseasons with the San Francisco 49ers before being winning the starting job prior to the Buffalo Bills' season opener... Schmidt is averaging 44.7 yards per kick, leads the NFL with 22 punts inside the 20 and also serves as the team's holder.
CAL COACHING CONNECTION
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... Five members of Gould's coaching and support staff have spent time in Berkeley, including offensive coordinator - and Aggie alum QB - 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.), defensive quality control staff member Robert Haney (1 year as quality control asst.) and director of operations Denis Hallin (9 years as admin. asst.). 
COACHING TREE HAS MANY LIMBS
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 (Washington) 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 and was named this week as the head coach of the USA football team, Aggie player MIKE BELLOTTI (Oregon) was a highly successful collegiate coach, former player NICK ALIOTTI was longtime 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 Paul, 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... Former Aggie assistant coach Mike Moroski, who also spent time in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers, is currently the head coach at the College of Idaho which is revived football and is playing its first season in 37 years in 2014.
COMING UP
UC Davis will finish the 2014 season with 61st annual Causeway Classic, hosting rival Sacramento State on Nov. 22 at 1 p.m... The game will be broadcast on Comcast Sportsnet California... UC Davis is looking for its fifth straight win in the series while extending its overall lead to 42-18 (4... The Aggies lead the series, 19-18-2 and will be looking for their first win in San Luis Obispo since 2010... UC Davis will then return home for the 61st Causeway Classic against Sacramento State on Nov. 22 at Aggie Stadium... The Aggies have won five straight in that series and own a 43-17 lead in the Causeway Classic (43-18 overall when including the 1988 NCAA Div. II playoffs).
The Last Meeting
Cal Poly (Parent and Family Weekend)34
UC Davis16
November 2, 2013
Davis, Calif.
Manzanares Goes Over 1,000 Yards in Loss to Mustangs
Gabe Manzanares rushed for a team-high 141 yards on Saturday, becoming UC Davis' first 1,000-yard rusher since Matt Massari in 2002 but rival Cal Poly gained 417 yards on the ground en route to a 34-16 Big Sky Conference football win in the annual "Battle for the Golden Horseshoe" at Aggie Stadium.