Aggies, Mustangs meet for Battle for Golden Horseshoe

UC Davis hosts the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe on Saturday.
Nov. 10, 2015

UC DAVIS FOOTBALL GAME NOTES
Game 10:  Cal Poly (3-6, 2-4) at UC Davis (1-8, 1-5)

Battle for the Golden Horseshoe
Sat., Nov. 14 • 2 p.m. • KHTK (Sports 1140 AM) • KDVS (90.3 FM) • TV: None
Davis, Calif. • Aggie Stadium (10,849) 

Notes (PDF): UC Davis | Cal Poly | Big Sky 
Gameday links: Audio | Video | Live Stats | Twitter (in-game updates)

OPENING KICKOFF

• UC Davis salutes its 15 seniors and looks for its second consecutive win in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe when it hosts rival Cal Poly in the 2015 home finale.
• The Aggies are looking for their second straight win in the series and fifth in the last seven games... The teams have split their four all-time games at Aggie Stadium with Cal Poly winning 34-16 in the most recent matchup in 2013      .
• Cal Poly has the FCS’s No. 1-ranked rushing offense (404.8) by more than 50 ypg... Conversely, its passing offense (67.7) is ranked last among the division’s 123 teams.
• Last year, the Aggies owned identical records to this year’s marks of 1-8 overall and 1-6 in the Big Sky when they went into San Luis Obispo and beat the Mustangs, 48-35.
• After going 18 for 34 (.529) on third down in its previous two games, the Aggies have gone just 2 for 30 (.067) over their last two, dropping them from 36th in the FCS to 73rd.
• Despite having the ball less than its opponent last week for the the first time this year (23:57-36:03), UC Davis is still ranked second nationally in possession time (34:45) with Cal Poly sitting at No. 3 (33:55).
• K Brady Stuart kicked a career-best 52-yard FG at Weber State last weekend, making him the first Aggie to reach 50 field goals in a career... His boot was just two yards from the school record (54 by Sean Kelley vs. So. Utah, 2011) and tied him with four others, including former NFL standout ROLF BENIRSCHKE (1976) and EDDIE LORETTO (1988)... Loretto held the career mark of 47 FGs until Stuart.
• Stuart’s 13 FGs in 2015 are T-6th for an Aggie season... He holds the school record (17).
• Redshirt freshman QB C.J. Spencer made his first career start last week, highlighting his day with completions of 47 yards to WR Mitchell Sheppard and 46 to WR Chris Martin.
• SS Darryl Graham has 10 tackles in each of his last two games for the Aggies’ first back-to-back double-digit games this season... He leads the team with 58 total stops, 13 more than his closest teammate (LB Russell Reeder).
• The Aggies have been held below 100 yards rushing the last two games after reaching the mark in its previous three.
• UC Davis remains one of the least penalized teams in the country, ranking third in fewest flags per game (4.2) fourth in yards (35.8).
• The last time UC Davis was 1-8 came in 1959... It was 0-8-1 in 1960.


 

 

The Last Meeting
UC Davis48
Cal Poly (Battle for the Golden Horseshoe)35
November 15, 2014
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Manzanares rushes for 230 in 48-35 win at Cal Poly
Gabe Manzanares rushed for a career-high 230 yards and three touchdowns, Ben Scott threw for 298 yards, and the UC Davis defense came up big throughout Saturday's game as the Aggies downed rival Cal Poly, 48-35, in The Battle for the Golden Horseshoe on Saturday night at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS
• UC Davis uncorked 17 unanswered points in the second quarter for a 31-14 halftime lead, picked up a career-high 230 yards and 3 TDs from RB Gabe Manzanares, and got 298 passing yards and three more scores from QB Ben Scott as the Aggies played their most complete game of 2014 with their 48-35 win.
• UC Davis rolled up a season-best 564 total yards, were 8 for 8 in the red zone and had three sacks, including two by DT Kyle DeVaughn... SS Keleen Culberson added 13 tackles (10 solo).
• It was the Aggies’ highest scoring total in San Luis Obispo since winning 63-28 in 2000.
• The closely fought series has seen alternating winning streaks by both teams of at least two games from 2004-2014... UC Davis’ longest run was five straight wins from 1982-86 while Cal Poly has twice won three straight, not including an unbeaten run of four in a row from 1987-90 that included a 31-31 tie in 1992.
• Neither team has been held below 10 points since Cal Poly’s 19-0 win in 1989... That was the last time the Aggies were shut out for a span of 202 games, ending in the 2009 opener at Fresno State, 51-0.

NOTES FROM WEBER STATE
• UC Davis was held without a touchdown for the second consecutive game... It’s the first time that’s happened since back-to-back matchups to Cal Poly (L,0-31) and San Francisco State (W,6-3) in 1981.
• The Aggies’ 174 yards of offense were their lowest since 115 at Stanford in the 2014 opener... Similarily, its nine first downs were the fewest since six against the Cardinal... UC Davis had just 11 yards in the first half at Weber State.
• UC Davis didn’t score in the red zone (0 for 2) for the first time this season.
• The Aggies were penalized five times for 41 yards, both highs since 10 for 73 against Hawai’i in their third game.
• WR Corey Collins had a career-high three receptions for 18 yards... WR MITCHELL SHEPPARD’s 47-yard grab in the fourth quarter was a career-best.
• UC Davis didn’t have a drive longer than four plays in its first eight possessions... Its longest was a 9-play, 86-yarder that ended the game after the Aggies stopped Weber State’s fake field goal attempt inside the 10 with less than three minutes to go.
• CB Vincent White had two pass-breakups and 2.0 TFLs to go with his game-high 11 tackles.
• DE Zak Pettit added nine tackles, including a half-sack, and has 19 stops over his last two games... He shared his sack with DT Inoke Raikadroka.
• FS Delvin Alexander and DE Brandon Weaver each recovered fumbles, one which was forced by SS Ryan Parenteau.

UNINTIMIDATED FRESHMAN
• RB Joshua Kelley has taken on a key role during his true freshman season, both in the backfield and on special teams.
• Kelley is currently second on the tam with 376 rushing yards and leads the team with a 47.0 ypg. average and 4.3 yards per carry average... He also owns the team’s longest run (21 yds vs. NAU) and longest TD run (14 vs. UH).
•As a kick returner, he’s averaging 27.3 yards per return, 14th nationally and third in the Big Sky... He has the Aggies’ two longest returns (56 vs. UNC, 55 vs. UH).
• Overall, Kelley leads the team with 33 plays of at least 10 yards (15 rush, 17 KR, 1 catch).

DEFENSIVE LINE CONSISTENT
• With injuries making their way elsewhere throughout the Aggies’ defense, the defensive line has been a consistent performer in 2015.
• Five of the top 10 tacklers come from that position group, including DE Walter Earnest and DE Zak Pettit, who each have 29 tackles... DE Brandon Weaver has 26.
• DT Kyle DeVaughn and DT Inoke Raikadroka have 28 and 26, respectively... Raikadroka has a team-best 4.0 sacks.
• Petit and Earnest have both been coming on as of late... Pettit has 19 tackles over his last two games, including 10 against Southern Utah while Earnest had six stops (all solo) at Weber State... Weaver also had six tackles last weekend.

SPENCER MAKES FIRST START
• Redshirt freshman QB C.J. Spencer made his first career start last week at Weber State, and while his first start was a learning experience, he also showed why he was a highly touted recruit from Inderkum HS in Sacramento.
• Spencer completed 15 of 28 passes for 146 yards with just one interception while managing his first complete game... He was also only sacked one time and had passes of 47 (WR Mitchell Sheppard) and 46 yards (WR Chris Martin).
• Spencer has completed 64.4% (38 for 59) of his passes this season and has a 12-yd TD pass to WR ALEX CANNON to his credit.
• He has two of the Aggies’ five-longest passes this season.

STUART KICKING RECORDS
• K Brady Stuart became the Aggies’ all-time FG leader 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 then career-best 48-yarder early in the second quarter, eclipsing his previous best of 47 yards against Portland State in 2013... He went even further last week at Weber State, booting a 52-yarder in the first quarter.
• Stuart’s most recent field goal is T-2nd with four others for the longest in school history... He is the first Aggie with 50 career FGs and is now first with 73 career attempts.
• Stuart was an All-Big Sky third selection in 2013, is the active FCS leader in career field goals and is 17th among all active college kickers...
• He is 13 of 16 for the year and is T-6th for most in a season... Stuart had 15 FGs (T-3rd) 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 is ranked No. 1 in the Big Sky and No. 9 nationally for FGs/game (1.4), and he is No. 2 and No. 15, respectively for FG pct. (.813)... Those are the two highest individual NCAA rankings for the Aggies.

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 six of the last seven games.
• The true freshman from Lynwood, Calif., leads the team with nine pass-breakups, including three against Southern Utah, two against Northern Arizona and Weber State, and one each versus Montana and North Dakota.
• White has five more than any other Aggie and has added 23 tackles (14 solo) to the mix.

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 48th in the FCS and seventh in the Big Sky in passing yards allowed (204.4 ypg)... They’re part of a defense that is in the top half of the Big Sky (6th) overall at 433.7 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).

MARTIN MAKING MOST OF IT
• WR Chris Martin has caught 33 passes for 502 yards and five touchdowns (48th 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 15.2 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).

RED-ZONE EFFICIENCY
• The good news is UC Davis is one of the most efficient FCS teams in the red-zone, ranking 15th overall and fourth in the Big Sky at .875 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 went against the grain of five other games:
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.

INJURIES SLOWING AGGIES
• UC Davis skated through fall camp with minimal injury concerns and looked good through two games... But, how have times changed.
• Ten starters have been sidelined for at total of 51 games so far... CB Shamawn Wright and his replacement CB Isiah Olave have gone down, and 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 returned against 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%: 15th (.813); FG/gm: 9th (1.44).
• QB Ben Scott - Comp.%: 22nd (.637); Comp./gm: 21st (19.8); Passing TDs: 49th (11); Passing ypg: 45th (199.8); Passing effic.: 50th (126.8).
• RB Joshua Kelley - Kick Ret.: 14th (27.3); Combined kicks: 39th (491 yds); All-purpose yds: 50th (109.6)
Team top 40:
• Time of possession: 2nd (34:45)
• Fewest penalties: 2nd (38)
• Fewest penalties/game: 3rd (4.22)
• Fewest penalty yards: 3rd (322)
• Fewest penalty ypg.: 4th (35.8)
• Completion pct.: 12th (.640)
• Red-zone offense: 15th (.875)
• Kickoff returns: 30th (22.66)
• 4th down conversion: 32nd (.588)
• 4th down def.: 37th (.556)
• 3rd down defense: 39th (.358)

TEAM CAPTAINS
• 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 Smith each game...Joining Smith this week TE Atlas Smith, LB TRAVON BROOKS and DE Zak Pettit.

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.

CLASSROOM EXCELLENCE
• 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.
• UC Davis also leads the Big Sky in NCAA Graduation Success Rate at 83 pct., according to figures released on Nov. 4.

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 430th consecutive Aggie game that he’s attended. Arp was also a winner of the AFCA Div. II Assistant Coach of the Year Award.

COACHING TREE
• 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.

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 500-398-33 (.555) all-time.

HISTORICAL STREAKS
• 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
• The Aggies carry an American flag and an axe (for special teams player of the week) when entering the field... They also carry a flag for 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.