59th Annual Causeway Classic Closes Biggs Era
Nov. 14, 2012
Sacramento State (6-4, 4-3)
UC Davis (3-7, 2-5)
Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012
3:08 p.m. (PDT) Davis, Calif.
Aggie Stadium (10,849)
KHTK (1140 AM) KDVS (90.3 FM)
www.ucdavisaggies.com Big Sky TV
Comcast SportsNet California
UC Davis plays its final game of the 2012 season on Saturday, a footnote to the 59th Causeway Classic which will also feature the final game of HEAD COACH Bob Biggs who is retiring from the sidelines at its conclusion... The "zeroes" on the clock will close a chapter that features the second-most wins in school history, 20 years at the helm of the Aggie program, and a nearly four-decade association as an Aggie player and coach.
Biggs has been masterful in the Causeway Classic, posting a 15-4 record so far as head coach and a string of eight straight wins from 2000-07... As a UC Davis assistant or head coach, his Causeway record stands at 26-9... On the field, the Aggies went 3-1 during his playing days... Biggs enters his 40th all-time game against the Hornets and carries a two-game winning streak into the matchup.
The Aggies' 2012 schedule currently ranks as the ninth-toughest... Two Aggie foes (Montana State, Northern Arizona) have nine wins while three (San Jose State, Cal Poly, E. Washington) have eight... Additionally, three teams (MSU, NAU, EWU) were ranked when they played UC Davis... MSU and EWU were in the top five while those two plus Cal Poly, South Dakota State and NAU are currently in the top 25.
UC Davis currently sports NCAA Div. I FCS's best net punting average (40.4) while P Colton Schmidt is now No. 6 in individual FCS punting average (44.1).
The Aggies have rushed for at least 100 yards in five consecutive games, their longest streak since doing so in each of the first eight games in 2002... Their 1,360 yards so far is the second-highest total since 2004.
QB Randy Wright has thrown for 558 yards and three touchdowns over his past two games... His 228.1 passing ypg. average is fifth in the Big Sky Conference.
UC Davis had the ball for 37:39 minutes at Eastern Washington last week, the second time its had at least 37 minutes of possession time this season (37:36 at Idaho State)... Included at EWU was nearly 12 minutes (11:51 to be exact) in the second quarter.
UC Davis is trying to avoid losing four games in a row in the same season for the first time since 1969, Biggs' freshman year on the Aggie football team.
ALL-TIME SERIES VS. SACRAMENTO STATE
UC Davis holds a 41-18 lead in the all-time series between the programs which began in 1954... The Causeway Classic mark is 41-17 with the other meeting in the series coming during the 1988 NCAA Div. II Playoffs.
The Aggies own winning streaks of 18 games (1970-88) and eight games (2000-07) for their longest while the Hornets won five straight (1988-1991) for their best.
UC Davis is 19-8 overall on its own campus including a 1-1 mark at Aggie Stadium.
The Aggies have won two straight in the series, 10 of the past 12 , and 12 of the past 15... HEAD COACH Bob Biggs is 15-4 during his previous 19 seasons as head coach.
Factoids: 1) UC Davis has shutout the Hornets eight times including the first two games in 1954 & 1955, and three straight from 1976-78. 2) Sacramento State has three shutouts, the most recent in 1964.
(more Causeway info on page 5 of game notes)
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 143-85-1 (.632) overall record and is 66-60-0 (.532) against NCAA Div. I (FBS, FCS) teams... Biggs is also 45-20 (.692) in November, and 96-41-2 (.699) at home including an 18-12 (.600) mark at Aggie Stadium.
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.
MARSHALL SPERBECK (Nevada `84) is 30-36 (.455) and in his sixth season with the Hornets... He owns a 139-89 (.610) record in 21 seasons as a head coach overall... He is 2-4 in Causeway Classics with victories coming in back-to-back games in 2008-09).
He is the winningest Hornet football coach in overall and conference games over the first four years of their tenure.
Prior to Sacramento State, Sperbeck was a successful coach at Foothill College where he posted 109 wins and advanced his teams to 11 bowl games in 15 seasons.
SACRAMENTO STATE SCOUTING REPORT
The Hornets enter the game coming off three consecutive games against ranked teams, posting a win over Cal Poly sandwiched between losses to Eastern Washington and Montana State.
Sacramento State is ranked fifth nationally and third in the Big Sky in sacks, averaging 3.20 pg... That total, however, is spread out among 14 different players who each have a piece of at least one... DL AVERY WHITE (0.5 pg) is T-75th among all FCS players for the highest individual ranking.
On the other side of the ball, the Hornets have been among the better teams at protecting their quarterback... They've allowed just 12 sacks all season (1.3 pg) and rank 22nd nationally.
A balanced offense that averages 164.0 rushing ypg. (48th) and 233.7 passing ypg. (38th) gives the Hornets an offensive attack that is ranked 43rd overall (397.7 ypg).
QB GARRETT SAFRON is both a threat to run and pass the ball... He has completed 66.1 pct. of his passes for 2,216 yards and 20 TD's and averages another 34.5 ypg. on the ground to go with a pair of touchdowns... He's ranked 24th nationally in total offense (256.1 ypg.)
RB EZEKIEL GRAHAM (75.3 ypg) garners most of the action carrying the ball and averages 4.9 yards a carry while WR MORRIS NORRISE has a team-high 54 catches and 7 TD's to lead the receiving corps... Norrise is ranked 48th in both receptions per game (5.4) and yards per game (72.7).
LB TODD DAVIS (100 tackles) has helped lead a defense that is ranked 83rd (400.3 ypg.)... Sacramento State's run defense has been solid (145.0 ypg. 47th)... The Hornets are ranked T-104th against the pass, allowing 255.3 ypg.
Davis has 12.5 TFL's for 40 yards in losses and is T-32nd in the FCS while adding a team-high four quarterback-hurries... DB OSAGIE ODIASE has three interceptions and eight breakups to pace the secondary.
Sacramento State has the fifth-best kickoff return average (25.1) in the country, a mark that also leads the Big Sky... RB SAM McCOWAN (24.3) is 34th in the FCS.
K EDGAR CASTANEDA, whose 30-yard field goal helped Sacramento State stun Colorado (30-28) on Sept. 8, is 11 for 13 with a long of 50 yards (vs. Idaho State).
P JUSTIN WELDON is 14th among punters, averaging 42.9 yards per kick with a long of 68 yards.
NEWS, NOTES FROM THE E. WASHINGTON GAME
The game was played in cold weather that bottomed out at 29 degrees in the fourth quarter... Luckily, the wind was at a minimum.
UC Davis scored 22 points in the second quarter, it's second-best period of the year behind the 24-point third quarter against Montana State.
The Aggies posted 229 yards of offense in the second quarter, including 193 through the air, while holding the Eagles to just 23 yards (11 run, 12 pass)... UC Davis was 4 of 5 on third down, held the ball for 11:51 and had nine first downs (EWU had one).
The Aggies outgained the Eagles overall (435-361), led in first downs (21-18), had more plays (79-58), had the ball decisively longer (37:39-22:21), and were better on third (6 of 18) and fourth down (2 of 2).
P Colton Schmidt's 62-yard punt marked his 16th kick of at least 50 yards this season...Nearly a third of his kicks in 2012 have gone at least half the length of the football field.
RB Dalton Turay's 2 TD's in the second quarter marked his second multi-TD quarter this season... He had three in the second period against Weber State in September.
Three rushers (Turay, 58 yds; RB Colton Silveria, 48 yds; RB Marquis Nicolis, 46 yds) had at least 45 yards in the game.
WR Corey Galindo had four catches for 113 yards, his second 100-yard game of the season... He also had 100 yards (on 3 catches) at Cal Poly earlier this season.
QB Randy Wright's 72-yard TD pass to the Galindo in the second quarter was a career-long for both players.
The Aggies scored on four consecutive drives (3 TD's, 1 FG) over the second and third quarters, and 5 of 6 going back to the first.
LB Jordan Glass and DE Nick King each had sacks while both picking up six total tackles... LB Reece Ludwig, in a starting role, had a team-high eight stops.
The game was the 900th in program history.
AGGIES PILE `EM UP AGAINST IDAHO STATE
UC Davis had one of its best offensive games in the past five years during a 52-45 win Idaho State on Oct. 13... The shootout produced a lot of "first time since...." notes, such as:
- The Aggies surpassed 50 points and 600-yards in offense for the first time since beating Iona 55-24 in 2008.
- UC Davis had a least 34 first downs for the first time since the Iona game, piling up a school record 35.
- The 97 combined points were the second-most in program history, trailing only a 58-48 loss to Bloomsburg in 2000.
- The Aggies rushed for 331 yards, its highest total since 336 against Western Washington in 2003.
AGGIES SAY THANK YOU TO 22 SENIORS
Twenty-two outstanding seniors will be honored in pregame:
RB Nick Aprile, WR Brooks Baker, DE Terry Bender, DT Andrew Benjamin, OL Sean Davies, FB Chad Davis, DE Bobby Erskine, LB Jordan Glass, LB Byron Gruendl, QB Austin Heyworth, CB Alex Hines, OL Tim Ketaily, FS Kevyn Lewis, LB Reece Ludwig, RB Marquis Nicolis, LB Hunter Pahl, CB Frederick Rice, P Colton Schmidt, LB Kirk Skierski, WR Anthony Soto, FS Phillip Thrappas AND OL Ray Wilburn.
OPPONENTS RED-HOT IN RED-ZONE
Aggie opponents have been heating up in the red-zone over the past five games, going a perfect 20 for 20 during that time while scoring 124 points (16 TD's, 4 FG's).
Montana State and Idaho State were each 6 for 6, Northern Arizona was 1 for 1, Portland State finished 3 for 3, and Eastern Washington converted all six of its chances.
Their performances have led the Aggies to drop to 109th in FCS red-zone defense with a season percentage of 89 pct. (26 TD's 6 FG's; 32 of 36 overall for 199 pts).
Conversely, UC Davis is 31 of 37 (.837) and has very similar numbers overall: 188 pts, 24 TD's. 6 FG's)... The Aggies are up 12 spots to a T-40th in red-zone offense.
INDIVIDUAL NCAA RANKINGS
Here's a listing of Aggies ranked among NCAA players:
Rushing - 89. (61.2 ypg)
QB Randy Wright
Passing efficiency - 69th (121.7)
Total offense - 47th (214.6)
Receiving yards - 83rd (59.3)
Punting - 6th (44.1)
KR Alex Hines
Kickoff returns - 23rd (25.2)
Kickoff returns - 64th - 21.6
Field goals - T-22nd (1.2 pg)
Scoring - T-75th (6.6)
DE Nick King
Sacks - T-54th (0.55)
TFL's - T-44th (1.2 pg)
Sacks - T-99th (0.45)
DAVIES EARNS NFF SCHOLAR-ATHLETE RECOGNITION
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 42 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 in October as NFF Scholar-Athletes as well as finalists for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy.
GRUENDL, GLASS ARE THE AGGIES' G-MEN
LB Byron Gruendl and LB Jordan Glass have formed a potent 1-2 punch on the defensive side of the ball, combining for 141 tackles through the first 10 games.
Glass has 71, including a team-best 35 assists while GRUENDL has 70, including a team-high 46 solo stops. 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.
PUNTING GAME A WEAPON WITH SCHMIDT
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.
He's currently ahead of the school record held by Chris Shibel (40.72 from 2001-04)... Schmidt's currently at 41.1.
He's averaging 44.1 ypg (6th in FCS) while helping the Aggies net 40.4 yards (1st)... Schmidt is currently ranked 14th among FCS punters for career average... His 231 punts are third-most among active FCS punters.
VETERANS ACROSS THE OFFENSIVE LINE
UC Davis features 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... They've continued their starting streaks in 2012.
WRIGHT ADVANCING UP CAREER CHARTS
QB Randy Wright is just the fourth seventh QB in program history to throw for at least 6,000 career yards... He now has 6,916 total yards, passing former Aggie great KEN O'BRIEN who had 6,637 yards from 1980-82... He needs 84 yards to go become the fourth Aggie - and the first since Jon Grant (8,220 yds, 2003-06) to surpass 7,000... Next up on the list is Kevin Daft (7,601, 1995-98) in fourth.
Wright's 586 completions (3rd) and 1,008 attempts (3rd) are already in the top 10 while his 43 touchdowns makes him T-7th on that list.
He's currently ranked 14th among active FCS quarterbacks for passing yards per game (216.1), and 13th for career yards and 16th for completions.
KASPAR GOES HEAD UP AGAINST BROTHER
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 489-378-33 (.562) 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 18-12 (.600) including a 3-2 mark last season.
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.