UC Davis faces Hornets in 62nd Causeway Classic

Derek Baljeu has been a key blocker and receiver out of the backfield for the Aggies' this season.
Nov. 17, 2015

UC DAVIS FOOTBALL GAME NOTES
Game 11:  UC Davis (1-9, 1-6) at Sacramento State (2-8, 1-6)
62nd Annual Causeway Classic

Sat., Nov. 21 • 2:30 p.m. • KHTK (Sports 1140 AM) • KDVS (90.3 FM) • TV: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
Sacramento, Calif. • Aggie Stadium (21,195 ) 

Notes (PDF): UC Davis | Sacramento State | Big Sky 
Gameday links: Audio | (no video) | Live Stats | Twitter (in-game updates)

The Last Meeting
Sacramento State (61st annual Causeway Classic)41
UC Davis30
November 22, 2014
Davis, Calif.
Fourth-quarter rally lifts Hornets past Aggies, 41-30
Gabe Manzanares rushed for 161 yards while Ben Scott threw three touchdowns for UC Davis but visiting Sacramento State scored two touchdowns on three fourth-quarter turnovers for a come-from-behind 41-30 Big Sky win in the 61st annual Causeway Classic played before 7,047 fans at Aggie Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

OPENING KICKOFF
• UC Davis brings a close to the 2015 season on Saturday with its second consecutive rivalry game, taking on Sacramento State in the 62nd annual Causeway Classic.
• The Aggies have won four of the past five Causeway matchups and 12 of the past 14... However, the Hornets won 41-30 in Davis a year ago.
• UC Davis has won two straight at Hornet Field and five of the past six... It’s 14-6 on the Hornets’ turf overall.
• The Aggies have scored at least 30 points in each of the last three Causeway Classics and haven’t been held to less than 10 since 1968.
• Redshirt freshman QB C.J. Spencer threw for 311 yards against Cal Poly in his second career start last week... It was the Aggies’ first 300-yd game since Ben Scott (301 yds) against Northern Colorado last season and the most since Scott threw for 379 against Montana State in his first start, also last year.
• Senior ALEX CANNON, who received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA because of two season-ending injuries earlier in his career, posted personal-highs of six catches for 122 yards last week, including a 51-yard TD.
• Cannon had the Aggies’ biggest receiving day since WR Ramon Vargas (currently injured) went for 141 yards against Montana State last year.
• S Darryl Graham has strung together three games with double-digit tackles: Southern Utah (10), Weber State (10) and Cal Poly (14)... He has four overall.
• With 506 yards of offense last week, the Aggies went over 500 for the first time since gaining 564 against the Mustangs in 2014.
• Freshman RB JOSHUA KELLEY’s 34-yard TD run in the third quarter was the Aggies’ longest rush of the year until RB Manusamoa Luuga went 39 yards early in the fourth.
• UC Davis is back in the top 10 in red-zone offense after going 3 for 3 against Cal Poly... The Aggies are ninth nationally (.889, 24 of 27).
• The Aggies remain one of the least penalized teams in the country, ranking third in both fewest penalties (4.20) and yards (34.7) per game... They are also still second in possession time (34:25).
• K Brady Stuart (269 pts) needs just five points to become the Aggies’ all-time leading scorer... EDDIE LORETTO (273, 1985-88) holds down the top spot.
• The Aggies are trying to avoid their lowest win total since going 0-8-1 in 1960.

LAST MEETING
• RB Colton Silveria caught a 34-yard pass from QB Ben Scott early in the fourth quarter to give UC Davis its first lead of the game, 30-27, but 14 points in the final seven minutes gave visiting Sacramento State a 41-30 win in last year’s Causeway Classic at Aggie Stadium.
• The Hornets snapped a four-game losing streak to the Aggies who forged two ties with their rivals before finally taking the brief lead.
• RB Gabe Manzanares ran for 161 yards in the final game of his stellar two-year Aggie career while Scott threw for 240 yards and 3 TDs...  FS Zach Jones had 14 tackles while DT Kyle DeVaughn had the game’s only sack.
• RB Manusamoa Luuga had a 14-yard TD run in the second quarter to stake UC Davis to a 21-0 lead as the Aggies rolled to a 34-7 win in their last visit to Hornet Stadium in 2013... It was head coach RON GOULD’s debut in the Causeway Classic... Manzanares rushed for 122 yards.

NOTES FROM CAL POLY
• The Aggies posted their second-highest rushing total (195 yds) of the season after going two games without breaking 100... Their 6.5 avg. was also a season-best by more than two yards and was a 180-degree flip from its season-low 1.3 avg. at Weber State two weeks ago.
• Cal Poly scored TDs on its first six possessions, not including a short drive to end the first half.
• UC Davis scored 2 TDs and a field goal on its three third-quarter drives and then scored on its first of the last quarter... The Aggies needed just six plays and 1:45 for their two scores that cut their deficit to just 41-38.
• Sophomore TE Nolan Tooley had four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown with a long reception of 24 yards... All were career-highs.
• P Colby Wadman put two of his four punts inside the 20, averaged 42.5 yards and had a long of 52... Cal Poly wasn’t forced to punt.
• The Mustangs rushed for 486 yards on 66 carries... The Aggies have yielded 807 yards on 121 carries (6.7 avg.) in their last two games.
• The teams scored three touchdowns in the first 3-1/2 minutes of the game... By midway through the first quarter, the Aggies and Mustangs combined for 28 points and 290 yards of offense... Cal Poly led 21-14 after 15 minutes.


 

 

SPENCER RISES IN 2ND START
• Redshirt QB C.J. Spencer made the most of his second career start, completing 25 of 37 passes for 311 yards and 2 TDs... He had a long pass of 51 yds on his first-quarter strike to WR ALEX CANNON, was only sacked once and didn’t throw an interception.
• One of his more spectacular plays was bouncing off a sack attempt by DE JASON PATTERSON at the Cal Poly 16, then finding TE Nolan Tooley for a TD early in the fourth quarter that brought the Aggies to within 41-38.
• His completions were the third-most for an Aggie this season and the second-most without an interception, he had the team’s first 300-yd game of the year (and first since No. Colo. in 2014) and he helped UC Davis go over 500 yards in offense for the first time since last year’s game against Cal Poly.
• Spencer is completing 66% of his passes.

LUUGA LOVES CAUSEWAY
• RB MANUSAMOA has made the most of his first two Causeway Classic appearances, despite playing behind former RB Gabe Manzanares who rushed for nearly 300 yards the last two years against Sacramento State.
• Luuga, a junior from Long Beach, has averaged 11.1 yards a carry (8 att., 89 yds) in two Causeways so far, ripping off TDs of 34 yards last year and 14 yards in 2013.
• Luuga leads the team in carries (142), yards (496), TDs (6) and receptions (49) this season... He has 49 more carries and 11 more catches than his nearest teammate... His 39-yard TD run against Cal Poly last week was the team’s longest run of the year.

GRAHAM STOPPER ON ‘D’
• Sophomore S Darryl Graham has put together three impressive games for the Aggies’ defense, collecting 10 tackles each against Southern Utah and Weber State, and a career-best 14 against Cal Poly.
• Graham had 10 stops against North Dakota earlier this season... He is far and away UC Davis’ leading tackler (72) and has 21 more than the closest Aggie, and with 46 solo stops has 18 more than anyone else.
• He’s also tied with S Ryan Parenteau with two forced fumbles, has three pass-breakups, has an interception (vs. UND) and has recovered a fumble... And, for good measure, he has 1.5 TFLs.

BROOKS PICKING UP LBs
• The Aggies’ linebacking corps has seen its share of injuries this year but senior LB TRAVON BROOKS has come on strong to help fill in the gaps.
• Brooks, a transfer from Contra Costa College who began his career at the Univ. of Washington where he redshirted, is currently second on the team with 51 tackles, including 28 solos.
• He’s been particularly strong over the past five games where he’s posted at least eight tackles four times, including a career-best nine against Northern Arizona.
• Brooks has 3.0 TFLs, including 1.5 sacks, has forced a fumble and has one of UC Davis’ two blocked kicks... He’s making the most of his senior season after collecting just 18 tackles in 2014. 

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 459 rushing yards and leads the team with a 51.0 ypg. average and 4.9 yards per carry average.
•As a kick returner, he’s averaging 26.1 yards per return, 16th 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 29 plays of at least 10 yards (18 rush, 20 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 11 tacklers come from that position group, including DE Brandon Weaver and DE Zak Pettit, who each have 31 tackles... DE Walter Earnest has 30.
• DT Kyle DeVaughn and DT Inoke Raikadroka have 34 and 31, respectively... Raikadroka has a team-best 4.0 sacks... The interior duo combined for 11 tackles against Cal Poly.

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; T-2nd with four others for the longest in school history.
• He is the first Aggie with more than 50 career FGs (he has 51) and is now first with 74 career attempts.
• 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. 
• He is 14 of 17 for the year and is T-5th 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. 2 in the Big Sky and No. 10 nationally for FGs/game (1.4), and he is No. 2 and No. 12, respectively for FG pct. (.824)... 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 seven of the last eight 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... If they finish with three, it’ll be their lowest total since records started being kept in 1960.
• The pass defense ranks 45th in the FCS and fifth in the Big Sky in passing yards allowed (202.3 ypg).

RED-ZONE EFFICIENCY 
• The good news is UC Davis is one of the most efficient FCS teams in the red-zone, ranking ninth overall and second in the Big Sky at .889 while converting 24 of 27 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. 
• A dozen starters have been sidelined for at total of 60 combined 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... Bookend tackles Parker Smith (left) and Christian Schneider (right) were also sidelined as of late.

NCAA STAT LEADERS
Individual top 50:
• K Brady Stuart - FG%: 12th (.824); FG/gm: 10th (1.4).
• QB Ben Scott - Comp.%: 20th (.637); Comp./gm: 20th (19.8); Passing ypg: 45th (199.8).
• RB Joshua Kelley - Kick Ret.: 16th (26.1); Combined kicks: 35th (549 yds); All-purpose yds: 48th (113.1).
• P Colby Wadman - Punting: 47th (39.9).
Team top 40:
• Time of possession: 2nd (34:25)
• Fewest penalties: 3rd (42)
• Fewest penalties/game: 3rd (4.2)
• Fewest penalty yards: 3rd (347)
• Fewest penalty ypg.: 3rd (34.7)
• Completion pct.: 12th (.643)
• Red-zone offense: 9th (.889)
• Kickoff returns: 33rd (22.12)
• 4th down conversion: 34th (.550)

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...Captains for the Causeway Classic have not been announced yet.

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 431st 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.

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 500-399-33 (.554) all-time.
• Former coaches WILL LOTTER (1954, ’56-57, ’59-63), JIM SOCHOR (1970-88) and Bob Biggs (1993-2012) were presented with commemorative footballs during the Cal Poly game.

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.

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.