Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee came away from Saturday night’s game against the UC Davis football team with a big win and some even bigger bruises.
McGhee — along with the other Bobcat backs — was chased around, hurried and knocked down by the Aggies throughout the contest, which his team hung on to win 48-41.
The UCD defensive line, led by Jordan Glass and Kyle DeVaughn, was a force on Saturday night, accounting for four turnovers and one touchdown against the second-ranked Bobcats. The touchdown, which tied the game at 31-31 midway through the third quarter, came on a 7-yard interception return by Glass.
While Glass was the only one to show up in the stat box for it, the play was a product of the relentlessness of the front seven as a whole.
On the play, a swarm of Aggies led by Byron Gruendl, broke through the line and converged on McGhee. Pressured, McGhee tossed a wild pass, which Glass caught at his knees and carried across the goal line for the score.
“The defensive ends did a good job of getting pressure on the play,” Glass said. “I don’t even think (McGhee) saw me. I don’t know if he was trying to throw that (ball) away or what. I went down and grabbed it.”
The defensive line also forced three fumbles, which were recovered by Steven Pitts, Marques Barron and Andrew Benjamin.
The four turnovers led to 24 Aggie points.
In addition, the unit amassed nine tackles for a loss, including one sack — by DeVaughn — and held the MSU offense to a measly 67 yards on the ground. The Bobcats had entered the game averaging 181.4 yards per contest.
“I think our players do a great job of getting in the gaps,” UCD head coach Bob Biggs said. “I think that’s what coaches (of opposing teams) would say. They seldom get out of gaps.”
Both Biggs and Glass attributed the front seven’s performance to the savvy coaching of defensive coordinator Mark Johnson.
“I thought coach Johnson did a great job of dialing up pressure,” Biggs said. “We were able to keep them contained.
“I thought our defensive staff did a great job.”
During the preseason, Biggs expressed his desire for the unit to be a swarming one. As of Saturday night’s game, the Aggies have collected 15 sacks and nearly 55 tackles for a loss.
The line should continue to dominate when UCD travels to Idaho State next week. The Bengals are averaging less than 60 yards rushing per game and 2.2 yards per attempt.