The UC Davis season-opening quarterback at Stanford will be a game-time decision, according to Aggie coach Ron Gould.
A Friday afternoon leg injury to City College of San Francisco transfer Turner Baty gave everyone in camp a scare, but the junior QB was back at Saturday’s workout and Gould said the decision to have Baty at No. 3 going into the Stanford game was “based solely on performance.”
“Every one of the quarterbacks did a great job. (Turner) vastly improved from where he was in the spring. But we went with the ones who were super-competitive,” the second-year Aggie boss told The Enterprise.
Also, UCD will be without top 2013 ground-gainers Gabe Manzanares (1,285 yards) and Manusamoa Luuga (227). Both are nursing injuries, so the ball-carrying chores fall to veteran Colton Silveria with redshirt freshman Jimmy Williams seeing action, Gould says.
The Aggies are coming off a 5-7 season in which they started slow (0-4) before coming on to go 5-3 in the Big Sky Conference.
Stanford, ranked No. 11 in the Football Bowl Subdivision and considered by many to be a favorite in the Pac-12, was 11-3 with a loss to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl.
Game time Saturday is 1 p.m.
So, Lacy, the senior from Kingsburg High who did not throw a pass in 2013, looked terrific in the spring game and has impressed coaches during summer camp.
Scott, the former Vanden High standout, has played equally well during recent workouts — giving offensive coordinator/QB coach Kevin Daft and Gould a good problem: Which of the two emerging signal-callers should start?
Gould says the injuries to Baty, Manzanares (foot last spring) and Luuga (wrist) will not keep them off the field for long.
Meanwhile, Silveria has seen a resurgence. He’s gained 10 pounds since his freshman season of 2011 and, according to Gould, “has gotten so much quicker just from last year … he’s been finding the holes and doing the job in (camp).”
In his first two seasons, Silveria gained 1,160 yards and scored nine TDs.
The Redding native has caught 27 passes in his career for 184 yards and no scores.
Williams, thanks in part to the injuries to Manzanares and Luuga, has seen a lot of action during the past two weeks and obviously has become a favorite of the coaching staff.
Good news for Silveria and Williams comes in the veteran forms of fullback Dalton Turay, tackles Ian Joseph (6-6, 300) and Parker Smith (6-4, 290) and center Jay Luchetti (6-4, 285).
At guards, redshirt freshman Julian Bertero (6-7, 305) and junior Andrew Hunter (6-2, 280) have won the right to confront Stanford’s up-front defenders.
Sophomore Chris Schneider — who started every game as a freshman — will back up Bertero and Smith on the right side. Schneider, who missed a couple of practices “and fell a little behind,” according to Gould, will be first off the bench and “will be a focal point of our lines as we go forward.”
Seniors Cory Galindo and T.J. King are expected to be Saturday’s wideouts with once-banged-up TE Mark Martindale healthy again.
Elsewhere in Gould’s starting declaration, the depth at linebacker and cornerback could be where the Aggies pin their hopes for a huge upset versus the Cardinal.
Veterans Steven Pitts and Ryan Dimino will suit up as outside ‘backers while Brady Stibi and Travon Brooks are still in a camp battle to open in the middle.
Safety Charles Boyett and cornerback Shamawn Wright return to starting roles while sophomores Keleen Culberson and Nate Walker have won first-team placement in the secondary.
Defensive ends will be Yorba Linda sophomore Luke Wood and senior Marques Barron (Merced High). Tackles are expected to be scrappy junior Kyle DeVaughn and Inoke Raikadroka (a sophomore from Serra High in Southern California).
“Still have a few more days, a few guys coming back from injury,” says Gould, hinting there could be a couple of late changes coming.
Notes: Brady Stuart — who kicked a school-record 17 field goals in 2013 — holds down the place-kicking job. Galindo will be his holder with Grant Hilton doing the snapping. Sophomore punter Colby Wadman is back and Wright will handle a lion’s share of the kick returns with help on kickoffs from Quinn Harris.