Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Aggies enter The Inferno on Saturday

UCD senior linebacker Jordan Glass — seen here making a stop against Montana State — leads the Aggies in tackles heading into Saturday's game at No. 5 Eastern Washington. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

By
From page B1 | November 09, 2012 |

It’s been written about several times in these pages but it bears repeating as the sentiment keeps coming from the league’s coaches — the Big Sky Conference is very strong in 2012.

The UC Davis football team (3-6, 2-4) — though coming off of a bye last week — has been reminded of this on the field each of the previous six weeks, and will get a refresher on Saturday when it travels to Roos Stadium to face No. 5 Eastern Washington.

Ironically, though the Eagles feature a red turf field nicknamed The Inferno, the forecast for Saturday’s kickoff has temperatures below freezing.

As proof of how tough UCD’s Big West schedule has been, three of its four conference losses have come against teams atop the league standings. And now the Aggies face Eastern Washington (7-2, 6-1), which was No. 1 in the Football Bowl Championship ranking earlier this year.

“Week in and week out it’s a great challenge and, quite frankly, just about anybody on any given week can give somebody else a great game, if not win,” Aggie coach Bob Biggs said of his program’s initial foray through the Big Sky.

No. 11 Northern Arizona sits on top of the conference with its 6-0 Big Sky record, while No. 2 Montana State (5-1), which beat the Aggies 48-41 on Oct. 6, is just behind the second-place Eagles. Behind the Grizzlies is No. 19 Cal Poly, which includes a 28-20 win over UCD on Sept. 22 as part of its 5-2 league mark.

But the scores against Montana State and Cal Poly reveal another point of view in examining the strength of the Big Sky. While the Aggies face tough opposition each week, their opponents are facing a UCD team that is capable of winning on any given Saturday.

Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin certainly has his guard up, especially after his squad’s 30-27 loss last month to Southern Utah, which has a similar record as the Aggies.

“You’ve got to study the opponent you’re playing … and not pay any attention to what their record is,” Baldwin said on the weekly Big West teleconference. “Every team is a challenge in this conference right now. We’re going to play a very good UC Davis team, and we have to do things right if we are going to have a chance to win on Saturday.”

Baldwin knows his team has to deal with an Aggie offense that can gain yardage on the ground and through the air, and is at its best when it can establish the run to set up play-action passes down the field.

UCD’s Randy Wright, who is near the end of his third full season as the starter, has completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,930 yards and 11 touchdowns — though his 12 interceptions have been a problem.

On the ground, the Aggies don’t have one dominant runner but have used their four horsemen — Marquis Nicolis, Colton Silveria, Courtney Williams and the bruising Dalton Turay — to combine for 1,264 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and 15 TDs.

The Eagles offense must deal with UCD’s two star linebackers in Jordan Glass (67 tackles, including 7.5 for loss) and Byron Gruendl (68, 5) — who each have two interceptions — as well as pass-rushing linemen Andrew Benjamin and Nick King, who are tied for the team lead with 4.5 sacks apiece.

And if the Aggies are forced to punt, Colton Schmidt’s 43.6 average is the seventh-best in the country.

Game time is 1:35 p.m., and the game can be heard on KHTK (1140 AM).

Notes: Eastern Washington will have to come out strong as UCD has outscored opponents, 68-35, in the first quarter this season. … Eagles QB Vernon Adams is the Big Sky’s reigning Offensive Player of the Week after completing 19-of-29 pass for 299 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 68 more yards in a 34-17 win over Cal Poly. “They’ve got a terrific pass game with some very talented receivers, probably as talented a group of receivers as we’ve seen all year. But they run the ball effectively as well,” Biggs said. “You throw in Vernon Adams and his ability to make plays with his legs … they’re prolific, they’re gonna score their points. I think what you have to do is contain them and make them work for everything they get.”

— Reach Chris Saur at [email protected] or 530-747-8049.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Fire damages South Davis home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Gerber nominations close Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Explorit: Humming right along

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

    Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Spring sing-along is March 4

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Learn about your brain on March 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    A fill-up mishap

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Two free yoga classes offered March 12

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Take a night walk at Cache Creek

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Adopt a household for Bridge to Housing participants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Tired of all of this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Cavalier attitude about bike safety

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Start early to build healthy dental habits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

     
    No extra cost for containers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Oral Health Project launches

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Here an H, there an H

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devil boys expect a spike in production

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Monticello announces March schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    ‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    Car Care: Simple DIY steps to protect your car through all seasons

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    George Miller Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vernon E. Burton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5