Enterprise staff writer
Throw away the statistics.
The gaudy numbers South Alabama has put up in 2010 Ñ such as a point differential of 282-30 while outgaining foes more than 2-to-1 in yardageÑ actually mean very little. The schedule has been weak.
But, as UC Davis head coach Bob Biggs points out, it would be unwise to discount the Jaguars simply because of whom theyÕve played.
On Saturday at Aggie Stadium, the Aggies host South Alabama, a relatively unknown second-year program that will be a Football Bowl Subdivision squad in 2013.
UCD is coming off a bye week and is taking a break from Great West play for this nonconference contest.
ÒYou donÕt evaluate them based on who they play, but on their schemes: Are they well coached and are their techniques sound?Ó Biggs said. ÒItÕs easy to diminish their team a little bit because of whom they played, but you canÕt do that. If you watch the film Ñ and our players see it, too Ñ itÕs more tell-tale about what kind of a football team they are.Ó
The Aggies (3-3) are aware of what South Alabama (6-0) has done over the past two years.
Biggs said he looks at the stats for the upcoming opponent on the Sunday before the game just to get a feel for what the opponent has, but doesnÕt provide much to the players outside of the scores.
Additionally, Biggs said he and his staff generally donÕt scout individual players on the opposing team as much as what the team does on the field.
ThatÕs especially true for the Jaguars because so many different players have seen time due to the blowouts.
ÒTheyÕre not going to change because one guy isnÕt playing, theyÕre still going to run the same schemes,Ó Biggs explained. ÒLater in the week, our players will focus on the corners and their technique and how is one different than the other Ñ that sort of thing. But thatÕs not what youÕre studying initially.Ó
The hard part for the Aggie offense in its scouting is that the Alabama defense hasnÕt been placed in many tough situations. While the Jags have been in the red zone 41 times, opponents have made it there on only six occasions.
But for the most part, UCD is worried more about itself than anything.
The Aggie offense and quarterback Randy Wright have been clicking since the second half against San Jose State on Oct. 2, but they continue to have issues turning long drives into touchdowns. Converting on third downs has been problematic.
ÒWe did our red zone stuff today and we donÕt have many clips of them in the red zone so thatÕs a little tough,Ó wide receiver Anthony Soto said after Thursday practice. ÒOffensively, we feel like weÕre improving, even if we havenÕt put up as many points as we would like. We feel like weÕre really close to putting up a lot of points, so we look forward to doing that the next couple games.Ó
The defense didnÕt have the same problem.
The Jaguar offense has run almost 60 plays per game, giving UCD plenty of opportunity to create a defensive plan.
South Alabama will look to establish the run first with tailbacks Kendall Houston and Brandon Ross to set up bootlegs and play-action passes. Biggs added that the Jaguars havenÕt been much of a dropback passing team.
ÒTheir offense isnÕt too complicated, so weÕre really focusing on bearing down on what theyÕre doing in certain formations,Ó said cornerback Jonathan Perkins. ÒWeÕre just going to play our defense and play hard. Nothing changes for us.Ó
Even though the Aggies donÕt know exactly how talented the Jaguars are, they know this is not an opponent that can be overlooked.
ÒObviously theyÕre not playing any premier competition, but you can see they still have some athletes and guys who can run around,Ó Soto added. ÒTheyÕre a little bit undersized, but they get after it so offensively weÕre going to have to be on our game.Ó
Ñ Reach Conor Tekautz at [email protected] or (530) 747-8049. Comment on this story or check out The Enterprise sports blog at www.davisenterprise.com. To view photo galleries and purchase prints of UCD football visit http://photos.davisenterprise.com