He’s a guy who has told friends and teammates he’d like to have a Super Bowl ring by the time he’s 30.
No one questions the Moreno Valley native’s ability to rise to such lofty heights, but right now Aarynn Jones — and his fellow Aggies — will settle for win No. 1 in 2013.
Jones, whose interception led to UC Davis’ only touchdown in a 41-10 loss Saturday night to visiting Portland State, believes his team is on the right track.
He, Jonathan Perkins and Charles Boyett each picked off a pass Saturday — the first three such turnovers for UCD during its 0-4 start.
“After that first game (a 10-7 loss at South Dakota), we said we have to get our hands on the ball,” the senior told The Enterprise. “Week after week we’ve been focusing on knocking the ball loose, working on getting interceptions, baiting the quarterback into making certain throws.
“We’re getting better at that and it’s starting to show in the games.”
With just four TDs in four games, it’s no secret that the Aggies are being kept in games — at least early on — by a solid defense, led by a veteran secondary.
“Our offense and defense are both always rebuilding. We all want to get better,” points out Jones, a 2009 Rancho Verde High grad. He adds: ”It’s about our receivers, quarterback and linemen getting to know each other. Jimmy (Laughrea) is one of the first scrambling quarterbacks we’re used to. We have to create a rapport. Linemen have to figure out how to block to that … and Jimmy needs to know when to stay in the pocket, when to throw it away.
“Seriously, our best days are ahead of us.”
Safeties Jones and Boyett each collected eight tackles Saturday, something first-year Aggie mentor Ron Gould says is not the best of statistics for a football team.
Gould would prefer to see fewer opponents in the secondary and promises that further adjustments are in the cards, despite how relatively well the defense is playing.
Meanwhile, Gould praised the play of starters Boyett, Perkins, Jones and Dre Allen, noting that with Shamawn Wright and freshman Patrick Wells as solid backups, “we have a lot of talent, depth back there.”
King of the hill: DE Nick King — he of three sacks last week — led all Aggie tacklers with 11 Saturday.
No love in Viking territory: Davis drove into PSU territory on its first possession, stalled and missed a close-in field goal. Boyett’s and Allen’s picks in Vikings territory also resulted in no points.
Does that deflate a team?
“It does take a little bit out of you,” says the coach. “We missed a couple of opportunities … we have to do a better job of scoring touchdowns.”
Versus PSU: The road team in the series has won the last four games and now the Vikes have a 9-4 overall lead.
First time in memory: Old-timers, press box members, coaches … no one remembered the Aggies wearing blue pants to match their blue jerseys like the team did on Saturday.
What’s in a record? The 0-4 start is UC Davis’ first since 1965. The Aggies were 0-2-1 in 1979. But in those two slow beginnings, there comes some hope for local fans … In ’79 UCD won six of its last seven games. In ’65, they went 4-2 down the stretch.
Portland State rages: The Vikings were in the top eight in five Football Championship Subdivision offensive categories: 615.7 yards per game is second; rushing per game (295) is fourth in the U.S.; passing efficiency 170.25 (6th); scoring 43.3 (3rd); passing yards 320 (5th). Their performance Saturday did nothing to diminish the standings. Incredibility, even with a 37-30 loss to FBS Cal and routs of two D-II teams, PSU is not nationally ranked, yet.
Where is everybody? Saturday’s attendance of 5,040 is the second-smallest crowd in Aggie Stadium football history. Only last week’s 4,900 and change against Northern Arizona was smaller.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8047.