Tuesday, March 31, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

It’s all love between Aggies, Hornets at lunch — until game comes up

UCD head coach Bob Biggs takes a moment to reflect on his long career as he addresses the media at a Causeway Classic gathering on Thursday. Saturday's 59th clash will be Biggs' final game before retiring. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page B1 | November 16, 2012 |

SACRAMENTO — Players and coaches from UC Davis and Sacramento State sang their final verses of “Kumbaya” at Thursday’s Causeway Classic Kickoff Luncheon as supporters of both gridiron programs gathered at the Doubletree Inn in Sacramento.

When event emcee and Aggie play-by-play radio voice Scott Marsh introduced retiring Bob Biggs, the more than 300 people in attendance rose to their feet in a 30-second shower of appreciation.

Marsh had brought the 20-year UCD head coach to the podium by declaring: “No one has had more impact as a player and a coach (in UCD football history). No one.”

Biggs, who will be on the sidelines one last time for the 59th annual contest between the Aggies and Hornets at 3:08 p.m. Saturday at Aggie Stadium, was moved.

After thanking his wife Diane, mentor and former UCD coach Jim Sochor and ex-Aggie Athletic Director Greg Warzecka for all their support, guidance and understanding, Biggs continued down a long list of contributors and memorable events that wrote the coach’s 39-season story as a player and coach in Davis.

Hornet chief Marshall Sperbeck spoke highly of his rival’s efforts this past season. Despite a 3-7 mark (2-5 in Big Sky Conference), Sperbeck cautioned fans that the local record is misleading:

“They could have easily won six, seven, eight games had some things gone right for them.”

In his sixth season in Sacramento, Sperbeck said over the years he had grown to know Biggs well, respected him as a coach and man and added, “I wish he was playing his last game against someone else … then I’d be able to root for him.”

Sperbeck presented Biggs with a retirement gift certificate for fly-fishing gear and Aggie players in attendance gave their coach a montage of photos from previous Causeway Classics.

The love was palpable — until Sperbeck broached the topic of that one last matchup with the former Vacaville High standout Biggs.

“I hate to use the word ‘hate,’” Sperbeck said to a laughing audience, further explaining that once a year these two programs don’t like each other. “But on Saturday … yeah, it is hate between (the teams).”

Sacramento State comes to town with a 6-4 record and a 4-3 league campaign. A victory keeps the Hornets alive for Football Championship Subdivision postseason consideration.

Sperbeck said the playoffs were something “he has no control over. Playing the Aggies is motivation enough” to do well in the regular-season finale.

Biggs, whose running game has been much improved this fall, would love nothing better than to unleash Colton Silveria (503 yards and three scores) and Marquis Nicolis (486 yards and a score) on UCD’s guests.

Rain is expected (remember 2010’s torrential downpour?) and an aerial game could be difficult.

In five consecutive games, the Aggies have gone over the century mark on the ground. Only once since 2004 has UCD gone over the 1,360 rushing yards it has now.

Aggie junior signal-caller Randy Wright (2,229 yards and 12 scores) has struggled at times this year.

Conversely, the Hornets feature quarterback Garrett Safron, who has completed 68 percent of his passes for 2,216 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Safron also can tuck the ball and run. His 345 ground yards are second only to teammate Ezekial Graham (753 and four scores).

Both coaches say throw out the records. Don’t over-analyze team statistics. Just hunker down and get ready to play smash-mouth football.

“This is where the fun is,” Biggs said at a pre-luncheon press conference. “Playing in rivalry games.

“We came into the season optimistically about how things would go. … (I’m) not one to make an excuse, (but) five of our six (division) losses were against top 25 teams — and (Football Bowl Subdivision) San Jose State looks like it’s bowl-bound.”

Biggs told both the press and, later, the throng gathered at the kickoff event that he’s had teams that have won more games in the past, “but I’ve never been more proud … and respectful of any football team I’ve ever had.”

UCD leads the series with Sacramento, 41-18. The rivalry dates back to 1954.

The game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet California with Marsh and Doug Kelly doing radio (KHTK 1140 pregame starts at 2:30 p.m.). The game also will be on KDVS (90.3 FM).

Notes: Biggs praised Sperbeck for his guidance in leading the Hornets through some early tough games and the death of player John Bloomfield. In turn, Sperbeck praised his captains and “senior element” that provided leadership during those dark days. … Wright, who has thrown for 558 yards and three TDs in his past two outings, had this to say about his departing coach: “He’s great … he’s a stand-up guy. You can go to him for anything. He’s just a man you want in your life who will make an impact on anyone he talks to.” … Biggs — a former Aggie QB — is 15-4 as a head coach in Causeway Classics. … The 1982 Aggie team that played for the Division II National Championship will be honored Saturday. … Sac State linebacker Jeff Badger was a prep  teammate of Wright’s at Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa). “He’d been my quarterback since I was 8,” Badger explained. “I asked (Randy), ‘Couldn’t you just throw me one pick? I won’t score.’ ” Insiders know Wright won’t go for that, but that won’t stop Badger and his linebacking buddies from trying to disrupt the Aggies’ game plan. Badger, whose dad Jeff played for Davis, is a player to watch on defense.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-747-8047.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

.

News

 
Coroner confirms West Davis deaths were murder-suicide

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Special playground dedication slated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Bob Dunning: Wrap your head around our MRAP need

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Solo crash kills Woodland man, 22

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Officials say Iran nuke talks will continue in new phase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Police: Missing athlete died on freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
French eye cockpit entry rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
‘Old Autos’ at Hattie Weber Museum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Camp Shakespeare begins Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis tops list of best schools for the buck

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

Lenten giving project highlights climate justice

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
DCCNS plans open house April 8

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Parent-child open house previews new Waldorf classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Summer garden alert!

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Davis FFA and ag students host plant sale

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Poker tourney benefits DMTC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Parenting class meets Tuesdays

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Neighbors invited to adopt Willow Creek Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Yolo animal shelter seeks donations

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
RSVP for Gerber Young Community Leader reception

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Pence Gallery recruiting volunteers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Move over, Muggles

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A5

Tour de Cluck has selected its coops

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
CBH hosts Passover Community Potluck Seder

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

City extends nomination period for Huynh Awards

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Meeting examines Northstar Pond priorities

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

Forum

Maybe he loves the outdoors …

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Why can’t we be friends?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

A California comeback for gerrymandering?

By Tom Elias | From Page: A8

 
César Chávez’s peaceful civil disobedience forged a great legacy

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

A conversation about power

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

 
Over the years, The Show has been a reach for Davis

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UC Davis opens hopeful spring football camp

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
A very palpable hit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Sleiffer seals Aggie tennis victory over Montana

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Grizzlies beat Kings to end three-game skid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Snubbed Temple, returning Stanford highlight NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Features

.

Arts

30 years of dance in Davis with Pamela Trokanski

By Chloe Lessard | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Jane Lynch performance rescheduled to August

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Hear some April Fool’s night jazz

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Dance the night away at house party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
‘A Year with Frog and Toad’ a delightful family show

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Mischief to play at Picnic in the Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Yolo Mambo will play at winery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Thursday Live! plans a blues party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7