London Lacy has paid his dues in the UC Davis football program.
The fifth-year senior from Kingsburg didn’t throw a pass last season. He had appeared in just eight games before getting his first collegiate start Saturday.
Certainly a baptism by fire, Lacy and Company had trouble moving the ball against No. 11 Stanford, eventually losing 45-0.
Despite only 115 yards total offense, Aggie head coach Ron Gould said the setback was something upon which his Football Championship Subdivision Aggies can build.
“It is a great learning experience for us,” the second-year mentor by way of Cal told the media over the weekend. “We played, arguably, the best team in the nation.
“And I was very pleased with how London played. This is his … first college start, ever.”
The choice of Lacy as the starter over ex-Vanden High signal-caller Ben Scott was a game-day decision by Gould.
After earning the nod, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Lacy completed 12-of-22 passes for 54 yards. He was sacked four times and intercepted twice.
Nonetheless, Gould saw silver linings:
“(I was) very pleased with how he managed the game for us,” said the coach, who added that he liked the decisions his new QB made under pressure. “We have a lot of improvement to make, we have to make (the improvement) in all three phases.”
Lacy talked about his prime-time debut, seen on national television (and before a live audience of 49,509) at The Farm:
“We have a lot to learn as a whole,” the human-development major told The Enterprise. “We had a good game plan. The whole thing was to execute the game plan. We had some missed opportunities here and there.”
Lacy and his receivers — he threw to 12 different hopefuls, completing passes to eight — weren’t always in synch, but veteran wideouts Chris Martin (two catches for 18 yards) and Corey Galindo (three for 15) did manage to find the holes as the game progressed. It also didn’t help that senior standout T.J. King left with a first-half foot injury.
Whether it was Stanford’s defense or the Aggie offense, the vertical game was nonexistent.
“We played a great team. We’re going to bounce back, look at the film — see where things went wrong. It’s all just about moving forward,” Lacy said.
UCD should be able to take a giant step ahead on Saturday when Division II Fort Lewis comes to town for a 6 p.m. nonleague outing.
The Skyhawks toil under second-year coach John L. Smith, but Fort Lewis hasn’t had a winning season since 2006.
Smith, who took the Durango, Colo., school from 0-10 to 4-7 in one season, is a nomadic head coach who has had stops at Football Bowl Subdivision Michigan State, Louisville and Arkansas.
Notes: Gould says he’ll get right offensive tackle Chris Schneider (shoulder) back on Saturday, but it’s the cast of Aggies on the sidelines that local fans seem to be wondering about. “Will Gabe (Manzanares) even play this year?” Gary Swenson emailed The Enterprise, adding: “Where’s Manu and Cannon?” Manzanares (1,285 yards and 11 touchdowns) was the Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year in 2013, but has been confined to a walking boot for most of the early practices. His foot injury occurred during the spring. Meanwhile, RB Manusamoa Luuga (wrist) is in a cast. Gould insists both will be “fine … they’ll be back.” But when? Senior receiver Alex Cannon hasn’t played and now King is injured. That should provide freshman wideouts Jermale Jefferson (Dorsey High) and Keelan Doss (Alameda High) some additional experience in further helping Chris Martin and Corey Galindo on a receiving corps that was supposed to allow Lacy and the Aggies to get downfield quickly. … The Aggies didn’t practice Monday. … UCD travels to Colorado State (Sept. 13) before a Sept. 20 bye. Then, in what most observers are calling the toughest schedule in school history, the Aggies open league play at home with The Sports Network’s FCS No. 1 Eastern Washington. … Thanks for nothing, Ty Montgomery. UCD ranked No. 1 in its division in net punting (41.4 avg.) in 2012. In 2013, opposing punt returners made 32 yards all season. The first time All-American candidate Montgomery touched the ball Saturday, he returned a punt 60 yards for a TD. … Speaking of punting: Former Aggie Colton Schmidt was signed by the Buffalo Bills over the weekend. A San Francisco 49er preseason punter each of the past two seasons, Schmidt was an All-Big Sky first-teamer. He played for UCD in 2009-12.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-320-4456.