Senior QB makes his mark in Aggie win

By From page B1 | October 20, 2013

Senior Randy Wright — in his fourth year as UC Davis’ starting quarterback — is putting some lofty numbers in the school’s career record books.

After completing 27-of-37 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns to lead UCD over Northern Colorado on Saturday, Wright now has more attempts (1,171) than any other Aggie QB, ah, “passing” Jon Grant (1,154) for the top spot.

Wright’s 328 yards of total offense moves him into third place on the all-time list. At 7,731 he is only behind J.T. O’Sullivan (10,745) and Grant (8,220).

His career completion total now stands at 679. He passed O’Sullivan on Saturday, and now needs just 12 more catches from teammates to be the UCD completion leader (Grant had 690).

Meanwhile, Wright’s four TD passes in the 34-18 road win Saturday gave him 51 — and put him alone in third place on that list. He’s far behind No. 2 Kevin Daft, now his offensive coordinator, who has 68 and O’Sullivan, with 96.

But Wright, who lost his job to Jimmy Laughrea earlier this year, won it back and has been playing elevated football ever since. He’s led the Aggies to three wins in their first four Big Sky Conference games.

And despite his assault on the record books, he won’t allow himself to either dwell on the meaning or talk about his accomplishments.

“It’s nice that others are talking about that stuff,” Wright said while taking the company line: “It’s about how we’re doing in the games. I don’t worry about any of (my statistics).”

Well, if he’s not worrying, the Bears certainly were on Saturday …

In a near-flawless first half, the Wright-led Aggies built a 24-0 bulge that saw the locals control the ball for 21:42 (not a misprint). Wright had 224 yards, three touchdowns and had misfired on only four of 21 throws.

When his 13-yard strike to T.J. King put UCD up 31-0 with 3:02 remaining in the third period, Wright had four TDs in a game for the first time since Nov. 6, 2010, when he led the Aggies to a 35-16 win at North Dakota.

“We wanted him to pull the trigger (Saturday),” Aggie coach Ron Gould told The Enterprise, adding that his QB knows how to make all the throws. “He’s very poised in the pocket … gets us in the right place.”

But Gould wouldn’t talk about Wright’s career numbers either.

“We’re not concerned about (his) numbers right now. That’s something to reflect on, the phenomenal career this young man has had. But right now it’s about week-to-week improving.”

When will coach put any focus on what Wright has meant to the program these past four years?

“After he graduates,” Gould said.

He wasn’t joking.

In case you forgot, Wright led Cardinal Newman High to the 2009 California Division III championship game. His 2,702 yards passing and 30 touchdowns earned him the All-North Bay League co-MVP. As a UCD freshman, he earned All-Great West Conference honorable mention.

Almost stopped him: Senior UNC wide receiver Jace Davis went into the final four minutes of the game without a reception. As stingy as the Aggie secondary was Saturday, that wasn’t surprising. But NFL hopeful Davis had caught a pass in 31 straight games. It was going to be a meaningful feather in the defense’s cap to hold the 6-foot-2, 209-pound Davis to a big, fat zero.

However, Bears QB Seth Lobato finally hooked up with Davis on an 18-yard reception to start UNC’s last-ditch touchdown drive. Davis came in with 39 catches for 612 yards and five TDs.

One punt, but a good one: UCD didn’t put punter Colby Wadman on the field until the third period. Still, the 34-yard kick — caught in the air by special-teams cover man Russell Reeder — pinned Northern Colorado at its own 3-yard line.

Nice timing: Considering it snowed on Thursday, and given the area’s recent floods (of which there is evidence everywhere), UCD played in Greeley on a picture-perfect day. With the thermometer reading 57 degrees at kickoff, the only thing in the air seemed to be the 27 Randy Wright completions. Greeley’s elevation is 4,658 feet.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected]

Bruce Gallaudet

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