Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

The talk is over: Strap ‘em on for the 60th Causeway Classic

1122ucdfoot1W

UCD head coach Ron Gould, left, talks with his Sacramento State counterpart Marshall Sperbeck at the Causeway Classic Luncheon on Thursday in Sacramento. The Aggies will be looking for their fourth straight win when the two teams match up Saturday in their annual rivalry game. Mark Honbo/Courtesy photo

By
From page B1 | November 22, 2013 |

SACRAMENTO — “Having the opportunity to coach in this game is really something special,” said Sacramento State coach Marshall Sperbeck.

“Although I’m new to it, what’s exciting to see is how … alumni, people on campus, the players all are energized by this game,” explained UC Davis’ Ron Gould.

With both football coaches speaking kindly of their opponent, almost 300 fans and school supporters got their last whiff of pleasantries at Thursday’s Causeway Classic luncheon and news conference at the DoubleTree Hotel.

Sperbeck, 2-4 in his six career meetings with the Aggies, said he looks at UCD a little differently now than he did when Bob Biggs was at the reins.

“They play a short game (ball control). They have a balanced attack … a very good defense. As new coaches should, this team has coach Gould’s stamp on it.”

Conversely, Gould said the Hornet offense has been keeping him up at night: “They’re one of the fastest teams we’ve faced this year.”

Two Causeway combatants — Sacramento State quarterback Garrett Safron and Aggie running back Gabe Manzanares — became topics of conversation on Thursday.

“What a great story,” Sperbeck said of Manzanares and his walk-on 1,163 yards rushing. “And don’t forget their O-line, a big, physical group that does a good job moving people around.”

About Safron …

While setting a Sacramento State record of 554 yards passing, Safron accounted for four TDs through the air and another two rushing in a 43-42 come-from-behind win over Portland State last week.

Asked if he thought maybe sneaking 12 guys in on defense would help contain the Hornet junior, Gould replied, “I’m not sure if 15 would do any good.”

With all the talk over, UCD will see if it can make it four straight in the 60th renewal of the Classic. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Hornet Field. (Tickets are still available through either school and tailgating is permitted, with gates opening at 11:30 a.m.)

Even with no championships on the line and no postseason in the teams’ immediate future, whichever squad wins will finish ahead of the other in the rough-and-tumble Big West Conference (where both are 4-3). The Hornets are 5-6 overall. The Aggies are 4-7.

“If we win, we have bragging rights for a little bit,” UCD quarterback Randy Wright told the luncheon audience, adding that it means something because so many of the opposing players know each other.

UCD is coming off a 34-27 Causeway Classic win over Sacramento State in Biggs’ career finale. The last time the Hornets won the rivalry game was at home on Nov. 2, 2009, a 31-28 decision.

Each of the past four games have been decided by seven points or fewer. The Aggies lead the all-time series 42-18 (which includes a Hornet win in the 1988 Division II postseason).

Given Sac State’s penchant for dramatics, mediocre defense and high-scoring adventures, one might expect 100 combined points on Saturday.

But balance that with UCD’s clock-chewing small ball — and the league’s top-ranked defense against the pass — and the game looks like another of those not-so-offensive outings that the Aggies have played each of the past four weeks.

Gould reminds us that nobody knows what to expect:

A veteran of 16 Big Games between Cal and Stanford while he was a Golden Bear coach, Gould says, “In rivalries like this, you can throw out the records. One team can be 0-10, the other 10-0 … and it will still be a good game.

“There’s going to be a lot energy and a lot of passion.”

Wright is 3-0 as a starter against Sacramento State. There are 14 other local seniors who haven’t lost to the Hornets.

Sacramento State features 12 seniors.

“It’s the tradition,” UCD wideout Tom Hemmingsen explained. “It’s something I take to heart and my teammates take it to heart.

“There is nothing more I could ask for — it’s my senior year, the Causeway Classic.

“I’m just going to go out there with my teammates — my brothers — and do the best we can.”

Notes: Hornet wide receiver DeAndre Carter had five of his 14 touchdown receptions when Safron threw for seven TDs in a 63-56 overtime win over Southern Oregon on Sept. 14. One more score and Carter sets a new school single-season record. … Sac State has played three OT games. … In addition to Scott Marsh and Doug Kelly on KHTK (1140 AM), the Classic will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet California with Barry Thompkins doing the play-by-play. … Defensive tackle Anthony Kaspar’s blocked conversion kick last week was his second kick snuff of the season. Overall, the Aggies have four blocked kicks in 2013. … Safron has thrown for 3,068 yards (ninth best in the Football Championship Subdivision) and 27 touchdowns (seventh nationally). … That three-game Causeway Classic win streak is nice for UCD, but did you know the Aggies once took 18 straight (1970-87) against the Hornets? … The bands and pep quads from each school performed at the luncheon, which was attended by former Aggie coaches Biggs and Jim Sochor.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    Words and Music Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    Family isn’t keen on relationship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

     
     
    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

     
    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

     
    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8