Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Turnovers and big plays missing, but Aggies still coming on

By
From page B1 | November 01, 2013 |

In college football, turnovers and big plays often are the difference between winning and losing.

When a squad like UC Davis has few big plays — only three from scrimmage that have gone more than 41 yards — and hasn’t done much with the 10 takeaways it has forced, it can make for a long season.

Remarkably, the Aggies have battled through their big-play and turnover quandaries, are sitting at 3-6 (3-2 in the Big Sky Conference) and have a gambler’s chance at running the table in their last three games.

Five weeks ago, a .500 season was a long shot.

On Saturday, a wounded Cal Poly team (2-2, 3-5) comes to town and it sure would help things if UCD got a couple of more turnovers — and knew what to do with them.

Only twice have the locals scored points off their 10 takeaways. Only three times have the turnovers set UCD up in opponents’ territory.

“We work on turnovers every day,” Aggie coach Ron Gould told The Enterprise. “Early on, we did a good job getting turnovers, but the offense did a poor job taking advantage of them. We had three interceptions against Portland State (and only one score off the turnovers in a 41-10 loss).

“We just have to work harder and see what we can get.”

And what about those big plays — or lack thereof?

Since receiver Alex Cannon caught a 59-yard pass from then-QB Jimmy Laughrea at Nevada on Sept. 7, the longest UCD aerial connection has been 41 yards to T.J. King (from Randy Wright).

Also in that Nevada game, RB Manusamoa Luuga broke off a 46-yard gallop, but since then, UCD has only one run longer than that: Leading rusher Gabe Manzanares went 50 yards in the 30-13 win over Idaho State on Sept. 28.

It’s been promised that the close-to-the-vest Aggies have some tricks up their collective offensive sleeves, but Gould cautions that there’s a time and place for everything:

“Every week we have certain (specialty plays) that we feel would work, would take advantage of a team. But you have to wait until the right time.”

Starting 0-4, Gould didn’t feel that time had come. In two of those games, UCD  was leaking oil and showing something that others down the line could prepare for didn’t seem prudent.

Then — in wins over Idaho State, Southern Utah and Northern Colorado — the locals had a firm, upper hand and again the time wasn’t right to open Pandora’s Aggie Box.

Sure, Wright took a couple of deep shots at Montana State (an overthrow and a contested drop) — and earlier in the year there was one run by Manzanares out of the wildcat formation — but what fans might call razzle-dazzle has been buried on Page 312 of the playbook.

Meanwhile, when the Aggies get the ball, it seems they’ve been buried in the their own territory.

But there’s a silver lining here …

UCD has been spectacular in time of possession in its three wins, averaging almost 35 minutes with the ball.

On the season, the 24 Aggie scoring drives have averaged an impressive eight plays and 64 yards.

Manzanares (890 yards rushing with six TDs) and Wright (1,049 yards despite being benched for three games early in the season) have been the keys to that consistency.

In 176 carries, Manzanares lost only two early-season fumbles. In 158 attempts, Wright has been picked off twice (and suffered a fumble on a fourth-down sack last in the 34-17 loss at Montana State last week). Wright has eight of UCD’s nine TD passes.

“In regard to possession, we’ve done a really good job,” Gould said. “But Cal Poly is a very physical team and they get after the ball. We have to be cognizant of that.”

The Mustangs are going with Chris Brown at quarterback since season-starter Vince Moraga was lost for the year and effective Folsom High product Dano Graves is iffy with a hamstring injury.

Captain and All-Big West guard Lefi Letuligasenoa (Elk Grove High) is out for the year, as is No. 1 downfield target Willie Tucker.

Cal Poly is banged up at running back, too, but leading rusher Kristaan Ivory (808 yards) will give it a go, according to Mustang coach Tim Walsh.

Ivory’s ankle injury was too much for him in last week’s 17-13 loss to Northern Arizona. The featured back in the Cal Poly’s triple-option offense had one carry, then retired.

Saturday’s game is the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe (kickoff at 4 p.m.).

Notes: It’s just as well that UCD misses a homecoming date of sorts with Graves. The only time the sophomore signal-caller played at Aggie Stadium, he threw for 342 yards and five touchdowns in one half — against Davis High in a 41-21 victory on Sept. 10, 2009. … Sixteen receivers have caught balls for UCD this fall, with Wes Welker-clone Tom Hemmingsen leading the pack (44 grabs, 452 yards, three TDs). Corey Galindo (27-228-1) and King (20-285-2) could figure prominently into the late-season mix. … Should Manzanares gain 110 yards, he’ll become the first Aggie since Matt Massari (1,274 in 2002) to break the 1,000-yard milestone.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] 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

    Mother arrested for death of baby Justice Rees

    By Lauren Keene | From Page:

     
    New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Fire damages South Davis home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Gerber nominations close Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Humming right along

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Spring sing-along is March 4

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    A fill-up mishap

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Two free yoga classes offered March 12

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Take a night walk at Cache Creek

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Learn about your brain on March 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Adopt a household for Bridge to Housing participants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Tired of all of this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    No extra cost for containers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Oral Health Project launches

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Here an H, there an H

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Cavalier attitude about bike safety

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Start early to build healthy dental habits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Sports

    Blue Devil boys expect a spike in production

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Monticello announces March schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    ‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    Car Care: Simple DIY steps to protect your car through all seasons

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vernon E. Burton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    George Miller Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5