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UCD notebook: Aggie defense needs help from the O

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From page B1 | September 15, 2013 |

“They did a phenomenal job,” UC Davis coach Ron Gould praised his defense. “They rose to the occasion, especially containing Zach (Bauman).”

After a third straight loss, it’s the offense that needs some elbow grease and better execution.

“Lot of errors. We have to improve on offense.”

Aggie QB Jimmy Laughrea’s response to the media was concise. Clearly he didn’t want to talk. Too disappointed.

“The defense is doing their job. We (offense) just have to come around and execute.”

Tom Hemmingsen, UCD wide receiver, was asked to weigh in.

“The thing about football, in general, is everybody just has to do their own job,” the senior said when asked about how to fix the offense. “So if everybody just comes out and executes … We’re really close on a lot of stuff and you can see flashes here and there. But overall, it’s just one play and something happens here, then one play and something happens there and things don’t go our way.”

About the defense, end Nick King — despite three sacks and another terrific display by his unit — took no solace in holding Northern Arizona to under 200 yards in Saturday’s 21-10 loss.

“We’ve got to get more turnovers … that’s the way I look at it. Plain and simple. We have to get the offense more touches,” King told The Enterprise. “I don’t look at this as a victory for the defense. We have to do more.”

It’s called a Victory March: In what Gould hopes becomes tradition, his players took a walk through tailgating fans two hours before kickoff.

After their team meal, the Aggies were bused to the stadium’s north region and made their way through cheering fans en route to the Bob Foster Team Center.

Aggie fight songs were piped in as the locals were welcomed to the home opener.

Grand Tour of Golden State: With its win in Davis, the game marked the first of three contests in California for the Lumberjacks. NAU will be back Oct. 12 to play Sacramento State and visits Cal Poly on Oct. 26.

All eyes on Bauman: Coming into this season, Northern Arizona’s Bauman was on everybody’s radar. After being a finalist for the 2012 Walter Payton Award (the FCS version of the Heisman Trophy), he is on that award’s watch list. He is a preseason all-Big Sky pick by a handful of services and a USA College Football preseason All-American first teamer.

Bauman’s 56-yard outing on Saturday was his lowest rushing total in 15 games.

What a difference a year makes: Last year, the Lumberjacks beat the Aggies, 21-7, in Flagstaff. In that game, NAU had eight sacks and picked off two Randy Wright passes.

Scangarello and Plough back home: Former Aggie QB and coach Tim Plough (who played until 2008) was UCD’s co-offensive coordinator last season before joining the staff of another ex-Aggie — Rich Scangarello, the current NAU offensive coordinator. Scangarello (as receivers coach) had two coaching stints with retired Bob Biggs.

Veteran leadership quartet: Offensive lineman Ian Joseph, King, OL Jimmy Kunkel and linebacker Steven Pitts were named UC Davis captains for the NAU contest. Each week UCD selects a new set of captains. It marks the third straight game teammates and coaches have named King to the post.

This and that: Joseph suffered a third-quarter ankle sprain and did not return. … Safety Aaryn Jones and King had seven tackles each, Ryan Dimino added five and Pitts joined defensive lineman Khalid Jones with four apiece. … The Aggies did not force a turnover.

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

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