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Wednesday’s scrimmages will go a long way toward determining UCD starters

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A group of Aggie football players participate in a drill during a recent workout. Starting spots for the 2014 season will begin to get solidified this week. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

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From page B1 | August 19, 2014 |

With two football scrimmages under its collective belt, a deep, veteran UC Davis defense seems to be hitting, literally, at all positions.

“Our defense did a nice job, getting to the ball, making plays and keeping the ball in front of them,” Aggie head coach Ron Gould said after Saturday’s workout, which was open to the public.

“They did a nice job of tackling. We’re very, very pleased with that.”

With less than two weeks to the Aug. 30 opener at No. 11 Stanford, UCD has scheduled the final of its three intrasquad scrimmages for Wednesday.

Gould sees that private workout as a key to awarding starting positions.

“We’re starting to wind down,” the second-year coach told The Enterprise, adding that meaningful battles still are being waged for important spots.

“We need one more scrimmage to finalize who are going to be our starters. … At least, the scrimmage will make (those decisions) closer.”

Among those contests is the competition for quarterback.

Senior London Lacy — brilliant in the spring Blue and Gold Game — continues to perform well, as do City College of San Francisco transfer Turner Baty, sophomore Ben Scott and newcomer C.J. Spencer (Inderkum High).

Coaches aren’t talking, but observers believe Baty and Lacy stand out. Like Gould said, by Wednesday night there could be a Stanford starter in the house.

The midweek scrimmage will be different from the first two Aggie intrasquads.

“We’ll eliminate the situational (aspects),” Gould explained. “It will be more game-like. Field-goal opportunities will occur and we’ll just let the guys play.”

While Gould said he’s “pleased” with efforts on both sides of the ball, he adds that Stanford isn’t just any opener — it’s a Pac-12 team with national championship aspirations. Given that, Gould added: “We’ve got to get better executing all the way around, particularly on the offensive side. It we do that, we’ll be fine.

“Two weeks in, we’re not quite there. We’ve still got a lot more work to do. The guys are working hard and they’re eager to learn and eager to get better, so that’s all positive.

“We talk about ‘focus on the process,’ and the guys do just that. We’ve got to continue to focus on us. That’s the most important thing.”

From the Guess Who’s Back? Department: Colton Silveria, who, as a sophomore two seasons ago, was the Aggies’ leading rusher (590 yards), has been solid this summer.

“One of the things that I’ve seen this camp is his speed,” Gould said.

“He’s faster than I thought he was. He’s healthy and moving, making great jump-cuts and running with some authority. His understanding of the game is impeccable; he’s taken the time to really learn all the little details and intricacies that come with playing running back. He’s doing a fabulous job.”

Silveria is working to pass Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year Gabe Manzanares (1,285 rushing in 2013) and sophomore backup Manusamoa Luuga on the depth chart.

Notes: Eastern Washington, ranked as the nation’s No. 1 Football Championship Subdivision team by The Sport Network, opens its campaign Saturday against No. 17 Sam Houston State on ESPN (12:30 p.m.) The game is the first Division I contest of 2014. The Eagles open UCD’s Big Sky slate in Davis on Sept. 27 … Big Sky schools will face Football Bowl Subdivision teams 17 times this fall. Idaho State, Portland State, Southern Utah and UCD each play FBS teams twice (the Aggies go to Stanford on Aug. 30 and Colorado State on Sept. 13). … Aggie Women’s Huddle is coming Friday (6 p.m.) at Aggie Stadium. Cost is $45 ($25 for UCD staff) and the evening includes station-to-station instruction, a rundown of what coaches expect for the 2014 season, hor d’oeuvres and refreshments. Participants also get a T-shirt. For more information or reservations, contact Kara Heckler at [email protected] … UCD has five televised games this year: Stanford, Colorado State, Portland State, Montana State and Sacramento State.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-320-4456.

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