Thursday, December 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Wright, Aggies get there the old-fashioned way; they earn it

By
From page B1 | October 29, 2013 |

NCAA quarterback efficiency ratings are about as easy to calculate as it is to follow a double-reverse, flanker pass, hook-and-ladder resulting in a loose ball kicked twice, eventually going through the end zone for a touchback.

This story eventually will lead to a closer look at Randy Wright’s final season as UC Davis’ quarterback, but first, here’s the formula for assigning an efficiency rating:

(8.4 x yards) + (330 x TDs) + (100 x completions) minus (200 x INT) divided by attempts.

Got that?

Any QB at the top of that formula mountain would get a 1,261.6 rating (every pass attempt would need to go for a 99-yard touchdown). The valley comes at -731.6 (meaning a quarterback completes every pass for a 99-yard loss). Even throwing an interception on every pass gets a better efficiency number (-200).

OK, take a break to digest that. We’ll get to Wright next.

Wright has led the Aggies to a 3-3 mark in his six starts while completing 64.6 of his passes (102-for-158) for 1,049 yards and eight touchdowns with two interceptions.

Plug those stats into the formula, and Wright has a 134.5 QB efficiency number.

Quick perspective: Wright ranks 44th among Football Championship Subdivision passers. Five Big Sky Conference quarterbacks rank above him (including the nation’s No. 1, Vernon Adams of Eastern Washington at 187.5).

(The all-time single-season record holder is William & Mary’s Shawn Knight with a 204.6 in 1993. The best single-game mark is 363.6 in 1999 by Mark Washington of Jackson State.)

All that said, here’s the question: Does that efficiency rating really reflect the kind of season Wright has had? Forty-fourth best in the FCS?

Other quarterbacks haven’t had to deal with the poor field position from which Wright has had to move his troops. Others have had myriad opportunities to take short treks to the end zone. Other FCS ranked QBs didn’t lose their jobs after one outing and have to battle back.

“He has shown tremendous poise in the games,” UCD coach Ron Gould said of Wright. “He’s so calm under pressure and gets us where we want to be. He’s doing a great job for us, in games and in practices.”

Gould, it must be noted, benched Wright for three games after the Aggies’ season-opening 10-7 loss at South Dakota.

Gould felt at the time that sophomore Jimmy Laughrea “gives us more mobility … a better chance to win.”

To his credit, Wright stuck with it in practice, embraced Gould’s multi-set offense and continued to grow.

Meanwhile, the transfer from Boise State, Laughrea, struggled in his prime-time exposure (0-3 record and 95.4 efficiency mark).

Although leading 3-0 against Idaho State on Sept. 28, Laughrea had missed 5-of-9 throws, including one each to Corey Galindo and Cameron Sentance that could have had the Aggies up 17-0 in the first period.

Re-enter Wright, who went on to throw two TD passes in a 30-13 victory over the Bengals. He then carved out a 21-3 Big Sky Conference win at Southern Utah before a 42-7 clunker at home against Montana.

A near-perfect display in a 34-18 road win at Northern Colorado was followed by a gutty performance in Saturday’s 34-17 setback at No. 5 Montana State.

But that 134.5 rating …

Does anybody care?

“I don’t pay attention to that stuff,” Wright told The Enterprise, adding that it’s about winning the game.

Good stats and a loss mean nothing to these Aggies. But they probably wished any bounty would come more easily in the future.

Only six times this season has UCD taken over in opponents’ territory. Off those possessions, the Aggies scored three times (none of which were with Wright at the helm).

Because the locals have forced but 10 turnovers in their 3-6 season, Wright has been asked to take his team on long, sustained journeys to the end zone.

And what a job he’s done …

In 62 possessions with No. 17 calling the signals, UCD has put together 14 scoring drives (22 percent) while going three-and-out 19 times (30 percent). During those six games, Wright has thrown only two interceptions and fumbled once (a relatively insignificant miscue while being sacked on fourth-down Saturday at MSU).

But of those 14 drives resulting in points, the shortest one has been 44 yards for a 43-yard Brady Stuart field goal at UNC.

In the other five marches that day, the shortest tour was 64 yards.

And these trips to pay dirt haven’t been Oregon Duck-like. The Aggies and Wright have earned them. With Wright, UCD has 13 drives containing eight or more plays and 12 drives have gone 70 or more yards (nine of those resulting in points).

With more than 18,000-plus Bobcat fans going bonkers in Bozeman on Saturday, Wright was a wizard, even in defeat.

Having to communicate via hand signals while audibilizing to counter MSU’s ever-changing defenses, Wright directed scoring drives of 10 plays, 69 yards in 5:14; four plays, 51 yards in 1:59; and 13 plays, 75 yards in 3:33.

“He was great on the check downs,” Aggie running back Gabe Manzanares said of his QB. “There was good communication. (Randy’s) been playing great football.”

Wright said UCD was a tight team during its 0-4 start. He believes having a new coach and a new system made for some nerve-wracking times.

“Now everyone seems to understand,” Wright told The Enterprise recently. “We’re more loose. I’m having fun again. I think we all are.”

UCD (3-6, 3-2 Big Sky) meets Cal Poly (3-5, 2-2) at Aggie Stadium on Saturday (4 p.m.).

Wright, in his fourth year as the Aggie starter, is 2-1 against the Mustangs in his career and has thrown for 783 yards and four touchdowns in those games. Cal Poly beat UCD, 28-20, last year in San Luis Obispo.

Notes: The lack of turnovers — especially in opponents’ territory — has forced the Aggies to make those long-distance drives. … When WR Alex Cannon (knee) went down early in the season, the Long Beach Poly graduate took with him UCD’s top deep threat. Laughrea’s 59-yard pass to Cannon in the 36-7 loss at Nevada is the longest play from scrimmage this year. Without having Cannon around, Wright’s longest pass completion is 41 yards to T.J. King against Montana. … No. 3/4 Eastern Washington saw QB Adams earn Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week honors for his 457-yard, six-touchdown performance in Saturday’s 42-37 win at Montana. … Portland State safety David Edgerson intercepted two passes to preserve the Vikings’ 14-10 win over North Dakota. His work earned him conference Defensive Player of the Week honors. Southern Utah place kicker Colton Cook and kick returner Marcus Alford of Northern Arizona shared special-teams kudos. Manzanares’ 179 yards and a TD earned him an offensive nomination while UCD DL Marques Barron was on the defensive board.

— 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

    City plans signs to improve flow on Fifth Street

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Former foster youths aided by UCD’s Guardian programs

    By Sarah Colwell | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rain Recyclers saves water for another day

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    U.S., Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    State gets more rain, big mudslide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Boston bombing suspect in court for first time since 2013

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Journalist will join post-film discussion Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    City offices will take a winter break

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Feds will discuss Berryessa Snow Mountain protection

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    ‘Longest Night’ service Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Yolo County needs a few good advisers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Per Capita Davis: Time to stop fooling around

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    NAMI-Yolo offers free mental health education program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    .

    Forum

    Disagreement on mother’s care

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Remember that all lives matter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Pollution from electric vehicles

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Marovich is a brilliant diplomat

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    And a jolly time was had by all

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    On skiing: What to know when buying new skis

    By Jeffrey Weidel | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devil boys host Les Curry beginning Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD women gear up for second half of swim season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men begin 4-game road trip at Air Force

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth roundup: DBC Juniors rider Kanz wins a cyclocross event

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    College Corner: How does applying for financial aid work?

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: B3

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B3

     
    Anniversary: Barbara and Jan Carter

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Something growing in the mailbox

    By Don Shor | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    Sing and dance along to Cold Shot at Froggy’s

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Point of Brew: Recollections of Christmases past

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A7

    Golden Bough brings Irish holidays to The Palms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, December 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Last Minute Gift Guide

    Young phenoms make YouTube success look like child’s play

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG1

    Classic or contemporary, it’s all holiday music to our ears

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG2

    Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG3

    Gift ideas for the health-conscious

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: LMG6

    Hall of Fame proudly puts these toys on the shelf

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG7