#36 UC Davis FCS Football 2014 Preview

UC Davis Aggies

Overall Rank: #36
#6 Big Sky

UC Davis Team Page#36 UC Davis FCS Football 2014 PreviewBuy UC Davis Football Tickets

UC Davis got off to a rough start in 2013, losing their first four contests. With the heart of the brutal Big Sky schedule still to come, an 0-4 start is nearly impossible to overcome. Nonetheless, the Aggies won five of their last eight and are heading into 2014 with some momentum. The big names in the Big Sky will probably be out of reach, but this is a team that can grind out wins.

2013 Record: 5-7, 5-3
2013 Postseason: None
Coach: Ron Gould (5-7 at UC Davis, 5-7 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Kevin Daft
Defensive Coordinator: Bert Watts

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Gabe Manzanares, RB, 1,285 yards
Passing: None
Receiving: Gabe Manzanares, RB, 385 yards
Tackles: Charles Boyett, S, 86
Sacks: Steven Pitts, LB, 4.0
Interceptions: 3 tied with 1

Other Key Returnees: WR T.J. King, WR Corey Galindo, OL Ian Joseph, LB Ryan Dimino, LB Jonathan Bias, CB Shamawn Wright, K Brady Stuart

Key Losses: QB Randy Wright, TE Taylor Sloat, DE Nick King, S Aarynn Jones, CB Jonathan Perkins

The grinding begins with running back Gabe Manzanares. The 5-9 senior rushed for 1,285 yards and ten touchdowns in 2013 and should see even more of the ball in 2014. With four starters returning to the line, led by 6-6 left tackle Ian Joseph, Manzanares should have little trouble moving the chains. The defense returns six starters, including all three linebackers. Steven Pitts was the most productive of the group, totaling 74 tackles, including 11.5 tackles-for-loss and 4.0 sacks. Ryan Dimino added 53 tackles and Jonathan Bias recorded 46. The run defense was not particularly potent last season, but it should get better with experienced linebackers leading the way. Pitts getting into the backfield will be important too while Coach Ron Gould looks for a couple new ends to replace Colin Kelly and top pass rusher Nick King. The secondary should remain strong with strong safety Charles Boyett, who is also a capable punt returner, and cornerback Shamawn Wright leading the way.

The big question mark is at quarterback. Replacing Randy Wright’s 1,712 yards and 11 touchdowns does not sound too difficult, but it goes much deeper than that. Wright was a very good game manager and that is what this team needs with Manzanares carrying much of the offensive load. When Wright threw he usually made the right decision. He completed 63.8 percent of his attempts and threw just four interceptions. London Lacy appears to be top of the pecking order for now. The 6-3 senior played in a few games back in 2011 and 2012 in mop-up duty, yet saw no action in 2013. Turner Baty spent 2011 and 2013 at the City College of San Francisco and is the school’s all-time leading passer. He has a nice arm spent the 2012 campaign redshirting at Kansas. Incoming freshman C.J. Spencer simply lacks the experience of Lacy and Baty, but if he proves that he can manage the game, UC Davis will give him a shot.

The Bottom Line:
The schedule makers were not kind to UC Davis and that will keep them well out of the playoff picture. They have to play Eastern Washington, Montana State, Montana, Northern Arizona and Cal Poly in conference play. In the 13-team Big Sky, everybody misses four opponents. UC Davis, for the most part, misses the teams they want to play. The only good team they do not face is Southern Utah. And the non-conference slate includes trips to Stanford and Colorado State. Even though this team could end up with four wins on the year, UC Davis will look like a much better team than that.

Projected Postseason: None

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 152.3 (73rd in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 192.0 (78, 10)
Total Offense: 344.3 (83, 11)
Scoring Offense: 18.9 (105, 12)
Rushing Defense: 188.2 (80, 11)
Pass Defense: 200.0 (35, 2)
Total Defense: 388.2 (63, 6)
Scoring Defense: 23.1 (33, 5)
Turnover Margin: 0.00 (60, 7)
Sacks: 1.92 (60, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 1.75 (46, 5)

Madness 2014 FCS Football Recruit Rankings:
#69 C.J. Spencer


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