2015 Record: 2-9 (2-6)
Key Returners: Ben Scott, Manusamoa Luuga, Chris Martin
Key Losses: Alex Cannon, Brady Stuart, Ramon Vargas
The battle for last place last season was a three way battle and UC-Davis was one of those teams battling for a spot at the bottom of the pile. That’s not a terrific place to be, but unfortunately for the Aggies they’ve found themselves there the last couple of seasons. The Aggies have not made an appearance in the playoffs since transitioning from Division II to FCS back in 2003. Their last playoff win was back in 2002 when they defeated Central Washington. Ron Gould will be entering his fourth season at the helm of the Aggies and owns a 9-25 record since his arrival. You have to think that if he can’t get this team moving in an upward direction that he might find himself on the hot seat at the end of the season. The boosters will probably not tolerate another season of 2-9. The Aggies have a tough go of it this season but at least they’ll have a senior quarterback to guide them.
The Aggies finished the season at 74th in total offense, gaining 358 yards per game. Not a horrible number for a team that won two games last season. The defense seemed to be your typical Big Sky defense, finishing 104th, giving up 448 yards per game. The Aggies finished -20 in the touchdown category, which by my estimation was probably not good. UC-Davis finished -5 in the turnover category, which also points a finger to some of the pitfalls the team suffered last season. The Aggies will need to do anything to improve that number if they want to find themselves any more wins this coming season.
UC-Davis does return its senior quarterback, Ben Scott. He threw for 1598 yards last season with 11 touchdowns. Their leading rushers from last season also return, Manusamoa Luuga and Joshua Kelley. Their leading receiver is also back, Chris Martin. Luuga accounted for seven touchdowns last season. He figures to be a bright spot for this football team, as he was also their third leading receiver last season. Chris Martin caught 658 yards worth of passes and five touchdowns for the Aggies. If these guys can somehow build a little more chemistry together, and the defense improve even a little bit they could pencil themselves a win or two more.
The Aggies schedule is going to be a huge test this season. Their first game will be against the Oregon Ducks, then two weeks later will travel to Laramie, Wyoming to take on the Cowboys. They also have games at Eastern Washington, Southern Utah and Montana State. They’ll have Portland State at home. This is a tough task for a team that finished with two wins last season. Looking at their schedule there may not be more than two wins on this schedule, one of them being a game against Southern Oregon, a Division II team. With the Aggies, however, nothing is a given.
09/03/16 at Oregon
09/10/16 vs. Southern Oregon
09/17/16 at Wyoming
09/24/16 vs. Weber State
10/01/16 at Eastern Washington
10/08/16 at Southern Utah
10/15/16 vs. Northern Colorado
10/22/16 at Cal Poly
11/05/16 vs. Portland State
11/12/16 at Montana State
11/19/16 vs. Sacramento State