UC Davis Rolls to 5-0 With 54-2 Pasting of Western Oregon
MONMOUTH, Ore. -- UC Davis scored 47 unanswered points over the final three quarters and the Aggies' defense didn't allow point for the second time this season, as No.24 UC Davis improved to 5-0 with a convincing 54-2 nonconference win over host Western Oregon before 2,800 fans at McArthur Field.
UC Davis is 5-0 for the first time since 2000 when it finished the season 12-1. Western Oregon dropped to 1-5, a week after breaking into the win column with a four-overtime victory over Western Washington.
The Aggies amassed 446 yards of total offense against the NCAA Division II Wolves, including 295 through the air, while holding Western Oregon to just 118 total yards which included just minus-2 yards rushing. Running back John Quinn rushed for a game-high 90 yards on 13 carries to lead UC Davis while starter O.J. Swanigan ran in from five yards and one yard for a pair of rushing scores.
Quarterback Jon Grant completed 15 of 35 passes for 220 yards while receiver Kevin Freeman had a 19-yard TD reception and finished with four catches for 75 yards. UC Davis didn't have any sacks on Saturday but bottled up the line of scrimmage while holding the Wolves to negative rushing yards.
The victory sets up a Homecoming showdown next Saturday against highly-ranked Stephen F. Austin, which entered its matchup on Saturday night against Florida International with a 4-0 record.
"To be 5-0 is a real credit to the players and the coaching staff," said Aggie coach Bob Biggs. "They put themselves in a position to play the No.5 team in the country. It'll be a great challenge."
UC Davis got off to a slow start against the Wolves, leading just 7-2 at the end of the first quarter. Grant hit Tony Kays on a 10-yard scoring strike midway through the first quarter before Western Oregon answered with a safety when a snap went out of the endzone on an Aggie punt attempt with 2:55 left in the period.
But that would be as close as the Wolves would get as UC Davis tallied 24 points before halftime to take a 31-2 lead into intermission. Freeman's score early in the quarter was followed by Swanigan's short touchdown runs, while freshman kicker Emmanuel Benjamin hit a 31-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.
The Aggie defense helped key that surge, picking up a pair of turnovers with a fumble recovery and an interception, part of an effort that held the Wolves to just 11 total yards in the first half including minus-30 on the ground. Western Oregon only ran 25 plays in the first two quarters while being held to five 'three-and-out' drives.
UC Davis added to its lead with two more scores in the third quarter. The first came on a fumble recovery in the endzone by senior defensive end Jake Mossawir with 9 minutes, 16 seconds left in the quarter while Jason Yaklich hauled in a 29-yard TD pass from backup quarterback Matt Engle, who threw for 75 yards in relief action.
Benjamin's 25-yard field less than six minutes into the final period preceded Bryan Harrison's 14-yard touchdown run late in the game, rounding out UC Davis' scores. The 52-point margin of victory equaled the Aggies' largest which came in the season-opener when they blanked South Dakota State 52-0.
Defensive backs Angelo Caffese and Brandon Quinn each had five tackles to pace the Aggies while Luis Amaral forced and recovered a pair of fumbles. Western Oregon had six turnovers in the game, including four fumbles.
Kickoff against Stephen F. Austin next weekend is 1 p.m. at Toomey Field.