I see UC Davis as one of those teams on offense who really isn’t great at anything, so instead they try and do a little bit of everything. For the most part, the Aggies run a pro style type offense, lots of trading motion, power sets and lots of tight ends (think Stanford lite). But there were also times last season where I saw the Aggies move into more of a shotgun spread type look. Honestly they looked much more effective running out of the I formation, but what they play could depend more on the quarterback.
Speaking of quarterback, just a mere day away from the opening game, the Aggies (to my knowledge) are yet to name a starting quarterback with the depth chart listing Ben Scott (OR) C.J. Spencer. Scott is a senior who started the first eight games of the season last year and has 15 total starts. Something of note is that in 2014 he finished on the Big Sky honorable mention behind the names of Vernon Adams Jr. and Dakota Prukop. It seems like Scott should easily get the call, but the emergence of sophomore C.J. Spencer who came in when Scott was hurt makes it more challenging. To end the season, Spencer put up back-to-back 300-yard performances with five touchdowns and zero interceptions. He has better athleticism and I saw the Aggies open up their offense more when he was in the game. I certainly expect both to play a role in this one.
Yet another former member of the California Golden Bears staff leads the way for the Aggies offense. Kevin Daft was a former quarterback at UC Davis before being a long time assistant coaching member of the California staff. During his first few years at UC Davis he really helped push the running game along with Gabe Manzanares, who was named as the conference newcomer of the year. Daft also played a role in Ben Scott’s success during the 2014 season, as in addition to being offensive coordinator he coaches the quarterbacks. Will his history of working with Scott mean that he will be the one he turns to under center in Eugene?
Last year the Aggies offense was nothing to write home about as they averaged 22.3 points per game. The best performances came against Northern Arizona and Cal Poly where they put up 38 points. While getting outgained by almost 100 yards per game, the offense put up an average of 358 yards per contest. Although they focus on the run, only 139 of these yards came on the ground each game. Yesterday I mentioned how poor the UC Davis defense is during the second quarters of games; well the offense is no different at all. Last year, the offense put up just 43 combined points in all second quarters. The next lowest quarter came in the start of games where the Aggies had 60 combined points. As if the Ducks needed any more reason to put this one away early, just one look at the Aggies poor second quarter record shows that Oregon has a great opportunity to pounce before the half.
Three players to watch:
We know a little bit about the quarterbacks, but who else on the offense can make a difference?
Manusamoa Luuga, #10, senior running back, 5' 10", 195 lbs.
After only rushing for 67 attempts in his first two years on campus, Luuga became the go-to back for the Aggies in the 2015 season. On 166 carries, he went for 613, which was only an average of 3.7 yards per carry, down from his previous average. Luuga found the end zone six times last season.
Chris Martin, #9, senior wide receiver, 6' 1", 175 lbs.
The speedy Martin became the Aggies go-to wide receiver last season. On 46 catches, he was able to pile up 658 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also is a threat returning punts and kickoffs. Martin was an all-conference honorable mention player last year.
Christian Schneider, #70, senior left tackle, 6’6” 305 lbs.
Schneider is the elder statesman of the offensive group as he has a streak of 30 consecutive games. Similar to the move that Tyrell Crosby is making for Oregon, the senior is moving over to left tackle from right tackle.
Depth chart takeaways:
· Chris Martin, one of my players to watch and one of their best from last season is listed as second on the depth chart.
· The one who beat out Martin on the depth chart is the lone starting offensive freshman, Jared Harrell
· Six seniors pop up on the starting unit, along with three juniors, two sophomores and one freshman.