Teams: UC Davis vs. South Alabama
Records: Aggies, 3-3; Jaguars, 6-0
Where: Aggie Stadium
When: Saturday at 2 p.m.
Who to watch: The Aggie coaching staff always knew Dre Allen and Jonathan Perkins were going to be good football players.
They didn’t know, however, they’d show such talent so early in their careers.
After redshirting his freshman year, Allen, a cornerback out of Compton, Calif. is tied for second on the team with 18 solo tackles this season.
His fellow cornerback Perkins, a Gardena, Calif. native, is right behind him with 14 tackles.
The two are not just competitive, says coach Bob Biggs.
“Both of them have that thing that coaches can’t coach,” he said. “They have good football instincts.”
Did you know? Saturday’s matchup will be the first time UC Davis has ever faced South Alabama. The game will be the Aggies’ only first-time opponent for the 2010 campaign.
Preview: The Aggies’ running game comes in spurts.
Just over one month ago, running back Josh Reese ran for 104 yards and a touchdown against San Diego.
How did he do that?
Veteran offensive lineman Mark Tos said it’s because “everyone did their job.”
To establish the run game, all 11 guys on offense have to make the right moves – the quarterback has to make the right reads, the ball carrier has to break tackles and the linemen have to block.
Biggs has been looking for this balance all season.
The Aggies currently average just 74.5 yards per game on the ground, including just 71 combined in the last two contests.
The running game has been a weakness, and through the bye week, a point of emphasis for UC Davis in preparation for South Alabama on Saturday.
“If you don’t run the ball, people don’t respect the run,” Biggs said. “If you become one-dimensional, it’s easy for people to defend.”
While the Aggies’ offense has struggled in this facet, a solid Jaguar defense has shown the potential so far in the 2010 season to make it even tougher for them.
South Alabama sits high on the Football Championship Subdivision charts, holding its opponents to just 57.5 rushing yards per game. In turn, the Jaguars have outscored their competition by an average of 47-5.
“These guys are physical and they’re fast,” said running back Nick Aprile. “We have to have balance offensively to put up points and keep our defense on the sideline.”
That’s not to say that Aprile doesn’t have faith in the Aggie defense.
“Our defense can play with anybody,” Aprile said.
The general consensus on the team is that UC Davis just needs to keep its defense off the field and the offense on it.
The Aggies need to take pride in the run game.
– Grace Sprague