Tuesday, April 12, 2011
UC-Davis Aggies 2010 Review
2010 Record: 6-5 (3-1), 2nd Great West
2010 Postseason: None
2010 Schedule/Results: @ California, L 52-3; Portland State, L 41-33; @ San Diego, W 38-24; @ Weber State, L 20-9; @ San Jose State, W 14-13; South Dakota, W 17-13; South Alabama, L 24-21; Southern Utah, L 55-24; @ North Dakota, W 35-16; @ Cal Poly, W 22-21; Sacramento State, W 17-16
The Aggies finished strong in 2010 with a 3 game winning streak, but that was after they had started 3-5 in Bob Biggs' 18th season as head coach. UCD will have to start to up their game in 2011, as they will be transitioning to the newly wxpanded Big Sky in 2012. UCD can take something huge out of last fall, as they once again came out of another season with a win over an FBS opponent, as they took out regional rival San Jose State. In the last 3 seasons, UCD can boast a win over the Spartans, and one against Stanford. Not bad.
The offense struggled mightily in 2010, which was a major cause for losing 5 of their first 8 games last fall. The run game was one of the worst in the country, only having averaged 79.8 yards per game, and the passing game, while doing their best to pick up the slack, still failed to be more than adequate most days. The Aggies failed to score 20 points on 6 occasions last fall.
Randy Wright was a freshman in 2010, and he had a learning curve like all freshman have. He held his own, and showed flashes of possibly making a run at picking up some hardware down the line. Wright passed for 2432 yards and passed for 17 TDs as a freshman, and held his picks to 8. That is what I would deem as a solid freshman campaign, and Wright showed maturity in that the game would not eat him alive. He averaged 221 yards per game, which was a huge bonus considering the absence of a viable rushing attack.
Nick Aprile and Josh Reese shared the load at RB, but neither back managed 100 carries, and both missed one game during the season. Aprile rushed for 387 yards, while Reese rushed for 305. Aprile rushed for 6 TDs on the season, but the Aggies as a team only rushed for 9 scores in 2010, a major problem that needs to be rectified. Both backs return in the fall, but major improvement is a must.
One player stood out as a star in the receiving game in 2010, and that was Sean Creadick. Creadick was a solid target for Wright all season, as he rolled up totals of 66-928-8. The problem here is that Creadick moves on now, and nobody came close to his production levels last season. Dean Rogers was the only other receiver to boast 30 receptions (30-404-3), and the TE was a senior as well. That leaves a very thin and inexperienced receiving corps for Wright in 2011.
Defensively, the Aggies were a worn out unit by season's end. With the offense unable to eat clock and keep the ball on the ground, the defense wound up spending a bunch of time on the turf, and they took a beating for it. That being said, they still had a decent year, and were very strong at times, having held opponents to 21 points or less 6 times.
Dozie Amajoyi was the centerpiece to the defense, as the senior LB led the team in tackles with 93. Safety Danny Hart (72), LB Jordan Glass (66), and Safety Byron Gruendl (57) were the aggie defenders who busted 50 tackles last fall. Amjoyi and Hart are departing, however, so it'll be up to Glass and Gruendl to up their games, and the Aggies will need to find some producers to fill the void.
The Aggies were not good at applying pressure in 2010, as Amajoyi led the team with only 8 TFLs on the season. Only Gruendl and Marshall Congdon had more than 5 to back him up, and Congdon is gone as well, leaving Gruendl as the leader in TFL production. That's not good news. Eric Sobotka, a senior LB, led the team in sacks with only 5. Huge voids here, and they aren't any closer to getting better. The Aggies, obviously, will be susceptible to the big play in 2011.
CB Jonathon Perkins, a sophomore in 2010, was the only provider of the big play in 2010 in the secondary, as he defended 7 passes. Nobody came close to doing what he did, and the Aggies gave up 204 yards passing per game, and gave up 32 TDs as a whole on defense. Amajoyi, the obvious choice for Aggie defender of the year, led the team with only 3 picks, and nobody matched him.
Junior PK Sean Kelley was very good last season, having connected on 13 of his 17 FG attempts, which kept the Aggies alive in some close games last fall. UCD was involved in 6 games that were decided by 10 points or less. Punter Colton Scmidt, however, was not nearly as dependable, as he only averaged 38 yards per punt last season, further burdening an already overwrought defense.
I wish that I could tell you that I see areas that can step up and take the aggies to the final Great West Championship in 2011, but I just don't see it. The Aggies, with holes in the receiving corps, an inept run game, and a defense that fails to apply pressure, could actually struggle to maintain a 6-5 record next fall, unless major miracles happen and some young players really come up huge for coach Biggs and his staff. I see major problems coming up next fall, and so the final season in the Great West conference could be a painful one.