Cal Poly runs over UC Davis

Published: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - 11:00 pm | Page 6C
Last Modified: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 - 11:07 pm

Going into Saturday night's game, Cal Poly was leading the Football Championship Subdivision with an average of 281 rushing yards a game.

That stat will grow considerably. The Mustangs totaled 414 rushing yards and ran over UC Davis 34-16 at Aggie Stadium.

Third and long is not necessarily a passing down for the Mustangs.

On third and 11 from his 27-yard line, Cal Poly quarterback Chris Brown dropped back into the pocket but took off running on a designed draw play. The sophomore didn't stop until he was dragged down 72 yards later at the UC Davis 1.

Brown rushed for 195 yards on 19 carries, a school record for a quarterback. He had rushing touchdowns of 29, 5 and 5 yards. Not bad after missing the last three games because of a hip injury.

"I'm not going to say I was winded," Brown said after the game. "The point of the ball did catch me in the chest and I stayed down for a little while. I did appreciate the rest."

Cal Poly (4-5, 3-2 Big Sky Conference) kept the Golden Horseshoe, the trophy the rivals play for each season. The loss left UC Davis 3-7 and 3-3.

UC Davis running back Gabe Manzanares, who rushed for 141 yards on 29 carries, became the first Aggie rusher to gain more than 1,000 yards in a season since Matt Massari in 2003.

The transfer from City College of San Francisco has 1,031 yards and recorded his fifth 100-yard game of the year.

"I am really, really pleased for this young man. He is the heart and soul for this team," said UC Davis coach Ron Gould who, while an assistant at Cal, helped produced NFL running backs such as Seattle's Marshawn Lynch and Jacksonville's Justin Forsett.

"(Manzanares) comes to work every single day," Gould said. "The way he practices and the way he runs, he has changed the mindset of the offense and how they do things, how they practice and how they watch film. There is no question why he has over 1,000 yards."

Manzanares said he appreciated breaking the 1,000-yard barrier and was quick to thank his offensive line and the receivers who provide downfield blocking.

But Manzanares also was hurting from a late fumble with less than five minutes remaining and the Aggies trailing 27-16. It was his third fumble in 225 touches this season.

"I just did not have both of my hands on the ball like coach teaches," Manzanares said. "I just coughed (it) up."

Cal Poly's Brown did throw five times, completing one pass for 15 yards, but it was key. It allowed a drive to continue after Aggies quarterback Randy Wright threw an interception.

Five plays later, Brown put his team up by two scores, 27-16, with a 5-yard run with less than six minutes remaining in the game.

The Aggies trailed 20-16 and were gaining momentum when Mustangs safety Alex Hubbard intercepted Wright and returned the ball to the Aggies' 32-yard line.

Wright finished 18 for 31 for 188 yards with a 16-yard scoring pass to Taylor Sloat for the Aggies' only touchdown. UC Davis kicker Brady Stuart kicked field goals of 30, 26 and 35 yards.

"We gave it away and, no disrespect (to Cal Poly), but we gave the game away," Gould, the Aggies' first-year head coach, said.

"We call plays for certain reasons, and our guy didn't get to the window," Gould said of the late interception. "The throw was where it was supposed to be."

The Aggies have a bye next week. They resume play Nov. 16 at home against North Dakota.

The Aggies will face Sacramento State in the annual Causeway Classic on Nov. 23 at Hornet Stadium.

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Read more articles by Mark Billingsley

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