UC Davis may make a quarterback change for Saturday’s Big Sky Conference homecoming game at Aggie Stadium against No. 11 Montana State.
UCD coach Ron Gould opened up competition in practice this week between senior incumbent London Lacy and sophomore Ben Scott, the former Vanden High School star who pressed Lacy for the job throughout preseason camp.
“There is a possibility,” Gould said. “We’ve got to work through some things, just to make sure. We’ll look back at film to see how the guys managed practice.”
Though Lacy has completed 64 percent of his passes (79 for 123, 793 yards), the Aggies are 85th in the Football Championship Subdivision and 10th in the Big Sky Conference in scoring offense (20.2 points per game) and 103rd and 12th in total offense (290.4 yards). The Aggies are 1-4, 0-2 in conference.
Gould said the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Scott has looked good in practice. He completed 4 of 5 passes for 60 yards when he came in late in the Aggies’ 52-17 win over Division II Fort Lewis on Sept. 6 at UC Davis in his only appearance.
“His command of the offense and, when things have broken down, he has been able to extend plays,” Gould said. “He’s been making really, really good decisions. Those things have been exciting to see.”
Gould said Lacy has done “some good things we like” during his five games as the starter, but the Aggies have struggled with inconsistency and a failure to convert on third downs (15 of 57), including 2 of 12 in Saturday’s 23-14 loss at Portland State.
Gould also said the Aggies have reduced their playbook to “bare bones” to improve consistency, but that they still are failing to take advantage of potential scoring plays.
“We’re not talking about first downs here,” Gould said. “We’re talking about opportunities to score long touchdowns.”
Manzanares watch – UCD fans have been waiting to see the Gabe Manzanares who dazzled last year with his powerful, quick runs en route to Big Sky Conference Newcomer of the Year honors.
The senior running back, who has battled a foot injury since spring, has been limited to 54 yards on 23 carries and no touchdowns after missing the first two games because of injury.
Manzanares rushed for 1,285 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013, including 179 rushing yards and a touchdown last season in a 34-17 loss at Montana State.
Gould hopes Manzanares and the team’s “low-par” rushing game can improve against the Bobcats.
“As I’ve said before, he’s been the heartbeat of our team, but he’s been hampered by an injury,” Gould said. “Now he’s starting to get healthier, starting to get in better shape. Hopefully, we get to see him move in a great direction.”
Unsung dad, star son – Tim Prukop was named UC Davis’ 1987 Bob Oliver Award winner (along with Doug Gomez), given each season to the football team’s most unsung player. But Dakota Prukop, Tim’s son, isn’t flying under the radar.
The Montana State quarterback was the national FCS Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Bobcats to a 59-56 win over Sacramento State at Hornet Stadium on Saturday.
The 6-2, 200-pound sophomore from Austin, Texas, accounted for eight touchdowns and 488 yards of total offense.
“That quarterback is a leader,” Gould said. “His football IQ is off the charts. He’s able to beat you with his arm and his feet.”
Prokup hails from a football family. In addition to his dad, who coached at USC and in NFL Europe, grandfather Al played at USC and uncles Ted (Cal Poly) and Todd (Cal State Fullerton) also played college football. Todd is an NFL referee.
Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.
▪ Montana State at UC Davis: 4 p.m., 1140
▪ Sacramento State at Northern Colorado: 12:30 p.m., 1380