Oregon vs Cal Davis on Saturday

When the ball is kicked off on Saturday there will be a reunion of sorts as former Duck Ron Gould returns to Autzen Stadium as the head coach of Cal-Davis for a match up with the Oregon Ducks. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game will be carried live on the Pac-12 Networks.

Gould played one season for the Ducks back in 1988 in the defensive secondary along with Anthony Newman, when Rich Brooks was the head coach. Gould was also a graduate assistant at Oregon for the 1990-91season, plus holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminology from Oregon in 1988.

Gould might have a chance to catch up with some Cal-Davis alums on Saturday. After all former Oregon coach and athletic director Mike Bollotti, former defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti and former offensive and defensive line coach Neil Zoumboukos all did their undergraduate work at Cal-Davis.

However on Saturday, Gould will be more concerned about how his team will fare at Autzen Stadium, in the Aggies only appearance in a FBS facility this season. The Aggies are coming off a 2-9 record in 2015 and over all are 9-25 during Gould’s tenure.

Cal-Davis is part of the Big Sky conference and has seen one player on the Ducks roster before – Dakota Prukop, who as a sophomore led the Montana State Wildcats to a 77-37 win. Prukop threw for 360 yards and four touchdowns in that game.

This year the Aggies return 48 lettermen featuring three All-Big Sky performers, FB Derek Balijeu, KR Joshua Kelley and WR Chris Martin. Cal-Davis will be led on offense by running back Manusamoa Luuga, who rushed for 613 yards and six TDs last season.

The Aggies have two players who could start at quarterback, either senior Ben Scott, who played against Montana State in the same game that Prukop went for 360 yards. In that game, Scott had 379 yards and four TDs.  Gould could also go with sophomore C.J. Spencer, who had back-to-back 300 yard games last season (Cal-Poly; 311 yards and at Sacramento State,  312 yards.)

Oregon’s John Neal expects the Aggies to throw a few trick plays in at the Ducks and believes the Aggies will not be like anything the Duck defense has worked against during fall camp (being the Oregon offense).

The game is clearly a mismatch, but stranger things have happened. The Aggies beat Stanford 20-17 back in 2005.

While that likely won’t happen on Saturday, it will be interesting to see what the Ducks do in a game they should easily win. It is of course the first game of the season and sometimes strange things happen and for many of the Duck starters, this will be the first time they have played in an FBS game including redshirt freshmen LG Shane Lemieux. C Jake Hanson, RT Calvin Throckmorton, senior transfer Prukop, junior transfer A.J. Hotchkins and true freshman SAM Troy Dye.

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