Preview: NAU football returns to field after break, looking for first win
BY BRIAN GOSSET –
After a 35–0 shutout in Tucson in week one, the No. 24 Northern Arizona University (NAU) (0–1, 0–0 Big Sky Conference) looks to get into the win column as it travels to Davis, Calif. to face the University of California-Davis Aggies (0–2, 0–0 BSC).
Despite being in the same conference, this game will represent as a non-conference game for both teams.
In 2012, the Lumberjacks defeated the Aggies 21–7 on Homecoming in the teams’ first-ever match up. The win was NAU’s sixth in a row. It was a defensive battle as the two combined for 6-of-28 on third down, and five turnovers. The Lumberjacks defense racked up seven sacks against the Aggies.
Former quarterback Cary Grossart threw for 167 yards and two touchdowns, a 17-yarder to senior wide receiver Nick Cole and a 25-yarder to senior running back Zach Bauman, who also rushed for 122 yards on 23 carries.
Aggies’ senior quarterback Randy Wright threw for 181 yards and two interceptions. Wright, who started the 2013 season against South Dakota University, has watched from the sideline for the last six quarters, in favor of sophomore quarterback Jimmy Laughrea.
Lumberjack junior quarterback Kyren Poe played well in the first half against UA, completing his first 10 throws, before finishing 21-for-36 with 176 yards and three picks. Bauman, who sits 48 yards back of the school’s career rushing mark, ran for 71 yards on 21 carries.
Bauman has rushed for less than 100 yards for five straight games, dating back to last season, after rushing for more than 100 in 10 of the previous 12 games.
It will be a reunion, so to speak, for first-year receiver coach Tim Plough, who spent the last 10 years as a player and assistant coach with the Aggies. Plough started at quarterback for the Aggies in 2007 under current NAU offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello. Scangarello was on the Davis staff from 2004–08.
The Lumberjacks have gone 9–7 on the road, and 5–5 in non-conference games since 2010.