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A BRIEF PREVIEW
The 60th Causeway Classic presented by Pepsi will take place on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Hornet Stadium when Sacramento State hosts UC Davis at 3:37 p.m. This year marks the fifth consecutive season that the two teams have met in the season finale. The game is part of the season-long ScholarShare Causeway Cup.
There will be multiple ways to follow this week's game. Hornet fans can tune in to KTKZ 1380 AM (The Answer) to hear the radio call of Jason Ross, Steve McElroy and Danny Sullivan. Live audio streaming is also available via www.hornetsports.com and on the iHeart Radio application for mobile devices.
This week's game will also be televised by Comcast SportsNet California. Barry Tompkins will serve as the play-by-play announcer with Mike Lamb providing the color and Kate Scott on the sideline. The game will not be available on Watch Big Sky this week.
Sacramento State rallied for a 43-42 come-from-behind victory at Portland State to raise its record to 5-6 overall and 4-3 in Big Sky Conference games. A win on Saturday against the Aggies would give Marshall Sperbeck his fourth six-win season in his seven years with the Hornets. At Portland State, quarterback Garrett Safron rewrote the school record book, throwing for 554 yards and four touchdowns and also rushing for 42 yards and two TDs. The team trailed by 11 on four different occasions, including 42-31, before Safron threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final eight minutes of the game. The winning score came on a 4-yard pass to tight end Cole Hikutini with 30 seconds remaining.
UC Davis also stands at 4-3 in Big Sky play and is now 4-7 overall following a 34-18 win at home against North Dakota. Running back Gabe Manzanares has been the catalyst for the UC Davis offense all season. The junior college transfer leads the team with 1,163 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He's averaging 116.3 yards and 23.3 rushes per game. Quarterbacks Randy Wright and Jimmy Laughrea have both seen significant time at the position this year. Wright has thrown 10 TD with four interceptions while Laughrea has one touchdown and four picks.
In conference play, Sacramento State ranks fourth among Big Sky teams with an average of 33.6 points per game but is eighth in scoring defense, allowing 29.3 ppg. UC Davis ranks ninth in the league at 22.7 ppg on offense and is third in scoring defense at 23.1 ppg.
Sacramento State and UC Davis each have wins over Northern Colorado and North Dakota and losses to Northern Arizona, Montana and Cal Poly. The Hornets defeated Portland State and lost to Southern Utah in overtime. UCD lost at home to PSU and won at SUU.
Marshall Sperbeck is in his seventh season as the head coach at Sacramento State. During that span, Sperbeck has produced a 35-43 overall record. For a complete bio, please see page 2.
UC Davis is coached by Ron Gould who is in his first season leading the Aggies. Gould previously served as the running backs coach at California.
Sacramento State has faced UC Davis more than any other opponent in school history. The Aggies lead the all-time series, 42-18. Over the last five years, UCD's edge is 3-2 with the Hornets winning in 2008 and 2009 and the Aggies winning the last three.
• Prior to Saturday's game, Sacramento State will honor 12 seniors who will be playing their final game for the Hornets.
• The group includes eight players who have played their entire collegiate career at Sacramento State, including all-Big Sky selections Todd Davis, Morris Norrise, Osagie Odiase and Tyler Worthley.
Robert Beale DB Turlock, Calif.
Todd Davis LB Palmdale, Calif.
Austin Dotson WR Carson, Calif.
Trent Eskew DL Bakersfield, Calif.
Ezekiel Graham RB Carson, Calif.
DJ Maciel TE Hanford, Calif.
Morris Norrise WR Berkeley, Calif.
Osagie Odiase DB Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
Dijon Washington DB Lawndale, Calif.
Justin Weldon P Madera, Calif.
Markell Williams DB Vacaville, Calif.
Tyler Worthley OL Dublin, Calif.
CAUSEWAY CLASSIC QUICK FACTS
• Despite this being the 60th Causeway Classic, Saturday's game will be the 61st meeting between the two schools. In 1988, the teams met twice, with Sacramento State winning in both the regular season (31-28) and the first round of the Div. II playoffs (35-13). The first of those victories ended an 18-game losing streak against the Aggies.
• The game was not referred to as the Causeway Classic until 1983. Former Sacramento State SID Mike Duncan is credited with creating the moniker.
• The Causeway Classic has drawn 554,906 fans over the past 59 years. The two largest Sacramento State football crowds have come against UC Davis. In 1999, 20,993 attended the game while the 2001 contest drew 17,328.
SAFRON NAMED POW
• For the third time this season, Garrett Safron was named the ROOT Sports Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week. Safron set the Sacramento State record with 554 passing yards and 596 yards of total offense. Both of those numbers are the second most in the FCS this season.
• Safron completed 34-of-50 pass attempts with four touchdowns and also rushed eight times for 42 yards and two more TDs.
• Along with the single-game records, Safron also set the single-season marks for completions (272), attempts (427), yards (3,068) and touchdowns (27) as well as the Sacramento State career record for touchdowns (52).
SHARING THE BALL
• Not only did Garrett Safron set the school record with 554 passing yards, he did so using 11 different receivers in the game.
• The group was highlighted by Shane Harrison, Morris Norrise and DeAndre Carter who became the first trio to each record 100-plus receiving yards in a game in school history. Harrison set career highs with nine receptions and 138 yards. Norrise caught seven passes for 126 yards, including a touchdown. Carter had five grabs for 133 yards and a score before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury.
• Carter and Norrise also each went over the century mark against Montana. The duo is the first in school history to achieve the feat twice in a season.
• Two of the biggest catches in the contest came from an unlikely source. Senior Austin Dotson entered the game without a reception in 2013 but made a diving catch for a 26-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter for his first grab. His second catch came during the game-winning drive for a 19-yard gain.
• In all, Safron targeted four running backs, four receivers and three tight ends during the game.
BY THE NUMBERS
• Sacramento State set the school record for passing yards in a game (554). The previous record was 432 vs. Eastern Washington in 1996.
• The team's 628 yards of total offense are the third highest in Hornet history.
• Sacramento State won in Portland for just the second time since 1986.
• The team won for just the fifth time in 40 attempts when trailing entering the fourth quarter under Sperbeck.
• The 713 yards amassed by Portland State are the most ever surrendered by Sacramento State. The yardage total also ranks as the 10th most by an FCS team and the second most by a losing FCS team this year.
• DJ Adams became the first opposing player to ever score five touchdowns in a game against the Hornets.
DAVIS EXTENDS BIG SKY LEAD
• Todd Davis tallied 12 tackles at Portland State for his seventh double-digit effort of the season. Davis had four solo stops and also recorded the team's lone sack.
• That total elevated Davis to seventh in the FCS with 10.8 tackles per game. The FCS leader is Tazmon Foster of North Carolina Central who is averaging 11.9 stops per game.
• Davis was also able to gain a little separation over Northern Colorado's Clarence Bumpas (9.7) and Leilon Willingham (9.6) for the Big Sky lead.
• The Palmdale, Calif, native has recorded at least five tackles in all 11 games this season and 32 of his last 34 games.
• Davis has led the team in tackles the past two seasons, tallying 96 in 2011 and 103 in 2012. Last year's total also included a team-best 13.5 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks. That effort helped him be named second team all-Big Sky.
• Since moving to the FCS in 1993, Sacramento State has had five different linebackers earn All-America honors and 22 named all-Big Sky Conference.
• Below is a list of where Davis ranks in school history:
Career Tackles Total Needs
1. Ryland Wickman, 1995-98 435 96
2. Todd Davis, 2010-pres. 339 ---
Career Tackles-For-Loss Total Needs
6. Cyrus Mulitalo, 2005-08 32.0 2.0
7. Christian Clark, 2007-10 31.0 1.0
8. Todd Davis, 2010-pres. 30.0 ---
Single Season Tackles Total Needs
2. Rob Patton, 1990 136 17
3. Jimmy Ellingson, 2004 132 13
Carlos Williams, 1999 132 13
5. Cyrus Mulitalo, 2006 120 1
6. Todd Davis, 2013 119 ---
CARTER DRAWS EVEN
• DeAndre Carter's 78-yard touchdown catch and run at Portland State was not only the longest play from scrimmage for the Hornets this season, it also helped the junior tie a school record. The score was Carter's 14th receiving touchdown this season and tied him with Mike Carter (no relation) who had 14 in 1969.
• Carter has caught a touchdown in eight of the last nine games and is currently tied for third in the FCS. Erik Lora of Eastern Illinois leads the FCS with 17 receiving TDs while Eastern Washington freshman Cooper Kupp has 16.
• The Fremont, Calif., native also has two 12-reception games this season which are tied for the third most in school single-game history.
• Carter has become just the third player in school history to catch at least three touchdown passes in a game twice, joining Mike Carter and Eric Harrington.
• Carter did not catch a touchdown pass as a freshman in 2011 where he had 11 receptions for 161 yards. Last year, he got off to a great start, scoring touchdowns in each of the first four games. However, he did not find the end zone for the remainder of the season, finishing with 32 catches for 344 yards.
Career Receiving Touchdowns Total Needs
2. Morris Norrise, 2010-pres. 19 1
3. DeAndre Carter, 2011-pres. 18 ---
Single Season Receiving TDs Total Needs
1. Mike Carter, 1969 14 ---
DeAndre Carter, 2013 14 ---
Single Season Receiving Yards Total Needs
4. Mike Carter, 1969 1,106 172
5. Fred Amey, 2003 989 55
Fred Amey, 2002 989 55
7. Clint Primm, 1992 951 17
8. DeAndre Carter, 2013 934 ---
SAFRON CONTINUES HIS ROLL
• Despite not throwing a touchdown pass in the first nine quarters of the season, Garrett Safron set the school record and now has 27 passing TDs this year.
• Safron's total received a major jump start when he threw seven against Southern Oregon to break Ryan Leadingham's school record of six against Idaho State in 2003. Safron has thrown at least one touchdown in each game since that point.
• To put the seven touchdowns against SOU in perspective, his single-game effort was greater than or equal to the Hornet team leader in four seasons since 1990.
• He now owns the top three marks for completions in a game with 41 against Montana this year, 37 at UC Davis in 2012 and 34 against Southern Oregon and at Portland State in 2013.
• In his first full year as a starter (2012), Safron set the Sacramento State single season record with 246 completions and a 64.2 completion percentage. He also ranked second with 383 attempts and 22 touchdowns.
• Safron has also proven to be accurate as his current completion percentage of 63.7 percent would easily set the career mark by a Hornet — passing Ricky Ray's .619.
• Below is where he ranks in school history:
Career Passing Yards Total Needs
1. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 8,376 2,274
2. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 6,042 ---
Career Passing Touchdowns Total Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 52 ---
2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 50 ---
Career Passing Attempts Total Needs
1. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 1,191 340
2. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 851 ---
Career Passing Completions Total Needs
1. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 658 116
2. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 542 ---
Single Season Attempts Total Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2013 427 ---
2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001 393 ---
Single Season Completions Total Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2013 272 ---
2. Garrett Safron, 2012 246 ---
Single Season Yards Total Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2013 3,068 ---
2. Ryan Leadingham, 2002 2,785 ---
Single Season Touchdowns Total Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2013 27 ---
2. Jeff Fleming, 2010 23 ---
MO ON THE MOVE
• Senior Morris Norrise extended his streak to 24-straight games in which he's played with a catch with his seven grabs at Cal Poly. In fact, Norrise has had two receptions in every game and four or more in 22 of the 24.
• Norrise leads the team with a career high 75 receptions this season, is second with 769 yards and third with four TDs. Last season, he had 60 receptions and 777 yards.
• Norrise's average of 6.8 receptions per game places him second in the Big Sky and tied for 11th in the FCS.
• The Berkeley, Calif., native was named to the 2013 Big Sky preseason team and was a second team all-conference selection following last season. He was honorable mention all-Big Sky the previous two years.
• Norrise is in second place of every major career receiving record at Sacramento State. Below is a look at where Norrise ranks on the Sacramento State career lists:
Career Receptions Total Needs
1. Fred Amey, 2001-04 248 30
2. Morris Norrise, 2010-pres. 208 ---
Career Receiving Yards Total Needs
1. Fred Amey, 2001-04 4,049 1,500
2. Morris Norrise, 2010-pres. 2,549 ---
Career Receiving Touchdowns Total Needs
1. Fred Amey, 2001-04 27 8
2. Morris Norrise, 2010-pres. 19 ---
DeAndre Carter, 2011-pres. 18 ---
Single Season Receptions Total Needs
1. Tony Washington, 2008 83 8
2. Fred Amey, 2004 76 1
3. Morris Norrise, 2013 75 ---
SACK STREAK CONTINUES
• When Darnell Sankey and Todd Davis combined to get to the quarterback at Portland State, Sacramento State extended its streak with at least one sack to 29 consecutive games.
• The last time the Hornets were unable to get to the quarterback came in the team's 42-28 win over Montana on Sept. 24, 2011.
• This season, nine different Sacramento State players have recorded at least a half sack. The group is led by Sankey who has 6.0.
• Senior Justin Weldon continued his exceptional season with four punts for an average of 43.2 yards at Portland State. Weldon was consistent with a long of 51 yards and had a net of 38.0 yards per attempt.
• This season, Weldon is averaging 44.49 yards per punt on 61 kicks. If he is able to hold that average over the last game, the Madera, Calif., native would break the Sacramento State single season record of 44.05 by Steve Thorns in 1997.
• Weldon is also on pace to set the career punting average by a Hornet. The current record of 42.27 yards per punt was set by Doyle Brunson from 1968-69. On 97 career attempts, Weldon is currently averaging 43.86 yards.
• Weldon ranks fourth nationally among FCS punters and is second in the Big Sky.
• Weldon has also increased his time on the field as he took over as the team's holder on field goals and extra points against Montana.
JUST THE FACTS
• Sacramento State has 1,546 rushing yards this season despite not having an individual over 500 yards. Safron is the team's leading rusher with 458. Ten players have received rushing attempts with five scoring TDs.
• Brad Cornish is 11-for-11 on PATs and 3-for-3 on field goals since taking over the place kicking duties.
• The team wore black uniforms against Montana for the first time in school history.
• Prior to Sacramento State scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter against Montana, UM had allowed only 13 points in the quarter in its previous seven games combined.
• Jesse Aguilar's missed PAT against Northern Colorado was his first at any level of football (high school, junior college and at Sacramento State).
• The Hornets are one of three FCS teams to play three overtime games this season. All three of the team's OT contests have been decided in the first period.
• Sacramento State's games against Southern Oregon and Southern Utah marked the first time that the Hornets played consecutive overtime games in school history.
• The 63 points scored against Southern Oregon were tied for the fourth most in school history and the most since 2003.
• The team tied the school record with 101 plays against SOU.
• Nine touchdowns tied the school record while nine successful PATs set a new mark.
• Bill Laveroni (offensive line) and Fred Kelley (tight ends/special teams) are both in their first seasons on the Hornet staff. Laveroni has coached at nearly every level of football from high school to the NFL. Kelley is back after spending last season as the offensive line coach at Humboldt State.
• Sperbeck's 15 career road wins are the third most in school history. Ray Clemons won 35 games in 15 years and Bob Mattos won 34 in 15 years.
• Prior to being shut out at San Jose State, Sacramento State had scored in 68 straight games and had at least a touchdown in 43 consecutive games.
• The 55-point margin of defeat at Arizona State is tied for the fifth largest in school history.
• The team's six first downs at ASU are tied for the third fewest in program history.
60th CAUSEWAY CLASSIC TAKES PLACE ON SATURDAY AT HORNET STADIUM
Compete Version (PDF)