The Horned Frogs football team defeated the University of California at Davis Aggies on Saturday 46-13.Although the division 1-AA Aggies shut out the Frogs on their first drive and took the first lead of the night with a field goal, the Frogs quickly regrouped and, after taking the lead on the next drive, never looked back.
Head coach Gary Patterson said the team improved over the practice week.
“There’s more confidence of the guys on the field,” Patterson said. “Now our freshman corners have two games instead of one.”
Jeff Ballard, who left last weekend’s game against the Baylor University Bears because of blurred vision and migraines, started the game and extended his undefeated streak as a starter.
“(The streak) is something special for me,” Ballard said. “It’s not really my goal; it’s a team goal. Even though, I’m undefeated, the team is as well, and that’s more important.
Last year’s Horned Frogs ranked No. 1 in the nation for takeaways, and, against UC Davis, sophomore middle linebacker Jason Phillips and senior weak side safety Marvin White combined for two interceptions.
“That was my first one in college,” Phillips said. “(Picking on passes) really helps our defense’s mentality.”
Patterson also said he was happy to see the defense return to last year’s form.
“It was nice to see us get back to picking some footballs,” Patterson said. “We dropped a couple, but we’re breaking on the ball.”
On the offensive side of the ball, sophomore tailback Aaron Brown, who starts for the injured senior tailbacks Robert Merrill and Lonta Hobbs, continued his impressive run as starting tailback.
“(Hobbs and Merrill) have a lot of confidence in me to really lead the team, but to pick up where they left off,” Brown said.
Brown scored on two option plays, which he said was the team’s go-to play.
“We love that play,” Brown said. “That’s one of our bread and butter plays. We go to a lot throughout the game. We work on it day in and day out in practice.”
The Horned Frogs next play Texas Tech University on Saturday, and Patterson said the Frogs have some work to do in the upcoming week of practices.
“I’m not happy with out PAT/field goal team,” Patterson said. “We still made some critical mistakes on drives that we can’t do against the good people. Defensively we gave up a couple long plays, pass plays we didn’t need to give up. It was more our fault than it was their fault. We can’t do that against a couple of the people we have coming down the pipe, so we a lot of work to do.”
With the win, the Frogs now hold the nation’s No. 1 winning streak at 12 games. The University of Texas Longhorns held the streak at 21 games, but lost to the Ohio State University Buckeyes 24-7.