The Hancock College football team used to have the Santa Barbara College football team's number in this county rivalry.
That hasn't been the case for the past several years. The Bulldogs will try to reverse that trend Saturday when they take on the Vaqueros in the Pacific League opener for both teams.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at gorgeous La Playa Stadium on the Santa Barbara City College campus.
Both teams are 3-2. Both are coming off a bye week, and both had close losses in their previous game. San Bernardino Valley College rallied to edge Hancock 24-18 on Sept. 30. College of the Desert nipped Santa Barbara 25-20 the same day.
Hancock has had a problem stopping opposing passing games at key times this year, and the Vaqueros' passing game has been pretty proficient.
Two freshman SBCC quarterbacks, Gerald Hickson and Joshua Evans, have posted decent mumbers, with Hickson's being the most impressive.
Hickson averages 130 yards a game through the air, Evans another 60-plus. Evans has just one touchdown pass and three interceptions but Hickson, who's thrown the ball more, has six touchdown passes and four interceptions.
Hancock quarterback Jimmy Kelleher has thrown only three touchdown passes and has tossed seven interceptions. However, the Bulldogs average nearly 175 yards a game passing.
None of Hancock's rushers have spectacular numbers, but the Bulldogs have been productive on the ground although their ground game failed them against SBVC when they needed it most.
The Bulldogs rush for a tad under 202 yards a game. Ryheem Skinner, their top rusher, averages 81-plus yards a game.
Trouble is, like a lot of Hancock's other skill position players, he hasn't been able to play in every game. Skinner has played in three games.
Like Skinner, Hancock receiver Michael Ferraro has been very effective — when he's been able to play. In his three games of action, Ferraro averages just over five receptions and just under 72 reception yards per game.
Emmanuel Nwosu figures to be a handful for the Hancock defense. The workhorse back has carried the ball 97 times and has racked up 666 yards. He averages just over 133 yards a game. Nwosu, SBCC's leading rusher across the board, has scored five rushing touchdown.
Cabrillo graduate Cody Perry is averaging 26 rushing yards a game and 3.6 yards a carry for the Vaqueros. He has three rushing touchdowns.
The Vaqueros have a capable lead receiver, Donald Lambert. He averages 70.6 yards a game in receptions and has caught five touchdown passes.
Nick Kimball leads Hancock in most receiving categories. The sophomore Nipomo High School graduate has 23 catches this year and averages just over 61 yards a game in reception yardage.
Santa Barbara has been flagged for an average of just under 100 yards in penalties a game. Hancock has been tagged for a prodigious 140-plus average.