Cal Poly defeated Southern Utah 20-10 in a Great West Football Conference game Saturday before 5,763 at Mustang Stadium.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Brennan passed for 213 yards and one touchdown and also ran for another score while the Cal Poly defense recorded nine sacks for the No. 15-ranked Mustangs.
The victory clinches at least a tie for the Great West Football Conference championship as Cal Poly improved to 4-1 in conference games and 7-3 for the season. UC Davis is 3-1 in Great West games and hosts Northern Colorado on Nov. 26.
Southern Utah fell to 1-8 overall and 1-4 in the conference.
Cal Poly leads the series against the Thunderbirds, 13-6, winning five straight.
Brennan completed 16 of 27 passes for 213 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown pass to Ramses Barden, which snapped a 10-10 tie with 3:19 to go in the first half.
Southern Utah had jumped to a 10-0 lead in the first 18 minutes of the game on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Wes Marshall to Brett Johansen and a 42-yard field goal by Brandon Perkins.
Nick Coromelas trimmed Southern Utah’s lead to 10-3 with a 32-yard field goal midway through the second quarter and Brennan tied the game at 10-10 with a one-yard touchdown sneak with 3:52 to go before halftime.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Mark Restelli intercepted a Marshall pass and returned it two yards to set up Brennan’s tiebreaking scoring pass to Barden with 3:19 remaining in the first half.
The only score of the second half was a career-long 49-yard field goal by Coromelas with 9:37 to play in the third quarter, giving Cal Poly a 20-10 cushion.
Southern Utah’s best scoring chance in the second half ended when Mustang junior free safety Kenny Chicoine intercepted Marshall at the Cal Poly 3-yard line with three minutes to play in the game.
Cal Poly redshirt freshman running back James Noble garnered his sixth 100-yard game of the season, netting 118 yards on 20 carries. Brennan added 94 yards on 14 trips.
Noble now has 1,057 yards, becoming the first Mustang in six years to crack the 1,000-yard mark in rushing and the 12th running back in Cal Poly football history to accomplish the feat.
Barden caught a career-high nine passes for 104 yards to lead all Mustang receivers.
For Southern Utah, Marshall completed 16 of 31 passes for 242 yards and the one score.
Joey Hew Len and Jerome Eason each caught five passes for the Thunderbirds.
Cal Poly linebacker Kyle Shotwell notched 13 tackles, including 12 solo stops, and a pair of sacks while Buck Buchanan Award candidate Chris Gocong added seven tackles, two sacks and four quarterback hurries.
Senior safety Josh Raban collected 11 tackles, 10 solo, for Southern Utah.
Despite scoring just 20 points, Cal Poly amassed 470 total yards, 277 on the ground and 213 more through the air, while holding Southern Utah to 268 yards in total offense.
The Mustangs enjoyed an advantage of almost 10 minutes in time of possession, 34:45 to Southern Utah’s 25:15.
Cal Poly plays its regular season finale against Idaho State at Mustang Stadium on Saturday at 6 p.m.