Snap after snap, the Cal Poly offense made an effort to push the tempo. And after a few drives, head coach Tim Walsh made it clear the Mustangs are going to try and win games this season in a particular fashion.
By outrunning everyone, that is.
“We want to wear people out, that’s the way that we want to play,” Walsh said. “You hear the coaches all the time yelling, ‘Tempo, tempo, tempo.’ We want to run as many plays as we can.”
Debuting the new-and-improved version of Cal Poly’s shotgun, no-huddle offense, Andre Broadous and company led an up-pace and dynamic attack as the Green offensive team defeated the Gold defensive team 51-24 in the Green and Gold Spring Game at Alex G. Spanos Stadium Saturday.
“We did a good job, especially because we are probably not in game shape,” Walsh said. “The players got a good feel for what it is, the tempo that they need to be able to play at for a 60-minute college football game.”
Broadous showed just what that up-pace offense could do right off the bat, driving 80 yards on 15 plays to score a touchdown, a one-yard quarterback sneak, on the game’s first possession. From there, backup quarterbacks Vince Moraga and Chris Brown helped combine for three offensive touchdowns in an offensive attack that was noticeably quicker than the Mustangs’ shotgun scheme a year ago.
“We are definitely stepping it up,” Broadous said. “I think we will be a lot better than last year on the offensive side of the ball, who was only on the field for the game’s first drive. We scored a lot of points last year, but I think we can improve on that. That was the first year doing the hurry up, and I think this year we’re more crisp.”
That’s partly due to the Mustangs’ practice regimen this year, which Broadous said has been quite the workload through spring camp.
“Our practice tempo, we run a lot of plays,” Broadous said. “We probably get more plays in than any other offense in the country during our practices. We try and keep the tempo going so we can get used to the game-time speed.”
That includes the offensive line as well, which lost three starters — left tackle Scott Winnewisser, left guard Maurice McClure and right tackle Art Munoz — to graduation at the end of last season. But with new names protecting Broadous up front, he said the players in the trenches haven’t missed a step in Cal Poly’s offensive scheme.
“Our offensive line coach is doing a great job of keeping our offensive line in shape,” Broadous said. “They do a lot of work outside of regular practice … and I think they’re just going to keep getting better and better.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the Mustangs are still trying to figure out who will step into starting positions. Cal Poly heads into this season losing three starting defensive linemen, one linebacker and three defensive backs from the 2010 roster.
And in that defensive backfield, the Mustangs are trying to replace Asa Jackson, a four-time, all-conference selection at cornerback that was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of this year’s NFL Draft.
Hubbard, a junior college transfer from the College of San Mateo, recorded 45 tackles, 10 pass breakups and three interceptions for the Bulldogs last season and is looking more and more like he will contribute for the Mustangs on defense, as well as on special teams.
“I’m just looking to score points and grab interceptions,” Hubbard said, with a smile. “I also want to return punts and contribute in as many ways as I can.”
While Hubbard and others did see extended playing time on the field Saturday, Walsh said he wanted to review the game film before making any changes to the depth chart. The Cal Poly defense, did however, force two turnovers, both fumbles, against the offense.
Moraga and Brown spent a majority of the time leading that offense under center. Moraga connected on three of his four pass attempts for 19 yards and added 41 yards on the ground. Brown was 3 for 6 with 25 yards, while Broadous went just 1 for 3 with 21 yards in his limited playing time.
Fullback Matt Rulon finished the game with 57 yards on six carries, while fellow fullback Brandon Howe rushed for 29 yards on six carries.