Cal Poly lost the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe 31-28 to rival UC Davis, after their late comeback attempt was stifled by two dropped passes on third and fourth down inside the Aggies’ 30 yard-line with less than one minute to play.
The loss was the Mustangs’ eighth straight to start the season and drops their Big West Conference record to 0-5. UC Davis got off to a quick 21-0 lead, scoring three touchdowns in roughly the first six minutes of the game.
Cal Poly answered with two touchdowns of their own, the first scored on a one-yard run by senior fullback Jared Mohamed, and the second scored by senior slotback Kyle Lewis, when he caught a 42-yard pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Jake Jeffrey.
Surprisingly, Mohamed’s touchdown was the first of the season for the bruising short-yard specialist. Last season, senior fullback Joe Protheroe found the endzone 13 times in the same role.
UC Davis closed the second quarter out by scoring another touchdown and adding a field goal to take a 31-14 lead into halftime.
The Mustangs, however, refused to back down. They scored a touchdown of their own in the third quarter and shut down the Aggies’ offense to narrow the UC Davis lead to only 10 points going into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, freshman slotback Brock Mortensen scored a touchdown after catching an 18-yard pass from Jeffrey, capping off a 17-play, 99-yard drive for the Mustangs. The score pulled them within just three points of UC Davis, but this was as close as the Mustangs got.
With slightly less than a minute to go in regulation, they would fail to convert on both third and fourth down. The fourth down pass was thrown a little wide to Lewis and he could not quite rein it in despite getting both hands on the ball.
With the loss, the Mustangs fell to one game below .500 in the battle for the Golden Horseshoe (20-21-2) since the rivalry began.
The Mustangs will possibly have their best chance to win a game this season against a winless Portland State (0-8) Saturday, Nov. 4 at 6:05 p.m. inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.