After last week’s blowout loss to San Jose State, Cal Poly bounced back in a big way while tying two school records in their 41-20 route against Lincoln University.
Despite being down by a few scores early on, the team remained focused and rallied for what was a much needed confidence booster going into conference play.
The Mustangs (2-1) were led by redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Huard who tied the school record for touchdown passes in a single game with six, and redshirt junior receiver Giancarlo Woods who recorded three touchdown receptions and is the first to do so since 2019.
“It’s awesome, being on the same page with Coach Cross and being able to spread the ball,” Huard said.
While the Oaklanders (0-4) couldn’t get anything going past the first quarter.
The first quarter of this game left the Cal Poly fans in attendance in shock after Lincoln went up 13-0 early on after two straight three-and-outs from the Mustang offense.
Cal Poly took a couple of deep breaths as they recouped and cut the deficit down to 13-7 after a 30-yard touchdown pass from Huard to Woods.
The Lincoln offense didn’t falter, however, as they went up 20-7 on a three-yard passing touchdown with 13:42 left in the half.
After a turnover on downs from the Cal Poly offense and a three-and-out from Lincoln, Huard found sophomore wideout Logan Booher for a 44-yard gain which set up a six-yard toe-tapping touchdown to Woods to bring the score to 20-13 with 7:33 left in the half.
The Mustangs finally started to get it together after the defense forced a stop, and the offense took full advantage with every play but one being a first down and ending with another touchdown to Woods to tie the game at 20 apiece.
The Cal Poly defense forced yet another stop and this time, the offense scored in 11 seconds after Huard found redshirt freshman wide receiver Tyrece Fairley-Diyem for a 26-yard touchdown to take a 27-20 lead going into the half.
The Mustangs took the lead and never looked back as the defense didn’t allow a single point the rest of the way as the offense stepped on the gas and went up 41-20 after a 13-yard touchdown from Booher and a 12-yard touchdown from redshirt junior wide receiver Evan Burkhart.
This was enough to take the starters out of the game with less than a minute left in the third, as the Green and Gold cruised the rest of the way in this 41-20 win.
This is the first time Cal Poly has had a winning record in their first three games since 2016, which bodes very well for the future of this program.
Despite the shaky first quarter, the team managed to play good complementary football throughout the game and showed why this program has the potential to do great things not only in the future but this season as well.
“In the first quarter we were acting a lot like we did last week,” head coach Paul Wulff said. “But I’m proud of the fact that we woke up, built momentum and did a lot of good things.”
And when a team has a quarterback with Huard’s quality, the team can go places.
“We did a great job on the sideline, not getting too high or too low,” Huard said. “It gives us great momentum going into conference play next week.”
The Mustangs will now look ahead to the first conference game of the season when they travel to take on Portland State on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. at Hillsboro Stadium.