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A week ago, the Cal Poly football team managed a total of 37 yards and no points in the second half of a 24-10 loss to Yale. The Mustangs made sure that wouldn’t be the case again on Saturday night.
Junior slotback Kristaan Ivory accounted for three touchdowns and sophomore quarterback Dano Graves threw for three scores as Cal Poly routed Weber State 47-0 inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
The Mustangs moved to 2-0 in conference play while Weber State dropped to 0-3.
“What a difference a week makes,” head coach Tim Walsh said. Weber State is “a young football team that’ll get better. I think they’re doing a good job, but if we’re what we think we might be, that’s the way we should play.”
Graves, making his first collegiate start after transferring from Air Force earlier this year, provided a spark with his arm and his legs. He finished the night going 13 of 16 passing and was the Mustangs’ leading rusher as he scampered for 116 yards on 17 carries.
The Folsom High School product and former CIF state champion replaced sophomore Chris Brown as the starter this week after Brown injured his hip against Yale.
“It was probably a good game for him to have because of who we were playing, but I also think he operated very well and did some things with the ball that were good for us, (such as) running the football,” Walsh said.
The Mustangs (3-3, 2-0 Big Sky) controlled the line of scrimmage, according to Graves, as he broke for several long runs on the night, including a 28-yard trot in the third quarter that would eventually lead to a touchdown, extending Cal Poly’s lead to 33.
“We were gashing them and it was working, so we just kept going to it until they were going to take it away and they didn’t,” Graves said.
Ivory scored the first three touchdowns of the game, the first of which came midway through the first quarter. He capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run off a pitch from Graves. Senior kicker Bobby Zalud missed the ensuing extra point — his first missed PAT in 70 tries at Cal Poly.
Weber State (1-6, 0-3) held the Mustangs to six points in the opening 15 minutes before Graves and Ivory hooked up for a 6-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter. Graves converted his second fourth-down play of the game by running up the middle for four yards before the touchdown pass to Ivory on the next play gave Cal Poly a 13-0 lead.
Ivory extended Cal Poly’s advantage 12 seconds before the half with a 5-yard pitch-and-run to the house, giving the Mustangs a 20-0 lead.
Junior fullback Brandon Howe and senior fullback Matt Rulon would also score for Cal Poly.
Highly-touted redshirt freshman quarterback Tanner Trosin replaced Graves once the game was out of reach and connected on two passes for 46 yards.
The Mustangs also kept better control of the ball in comparison to last week when Cal Poly committed four turnovers against Yale. They had no turnovers against the Wildcats on Saturday.
“If we don’t turn the ball over, we are going to dominate games and dominate time of possession,” Walsh said.
Ivory finished with his third 100-yard rushing game of the season and the fourth of his career, as he managed 100 yards to go along with his three touchdowns. Ivory eclipsed his rushing total from last weekend’s loss midway through the second quarter.
“To me, I was embarrassed after what happened against Yale, so I never wanted to feel that way again,” Ivory said. “I think this week in practice we all focused, had a lot more energy in practice, were lot more intense and came ready to play.”
The Cal Poly defense held Weber State to 173 yards and only allowed the Wildcats to cross the 50-yard line two times. Senior defensive tackle Sullivan Grosz added Cal Poly’s first sack since the season opener against San Diego.
Cal Poly travels to Montana next weekend looking to stay undefeated in Big Sky play. Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m.