Quick Recap: By land, air and defense, the Mustangs were able to overcome an early 10-0 deficit and score 20 unanswered points. The land attack was anchored by another 100-plus yard performance by James Noble and saw the Mustangs gain 257 in total.
Meanwhile, Matt Brennan threw for a season-high 213 yards, connecting with Ramses “The Giant” Barden nine times for 104 yards to complete the air attack. The Mustangs followed that up with tenacious defensive play that saw nine sacks and two interceptions.
This week brings a familiar team that two years ago shattered any hopes of a playoff dream when Chris Peterson was stopped one-yard short on fourth and goal of a game-winning touchdown. This year is no different: same team, same situation. A win this Saturday will all but wrap up a playoff berth for the Mustangs.
Cal Poly offense vs. Idaho State defense
After two weeks straight of having over 400 yards of offense, it’s important to maintain that momentum. Even though Cal Poly had 470 yards, they were only able to score two touchdowns. If Cal Poly wants to go deep in the playoffs, they’re going to have to finish drives. Idaho State is giving up 26.9 points a game and are at the bottom of the Big Sky Conference in pass defense, but at are at the top in rush defense, giving up 220 yards in the air and 100 yards on the ground, respectively.
Look for Noble to continue his onslaught on the ground with Brennan finding Barden a few times.
What’s that? The Mustangs have to keep doing what they’ve been doing: running the ball with Noble & Co. and tossing it up to “The Giant.”
Cal Poly defense vs. Idaho offense
How do you top a nine-sack performance? Last week was a dominating performance by the defensive line. This week they will have to be just as dominant. Idaho State had 60 pass attempts last week and will probably need to do just that this week. The Bengals have nine touchdown passes with 18 interceptions, and that’s not exactly what you might call dangerous. So the pressure is once again on the secondary to prove that they can stop someone.
If Aaron Williams is healthy enough to play, that will make things a lot easier.
Look for the “Big Three” (Chris Gocong, Chris White and Matt Chechere) to rack up another nine sacks, which would force Idaho State into a lot of picks. Kyle Shotwell should have another big game and rack up 13-plus tackles. And I predict a score from the defense.
What’s that? It’s time for the secondary to step up while the linemen continue to dominate.
Coach “K” Predicts: Cal Poly wins 35-21
One final note: Congrats to all the seniors. It was an honor to play with you and it’s been even better watching you play this season. Stay together, and believe.