Frank Stranzl

Quick Recap: Cal Poly and Eastern Washington combined for more than 1,000 yards of offense and 75 points in a game that defined the term,”Shootout.” For Poly, it was the combination of the “Young Guns” (Matt Brennan, James Noble and Ramses Barden) that proved to be too much for the Eagles. Noble scampered for more than 200 yards on the ground, becoming the first Cal Poly back to accomplish that feat since Craig Young in 1998.

For Eastern Washington, one of the nation’s highest powered offenses averaging more than 500 yards per game, quarterback Erik Meyer and wide receiver Eric Kimble were worth every bit of the hype. Known around the Div. I-AA nation as “E-Squared,” They combined for 428 yards through the air with most of it coming in the second half as the two tried to rally the Eagles, only to come up short.

This week’s game puts No. 15 Cal Poly against the 1-7 Southern Utah Thunderbirds. Here’s what to watch for:

Poly offense vs. Thunderbird defense

After having a breakout game offensively, the challenge this week is to prove that it wasn’t a fluke. So the question is: Can the “Young Guns” do it again or will they come into this game too relaxed and over-confident?

Southern Utah is near the bottom of the conference in rush defense, giving up 191.2 yards a game. Meanwhile, Poly ranks second in rushing, averaging 188.7 yards a game. Run the ball down their throats and let Noble and Brennan take care of the rest.

Look for Noble to continue his dominance. This game is all about getting Brennan as much experience as possible (throwing the ball). He’s going to need the next two weeks to gain experience before the ‘Stangs make a run in the playoffs.

What’s that? Give it to Noble and let Brennan get a chance to throw the ball against a weak Thunderbird defense.

Mustang defensive secondary vs. Thunderbird offense

The Thunderbirds come in averaging 200.4 yards per game through the air and the Poly defense ranks last in the conference in pass defense, giving up 214 yards per game. With Chris Gocong and company applying pressure to the quarterback, the test will be on the secondary to lock down the Thunderbirds’ spread pass attack.

Look for Kyle Shotwell and Kenny Chicoine to have a few picks along with several sacks from the defensive line.

What’s that? It’s time for the Poly defense to clamp down in the secondary!

Coach “K” predicts: Poly wins 30-7

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