Ryan Chartrand

Karl Ivory is a former Cal Poly cornerback who finished up his eligibility in 2004. He has shed his helmet and pads for a pen and notebook as a special football analyst for the Mustang Daily. Here is what “Coach K” has to say about this week’s matchup:

Ask yourself this: What do these set of numbers have in common? Three, four, 17 and seven. Simple: It represents the number of turnovers the Cal Poly offense has had in the last two games along with its respective point totals. Last week we saw the Mustangs go up against Division I-A San Jose State where for three straight quarters, they went scoreless.

However, you have to give credit to the Cal Poly defense, which held a revamped Spartan offense to only 17 points. The Mustangs were only able to put up 220 yards of total offense to go along with three interceptions, which put the San Jose State offense on a short field. Granted, the offense was without all-everything tailback “Big Game” James Noble. Wide receiver Ramses “The Giant” Barden was able to at least keep the Spartans’ defense honest.

This week rings in the bell for the first conference game against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds, who are coming off their biggest win of the season by beating Texas State, a semifinalist in the Division I-AA playoffs last year. And by the way, the Bobcats ended Cal Poly’s playoff aspirations in the quarterfinals last year as well.

Cal Poly Offense vs. Southern Utah Defense:

This week we should see the return of the “Dynamic Duo” in Noble and Barden. After two straight weeks of terrible offensive play, the Cal Poly offense is bound to jump into mid-season form.

If Noble can bounce back from last week’s left ankle sprain and lighten the load for struggling sophomore quarterback Matt Brennan or senior Cordel Webb (whoever gets he start), the Mustangs should have no problem putting up points.

This week they will have to limit the number of turnovers and prove to themselves that they are a dominant offense. Southern Utah’s defense, led by D.J. Senter, is currently ranked No. 2 in both rushing defense and passing defense in the Great West Football Conference.

The Thunderbirds may try to pack extra defenders in the box near the line of scrimmage and try to make Brennan beat them.

Cal Poly Defense vs. Southern Utah Offense:

What can I say about this defense that hasn’t been said before? They stop the run, they stop the pass and they get all over the ball.

This year’s defense looks to be the best Cal Poly has put on the field in many years, even though Jordan Beck and Chris Gocong are gone.

Led by All-American linebacker Kyle Shotwell, this defense has been causing problems for offensive coordinators across the country. Look for Southern Utah to come out trying to establish the run early after almost having two 100-yard rushers last week.

They will be in for a surprise when they play arguably the best defense in the nation, however.

Look for freshman defensive end Ryan Shotwell to be in the backfield all day causing havoc – and the “Band of Brothers” doing what they do best, which is causing turnovers, hitting the T-Birds smack in the mouth and setting up the offense for touchdowns.

Look for the “Dynamic Duo” to have a big day on offense and the “Band of Brothers” stopping the T-Birds on defense.

Final score prediction:

Cal Poly 28, Southern Utah 10.

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