Credit: Maddie Harrell | Mustang News

Cal Poly football dropped their third straight Big Sky Conference game to No. 10 Montana State by a final score of 45-7 on Saturday, Oct. 9 inside Bobcat Stadium.

The loss is the fifth in a row for the Mustangs (1-5, 0-3 Big Sky), while the Bobcats (5-1, 3-0 Big Sky) continued their excellent start to the 2021 season. 

Though the Mustangs opened the game on offense, it was the Bobcats who scored first via a nine-yard passing touchdown from quarterback Matthew McKay to tight end Treyton Pickering with 2:38 left in the first quarter to put Montana State up 7-0.

Less than three minutes later, the Bobcats scored again after Cal Poly’s freshman quarterback Jaden Jones’s interception led to a seven-yard touchdown run by running back Isaiah Ifanse to put the Bobcats up 14-0.

As the first half progressed, Montana State added three more scores, including a 74-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Tommy Mellott to put the Bobcats up 35-0 going into the break.

Although sophomore running back Shakobe Harper saved the Mustangs from a shutout with a 17-yard rushing touchdown with 5:40 to go in the third quarter, the rest of the game was all Bobcats, as they added a touchdown—a 39-yard pick six by linebacker Callahan O’Reilly in the third quarter—and a field goal to finish the day with the 45-7 win.

The story of the day for Cal Poly was their offensive struggles, as Montana State intercepted the ball four times, scored 21 points off of turnovers and led the game in all major offensive categories. 

However, the Mustangs did put up a solid 231 rushing yards on 47 attempts, a very good sign from a team that has struggled to run the ball all season.

In his first collegiate start, Jones was just 4-13 for 24 yards and three interceptions.

Cal Poly will head into the bye week next week and return to action against the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

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