Cal Poly Football lost the first of two matchups of the spring season against rival UC Davis in a blowout, 73-24 on Saturday, March 20 UC Davis Health Stadium.
Despite gaining the lead two times in the first minutes of the game, the Mustangs (0-2) were unable to hold back the offense of UC Davis (2-1) as the Aggies compiled 768 yards of total offense and had outscored Cal Poly 49-10 by the half.
The Mustangs started off the game by winning the opening coin toss and deferring to the second half, sending their defense out to start the first quarter. On the first snap of the game, senior linebacker Lance Vecchio sacked quarterback Hunter Rodrigues, causing a fumble recovered by senior linebacker Matt Shotwell that gave the Mustang offense the ball at the Aggie eight-yard line.
After failing to reach the end zone, the Mustangs settled for a field goal and put the first points of the game up, making the score 3-0 at the 13:04 mark.
After allowing UC Davis to score a touchdown and failing to score on offense on the next couple drives, the defense for Cal Poly stepped up again as junior defensive back Brandon Davis intercepted a pass and took it 55 yards for a touchdown giving Cal Poly the 10-7 lead with seven minutes left in the first quarter. The game would turn around quick though, as the Aggies scored two touchdowns before the end of the first quarter, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
In the second quarter, UC Davis scored their fourth touchdown quickly in the first two minutes making the score 28-10 with 13:33 remaining in the half. The Mustangs had no answer on offense as they went scoreless through their next four drives. As the visiting team struggled to score, the Aggies were able to score three more touchdowns on their next three drives, finishing the first half with a score of 49-10.
Cal Poly’s offensive struggles continued to begin the second half as their first drive ended going three-and-out and punting the ball back to the Aggies. The Mustang defense seemed to compose themselves as they held UC Davis to a field goal and caused a turnover on the following drive with an interception from junior linebacker Aaron Cooper.
Cal Poly made a change at quarterback on their next offensive drive as junior transfer student Hunter Raquet entered the game and would take the remaining snaps for the Mustangs. Despite the change, Cal Poly still was unable to score on offense through the rest of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter began with Cal Poly scoring their first points of the second half with a rushing touchdown making the score 59-17 with 12:18 remaining in the game. The Aggies went on to score on their next two offensive drives and held the Mustang offense from reaching the end zone. In their final drive of the game, Cal Poly managed to work down the field and score from a touchdown pass by Raquet, ending the game with a score of 73-24.
Cal Poly ran the ball better than they had the previous week, rushing for 153 yards, but yards lost to sacks put them with a total of 89 yards for the day. The Mustangs compiled 209 yards through the air as starting junior quarterback Jalen Hamler finished the game with 74 yards passing, zero touchdowns, and one interception. Raquet finished with 135 yards passing, one touchdown, and zero interceptions. The Aggies finished the game with 376 passing yards and 392 rushing yards.
The Mustangs travel to face Coach Beau Baldwin’s former team, Eastern Washington on Saturday, March 27 at 1:05 p.m.