Cal Poly football suffered their first loss of the season against the Fresno State Bulldogs by a score of 63-10 inside Bulldog Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 11.
Fresno State’s (2-1) offense was too much to handle for Cal Poly (1-1), as the FBS opponent rolled to a victory.
Despite the lopsided final score, the Mustang defense started off strong against the explosive offense of the Bulldogs, led by their all time leading rusher in senior running back Ronnie Rivers. In Fresno State’s first three positions, Cal Poly forced them off the field without points.
An early opportunity to take the lead came up short for the Mustangs as freshman kicker Jaden Ohlsen missed a field goal with 5:33 left in the first quarter.
The missed field goal was to be the beginning of the end for the Mustangs, as Fresno State proceeded to score touchdowns on nine of their next ten drives. Senior quarterback Jake Haener drove the Bulldogs down the field, capping it off with a three yard touchdown run to end the first quarter and give Fresno State their first score and the 7-0 lead.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Spencer Brasch had a hard time getting the Cal Poly offense moving as he was met with immense pressure from the defensive front seven of the Bulldogs. However, a big third down scramble and 35-yard throw to redshirt freshman wide receiver Giancarlo Woods set up the Mustangs for first half points when Ohlsen drilled a 43-yard field goal, making the score 14-3.
Haener and his weapons could not be stopped as they would tack on three more touchdowns before the Mustangs could score in the half. Fresno State junior wide receiver Jalen Cropper would receive and throw a touchdown on route to his 130 total yards and 2 touchdown game during this stretch.
With 45 seconds left in the half, the Bulldogs muffed a punt, leading to field position inside the five yard line for Brasch and the Cal Poly offense. On fourth and goal and with no time left on the first half clock, Brasch found graduate transfer wide receiver Chris Coleman in the endzone for a touchdown to make it a 35-10 game.
Similar to the first, the second half was dominated by the Bulldogs from start to finish. An early turnover by Cal Poly gave great field position for the Bulldogs, which they did not waste as Rivers finally found the endzone on a 9-yard rush to stretch the lead to 42-10.
The onslaught did not stop there as Heaner spread the wealth around, finding four different Bulldog receivers in the endzone. Sophomore wide receiver Josh Kelly was the most productive out of the group with 127 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
The Cal Poly offense couldn’t manage a score for the rest of the game, ending with a score of 63-10.
The Mustangs went 4/19 on third downs and had 10 total punts in the game. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs had over twice as many total yards (671-274) and 12 more first downs (25-13). Brasch ended the game 18/33 with 212 yards, one touchdown and two turnovers.
Cal Poly will look to bounce back next week in their return home against the University of South Dakota in Alex G. Spanos Stadium Saturday, Sept. 18 at 5:05PM.