Redshirt freshman quarterback Jalen Hamler rushed for Cal Poly’s lone touchdown of the day as the Mustangs fell 21-9 to University of Idaho on Saturday, Nov. 2 inside Kibble Dome.
Cal Poly has now dropped five straight Big Sky Conference games, moving their overall record to 2-7 and conference record to 1-5.
The Mustangs’ defense dominated the first quarter and not only forced the Vandals to punt twice, but forced a turnover on downs as well. Cal Poly got out to an early 3-0 lead after freshman kicker Colton Theaker split the uprights on a 44-yarder following a 13-play drive from the offense.
After the early field goal, however, the game was dominated by Idaho on both sides of the ball. With two minutes left in the first half, the Vandals got on the scoreboard with a 37-yard touchdown courtesy of redshirt freshman running back Aundre Carter.
The Mustang offense was unable to answer on the ensuing drive and sent the game to halftime with Idaho up 7-3.
Cal Poly began the second half with an unsuccessful 11-play drive that ended in a turnover on downs. The turnover set Idaho up for a 12-play, 66-yard drive that resulted in Carter’s second end zone trip of the day — a one-yard touchdown run to move the score to 14-3 in favor of the Vandals.
Following a three and out by the Mustangs, the Idaho offense formed yet another scoring drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The drive ended in a 22-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Mason Petrino to redshirt senior Jeff Cotton. The points brought the score to 21-3.
Cal Poly finally managed to put points on the board with 2:47 left in the game after a 55-yard pass to senior wide receiver J.J. Koski set up a scoring opportunity. Hamler capped off the eight-play, 80-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown rush. The Mustangs attempted a 2-point conversion on the following play, but sophomore fullback Duy Tran-Sampson was stopped short of the end zone.
An interception thrown by Hamler with 1:48 left on the clock sealed the victory for Idaho as the game ended with a final score of 21-9.
Hamler ended the night with 97 passing yards, all of which were thrown to Koski. Junior slotback Drew Hernandez led Cal Poly’s rushing attack and totaled 66 yards on the ground.
The Mustangs are on a bye week next week and will return to Alex G. Spanos Stadium to face off against Eastern Washington in the last home game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 5:05 p.m.