The Mustangs' defense only allowed a field goal as the team takes down the Toreros 27-10. Credit: Kayla Stuart

On Cal Poly’s first possession of the game, redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Huard threw a perfectly placed ball over sophomore wideout Tyrece Fairly-Diyem’s shoulder and into his hands on the first possession of the game for a 31-yard gain.

It was right then when everyone knew what the new offense was capable of.

The offense would only come up with three points on a field goal by redshirt freshman kicker Noah Serna but would go on to put up 27 points to the Toreros’ 10

The Mustangs (1-0) gained 460 total yards while the defense held the Toreros (0-1) to only 234 total yards.

The Toreros converted a field goal of their own on their next drive, but on Cal Poly’s ensuing drive redshirt freshman running back Troy Fletcher would find the endzone on a 30-yard touchdown run to go up 10-3 at the end of the first quarter.

The Mustang defense forced a pair of punts before Huard found redshirt sophomore tight end Carlton Brown wide open on the right side of the field and took the ball 87 yards down the field to the three-yard line, which set up a Fairly-Diyem touchdown to bring the lead to 17-3 into halftime.

The Mustangs’ offense put up 460 total yards in Saturday’s win for the Toreros.

Although the offense shined during the first half, they trailed off in the second half of the game.

However, the defense took the opportunity to show how much they’ve improved as redshirt junior edge rusher Elijah Ponder recorded his second sack of the game.

While the defense continued to dominate to begin the quarter, the start of the second half was less than ideal for the Cal Poly offense as Huard threw an interception that was returned 48 yards for a touchdown which brought the score to 17-10 with 8:15 left in the quarter.

On the ensuing drive, the offense got into red zone territory thanks to a 33-yard gain on the Huard to Fairly-Diyem connection but came up empty after the 49-yard field goal attempt hooked left and the score remained 17-10.

The defense came through again as redshirt freshman nose tackle Soni Finau recorded a sack of his own and the Green and Gold put up three more points on a 45-yard field goal to extend their lead to 20-10 with 4:16 left in the quarter.

The Mustang defense forced a three-and-out and on an offensive drive that featured more yardage gained from penalties rather than offensive production ended with a fumble that the Toreros jumped on for a touchback to end the quarter.

The fourth quarter featured more defense from both sides until redshirt senior running back Mark Biggins broke away for an 18-yard touchdown run to seal the game at 27-10 and head coach Paul Wulff’s first win as Cal Poly’s head coach.

“The coaches have worked extremely hard and I thought the players were ready to play as they’ve worked extremely hard as a collective group and effort,” Wulff said.

Huard ended the game with a 24/42 passing clip and 364 passing yards with a touchdown and interception while Fairly-Diyem finished with seven receptions for 129 yards and a score.

“When I get those man looks it’s easier for me to go to [Tyrece], especially when he’s in the slot…and he’s going to continue to make those big time plays,” Huard said.

Ponder led the defense as he finished with 2.5 sacks and three tackles for loss on seven total tackles while the defense as a whole only allowed three points.

“I think we have great chemistry and we were really trying to focus on stopping the run and so far so good,” Ponder said. 

The Mustangs will now travel north to take on the San Jose State Spartans on Saturday, Sept. 9 at CEFCU Stadium at 1 p.m.