After a 31-14 victory last Saturday sans penalties or turnovers against Northern Colorado, the No. 9 ranked Cal Poly takes on No. 12 North Dakota State at Mustang Stadium.
This will be the Mustangs third Great West Conference game this season, and a chance for their third conference win and fifth in a row.
“We’ve found a way to win the last four weeks,” coach Rich Ellerson said.
In addition to no penalties or turnovers last week, the Mustang defense had three takeaways that led to touchdowns.
North Dakota State improved to 4-1 (0-0 Great West) last week in a 26-13 victory over Nicholls State.
“They’re well coached and tough,” Ellerson said. “Offensively, we need to eliminate wasted plays. Defensively, make sure we get the ball in the offense’s hands more.”
North Dakota State brings an aggressive defense that does a good job of hiding its plays before the snap.
With the Mustangs ranked three places higher than the Bison, it’s easy to see why this is an important game. But rankings are not the motivation for Cal Poly.
“They played us real well last year,” Garnett said. “We don’t focus on rank until the end of the season.”
What the Mustangs are focusing on is winning the game this week and not getting too far ahead of themselves.
“(The game) is just two good teams going head to head,” senior defensive end Chris Gocong said. “We need to focus on ourselves and do our assignments.”
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. in Mustang Stadium.
Hall of Fame
Along with the battle on the football field tomorrow, the Cal Poly Athletics Hall of Fame will introduce its new members during halftime.
Robbie Martin, Sean Chambers, Robyn Schmidt, Bob Zoller, James Edmondson, Ruben Smith, Leo DeWinter and Cecil Turner will all be inducted tonight at a special dinner for their athletic accomplishments at Cal Poly.
Turner inducted into the Hall of Fame for football in 1989. This time he joins Edmondson, Smith and DeWinter to be inducted as the 1968 Cal Poly men’s 400-meter relay team, which won the NCAA Division II National Championship. Martin played wide receiver and punt returner for the football team from 1977 1980. He scored all three touchdowns for Cal Poly in the NCAA Division II national championship game in 1980 against Eastern Illinois.
After two seasons at Cuesta College, Chambers played on the Cal Poly men’s basketball team from 1985 to 1987. He was named California Collegiate Athletic Association Co-Player of the Year twice, and was Cal Poly’s first All-American in men’s basketball (which he also earned twice). He also holds the school record for free throw attempts in a season with 214.
Schmidt earned three All American honors in cross-country en route to leading Cal Poly to three national team championships. She also earned two All-American honors in track and field and still holds the Division II meet record for her time of 33:24.24 in the 10,000-meter race.
Zoller was a three-time Division II All American in singles and doubles while playing for the Cal Poly men’s tennis team. Teaming with Paul Landry, he won the Division II doubles title in 1986, leading the team to the national championship that year.