Smith completed his first five pass attempts of the game and finished 12 of 19 for 218 yards. He also rushed 20 times for 92 yards for Cal Poly (1-0).
Sacramento State, losing to Cal Poly for the fifth straight time, fell to 0-2 on the year. Cal Poly now has a 16-15 advantage in the series dating back to 1967.
Smith, who ran one yard for a touchdown in the first quarter, connected with sophomore wide receiver Jarred Houston (41 yards), senior slotback Jon Hall (52 yards) and junior wide receiver Mike Anderson (six yards) on touchdown passes as Cal Poly raced to a 38-12 lead in the first three quarters and never looked back.
Cal Poly’s other points came on a one-yard touchdown run by senior slotback Jaymes Thierry and a 24-yard field goal by junior Chris Pinto. Pinto made all four of his PAT attempts and junior Jake
West added the other.
Junior Dominique Johnson, a transfer from UCLA, caught four passes for 61 yards in his Mustang debut. Hall and Houston each added two receptions. Hall contributed 58 yards rushing on nine carries and junior Jordan Yocum added 53 yards, also on nine trips, as Cal Poly amassed 258 rushing yards and 476 yards in total offense.
Safety David Fullerton notched his eighth career interception and Kenny Jackson and Scottie Cordier also recorded thefts for the Mustangs. Defensive end Ryan Shotwell recovered a Sacramento State fumble and linebacker Carlton Gillespie recorded the lone sack of the game.
Gillespie, who recorded five tackles in the has been named Great West Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
Gillespie (6-1, 235, Oxnard, CA), a first-team All-Great West Conference selection a year ago, had a tackle for lost yardage as the Mustangs held the Hornets to just 288 total yards and forced four turnovers.
Gillespie, a team captain, also was credited with a quarterback hurry. His sack of Hornet quarterback Jason Smith resulted in a nine-yard loss late in the second quarter.
The Mustangs play its next two games on the road against Football Bowl Subdivision schools, beginning Saturday against Ohio (1-1) in Peden Stadium (24,000) at Athens, Ohio.
Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 1280 with Tom Barket providing the play-by-play. An audio stream of the non-conference contest as well as GameTracker will be available on www.GoPoly.com.
The Mustangs are ranked No. 14 in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll.
The Mustangs, who a year ago led the FCS with 44.4 points and 487.5 yards per game, lost their head coach, quarterback, leading receiver and top three rushers from that squad but didn’t miss a beat in the season opener.
Walsh was hired last January to replace Rich Ellerson, who left after eight seasons at the Mustang helm to head the football program at Army. Walsh accumulated a 117-82 record in 18 seasons as head coach — four at Sonoma State and 14 at Portland State — before spending the last two years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Army.
Walsh is now 13-1 all-time against Sacramento State and Cal Poly has won its last five games in the series against the Hornets. Cal Poly’s defense, with eight returning starters adjusting to the switch from the 3-4 flex to a 4-3 formation, held Sacramento State to 288 total yards and forced four turnovers.
Ohio, a 23-16 loser to Connecticut in its season opener two weeks ago at home, pulled out a 31-30 double-overtime win at North Texas on Saturday. Both teams scored field goals in the first OT … Cam Montgomery ran seven yards to give North Texas a 30-23 lead in the second OT, then Theo Scott hit Taylor Price with a 15-yard TD pass for Ohio and, after a roughing the passer penalty on that play, Scott passed to Price for the game-winning two-point conversion. North Texas was 1-11 a year ago.
Ohio, coached by Frank Solich (fifth season at Ohio (24-27), 11th season overall (82-46), Nebraska ‘66), returns 83 lettermen, including 14 starters, off last year’s team which went 4-8 and finished tied for fourth place in the MAC-East Division at 3-5. One of Ohio’s assistant coaches, cornerbacks coach David Brown, was defensive coordinator under Ellerson at Cal Poly four years ago.
Ohio has averaged just 62 yards rushing and 178 yards passing per game so far this season. Chris Garrett has rushed for 78 yards while Scott has completed 14 of 29 passes for 161 yards. Another quarterback, Boo Jackson, has connected on 17 of 30 passes for 194 yards. Price, named to the Fred Biletnikoff Award watch list — he nabbed 51 passes for 694 yards and five touchdowns last season; 14 of those catches came in the season opener at Wyoming, a school record — is the Bobcats’ top receiver this fall with eight catches for 112 yards while Garrett has caught six passes for 24 yards. Linebacker Noah Keller has 23 tackles. Matt Weller is 4-for-4 on field goals, including a 50-yarder, and 3-for-3 on PATs.
Ohio, which converted only 39.6 percent (67-169) of its third downs a year ago, is 8-for-32 this fall.
The Mustangs and Bobcats are meeting for the first time.
Cal Poly has enjoyed great success on the football field in recent years — six consecutive winning seasons, three Great West Conference titles in the last five years and NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff berths in both 2005 and 2008.
The Mustangs have won 49 of their last 70 games dating back to the 2002 season finale and have won 18 of their last 30 games on the road and 31 of their last 37 home contests. Cal Poly has won seven or more games each of the last six seasons, the longest such streak in school history, and scored in 41 of 44 quarters last fall.
Cal Poly has won five of its last seven season openers and is 7-9 in season openers since moving to the FCS in 1994. The Mustangs are 15-5 in their last 20 games against teams from the Big Sky Conference.
Next week Cal Poly visits San Jose State on Sept. 26 with kickoff set for 5 p.m. The Mustangs have won three of their last eight games against FBS schools, defeating San Diego State 16-14 in 2006 and 29-27 in the 2008 opener.