Cal Poly football’s historically bad season continues to get worse.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jake Jeffrey tossed three fourth-quarter interceptions Saturday night at Alex G. Spanos Stadium as the Mustangs fell 17-3 to No. 23 Weber State.
The game never felt as close as the score was throughout, as the Mustangs’ offense could not find a rhythm on the ground or through the passing attack. In total, Cal Poly (0-7, 0-4) amassed 179 yards of offense on 61 plays, averaging a measly 2.9 yards per play.
Cal Poly’s workhorse fullback, senior Jared Mohamed, couldn’t find any room to run and finished the game with just 30 yards on 13 carries.
While the Mustangs’ offense sputtered, their defense set the tone early. On Weber State’s (5-2, 3-1) first play from scrimmage, senior linebacker Mason Montgomery forced a fumble to give the Mustangs the ball at the Weber State 43-yard line, but the Mustangs would punt after their three-play drive netted -8 yards.
“Consistently on offense, there’s too many negative plays,” head coach Tim Walsh said. “You can’t run it like that and expect to be competitive in what we’re doing.”
With roughly five minutes before halftime, sophomore cornerback Kitu Humphrey came down with an interception for the Mustangs, returning the pick to near midfield. Junior punter and placekicker Casey Sublette nailed a career-long 43-yard field goal after a four-minute drive to give the Mustangs their first and only points of the game.
Sublette has been one of the Mustangs’ most consistent players this year, only missing one field goal this season. The ambidextrous punter also pinned Weber State inside their own 20-yard line five times throughout the night.
“We’ve had a really good special teams year, I think, as a whole,” Sublette said. “We’re just trying to focus on ourselves and keep that going. Anything to try and get a win.”
Just before the field goal, senior slotback Kyle Lewis crashed into the Mustang Band behind the end zone as he tried to haul in a deep pass attempt. Lewis did not return to the field for the rest of the game for precautionary reasons, according to Walsh.
If Lewis is to miss any time going forward, the Mustangs will be without their entire starting backfield from opening day due to injuries.
“[Junior quarterback] Khaleel Jenkins is a pretty good player, [senior fullback Joe] Protheroe is a pretty good player and Kyle Lewis is a pretty good player,” Walsh said. “Every team has to deal with injuries, and we’re not dealing with it real well right now.”
The Mustangs’ stout defense kept them in the game late, but careless turnovers ultimately sealed their loss.
With less than 10 minutes to play, the Mustangs marched down the field inside Weber State’s five-yard line after a 32-yard pass to freshman slotback Broc Mortensen. On the next play, Jeffrey recklessly tossed an interception in the end zone, throwing the ball over the middle of the field off of his back foot while being pressured from all angles.
Jeffrey threw another interception at the Weber State 41-yard line in with 4:04 left on the clock, and a third on the Mustangs’ last offensive play.
“I think I’m a strong enough person that I can deal with it, and I think I’m a strong enough person to accept responsibility for it, too,” Walsh said. “I don’t feel great about it, but I understand the buck does stop with me.”
The Mustangs will travel to UC Davis to take on the Aggies (3-4, 1-3) in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe Saturday at 4:05 p.m.