After cruising past its last two FCS opponents, the Cal Poly offense smashed into a brick wall against Southern Utah this weekend. The Mustangs (4-3, 0-1 Great West) scored 90 points in their last two FCS games, but against Southern Utah (3-4, 2-0) Cal Poly was nearly shutout for the first time since 1998, falling 20-7.
It’s not to say the Mustangs were out of the game completely. The Mustangs held the advantage in total first downs (21-15), total yards (376-346) and time of possession (33:43 to 26:17). Cal Poly also held chances to score multiple times but couldn’t cash in. Missed field goals, fumbles and mistakes plagued the Mustangs.
Kicker Jake West missed two field goals in the first half, one from 40 and another from 47 yards. Quarterback Andre Broadous bobbled a snap on fourth down, halting Cal Poly’s drive to the Thunderbird’s two-yard line in the third quarter. In the fourth, Broadous fumbled the ball on the Thunderbird 23-yard line.
Cal Poly also drove to the Southern Utah 19-yard line in the final minute of the game, but Broadous was sacked on fourth down and wide receiver Eric Gardley dropped a touchdown pass early in the game.
The only time the Mustangs got it right was when Broadous hit running back Mark Rodgers on a 29-yard touchdown pass with 3:50 left in the game.
Although the Mustangs lost, they had the passing game rolling for the second consecutive week. Broadous completed 19 of 31 passes for 201 yards and one score. He also finished with a team-high 65 yards off 21 carries on the ground. Mark Rodgers was the next closest Mustang with 64 rushing yards.
For Southern Utah, quarterback Brad Sorensen passed for 253 yards and one touchdown. He completed 18 of 22 passes, one being an 11-yard scoring pass to senior Tysson Poots in the second quarter, to put the Thunderbirds up 14-0.
Southern Utah’s Deckar Alexander found pay dirt from seven yards for the first score of the game in the first quarter and the Mustangs failed to answer through the first two quarters, marking the first time the Mustangs had been shut out in the first half in four years.
Dominique Johnson led the Mustangs with eight receptions and 97 yards. Rodgers was next on the list with 66 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, cornerback Bijon Samoodi led the Mustangs with eight tackles. Fellow cornerback Asa Jackson notched seven.
Poots continued his recent success against the Mustangs. He caught nine passes for 132 yards, giving him 43 catches and six touchdowns in four games against Cal Poly during his career.
On the ground, Austin Minefee rushed for team-high 51 yards on 13 carries for the Thunderbirds.
Cal Poly returns home to host North Dakota at 6:05 p.m. in Alex G. Spanos Stadium on Saturday.