POCATELLO, Idaho — Sacramento State posted 532 yards of total offense and received career days from Nnamdi Agude and DeAndre Carter but the team was unable to control Idaho State's offensive attack in a 44-24 loss on Saturday at Holt Arena.
The Hornets dropped to 3-2 on the season and 0-1 in Big Sky Conference games. Idaho State moved to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in league play.
The Bengals amassed 639 yards of offense led by Justin Arias completing 30-of-42 passes for 413 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Xavier Finney rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns and Madison Mangum caught eight passes for a career high 174 yards and a TD also threw a touchdown.
"We turned the ball over too many times," Sacramento State head coach Jody Sears said. "At the same time, we have to start making plays on defense. You have to tip your hat to Idaho State because they're not the same team they've been the last few years. If you don't make plays in the passing game either defending it or catching it the result is not going to go your way."
Idaho State had all the momentum in the opening minutes but the Hornets were able to hang around. The Bengals drove 73 yards on their first drive of the game but were forced to settle for a 19-yard field goal from Zak Johnson. Sacramento State then fumbled on its first offensive play giving ISU the ball inside midfield. The Bengals drove to the 3-yard line but Arias' pass was intercepted by Dexter Alcala in the end zone.
The Hornets responded with a methodical 14-play, 91-yard drive which ended when Safron connected with DeAndre Carter for an 11-yard touchdown pass to give the team a 7-3 lead with 3:09 in the first quarter.
The course of the game changed late in the first quarter when linebacker Darnell Sankey — the nation's second leading tackler — was disqualified after a targeting penalty. Sankey had two tackles in the early going before being forced to leave.
Idaho State took the lead for good early in the second quarter when Finney scored on a 1-yard touchdown just four seconds into the period. The Bengals then scored on a 35-yard touchdown on a trick play from Mangum to KW Williams midway through the period to claim a 16-7 lead.
Carter and Safron hooked up for a second touchdown pass — this time from 4 yards — to trim the Bengal lead to two points with 4:52 left in the period. That provided to be enough time for both teams to score. Broc Malcom caught a 19-yard pass from Arias and the team got a two-point conversion to go ahead by 10 (24-14) before Brad Cornish made a 42-yard field goal with less than a minute to play.
Down by just a score and receiving the ball to start the second half, Safron threw an interception which was returned to the 3-yard line on the first play of the half. Finney scored his second touchdown on the game on the next play for the only points in the third quarter. The Hornets had a chance to score late in the third but Safron was picked off by a diving Erik Collins in the end zone.
The teams traded scores in the fourth quarter. ISU struck first on an 11-yard touchdown catch by Mangum in the back corner of the end zone. Carter had his scoring grab for the Hornets less than two minutes later on a 31-yard pass from Safron. The final points came from Finney on a 3-yard run.
Safron, who completed his first 18 attempts of the game, finished 33-of-49 for 382 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. The senior also rushed for 79 yards and in the process, passed Ryan Leadingham for the career lead in total offense at Sacramento State.
Two Hornet receivers caught at least 10 passes with Carter grabbing a career high 14 for 158 yards and three scores. The senior tied Mike Powell for second place in Hornet single-game history and was one away from Fred Amey's school record of 15 receptions. Agude set career marks with 11 receptions for 153 yards. The junior now has three 100-yard receiving games in the first five contests of the season.
Combined with the 551 yards of total offense against Menlo last week, Sacramento State went over 500 yards in consecutive games for the first time since 1999.
Defensively, Robbie Kendall and Tyler Meteer each had a career high 16 tackles to lead the team. Henry Fernandez was also in double digits with 11 stops.
Sacramento State returns home to face Montana State on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. at Hornet Stadium.
April 23, 2015 FOOTBALL HANDS OUT TEAM AWARDS AT BANQUET CELEBRATION
April 18, 2015 OFFENSE SURGES LATE TO WIN THE GREEN & GOLD GAME
April 17, 2015 GREEN & GOLD GAME TO TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY
March 6, 2015 FORMER HORNETS PUT ON SHOW FOR PRO SCOUTS
March 5, 2015 FOOTBALL ADDS TO CLASS WITH SIGNING OF CAPOOCIA
February 25, 2015 HORNET FOOTBALL WEEKEND SET FOR APRIL 17-18
February 20, 2015 FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES 2015 SCHEDULE
February 4, 2015 FOOTBALL COMPLETES SIGNING DAY WITH 32 TOTAL COMMITS
January 28, 2015 HORNET STUDENT-ATHLETES TOTAL 33 FALL BIG SKY ALL-ACADEMIC HONORS
January 21, 2015 FOOTBALL ADDS THREE DURING MIDYEAR PERIOD
January 15, 2015 DEANDRE CARTER TO PLAY IN NFLPA BOWL ON SATURDAY
December 23, 2014 CARTER NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICA BY THE SPORTS NETWORK
December 17, 2014 CARTER NAMED SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICA BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 17, 2014 CARTER ADDS FCS ADA AWARD TO HIS RESUME
December 16, 2014 CARTER EARNS ALL-AMERICA HONORS FROM TWO ORGANIZATIONS
December 10, 2014 JODY SEARS SHEDS INTERIM LABEL, EARNS THREE-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION
November 25, 2014 CARTER, CORNISH LEAD 14 SELECTIONS ON ALL-BIG SKY TEAMS
November 22, 2014 FOOTBALL WINS CAUSEWAY CLASSIC WITH 41-30 WIN OVER UC DAVIS
November 21, 2014 CAUSEWAY CLASSIC GAMEDAY INFO
November 21, 2014 FOOTBALL ALUMNI UPDATE
November 20, 2014 "RELAY OVER THE CAUSEWAY" TO DELIVER GAME BALL ON SATURDAY
November 18, 2014 CARTER NAMED FINALIST FOR THE WALTER PAYTON AWARD
November 18, 2014 61st CAUSEWAY CLASSIC UP NEXT FOR FOOTBALL
November 17, 2014 CARTER NAMED BIG SKY SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 15, 2014 FOOTBALL STORMS BACK FOR 48-41 WIN OVER PORTLAND STATE
November 11, 2014 FOOTBALL SENIOR DAY THIS SATURDAY AGAINST PORTLAND STATE
November 10, 2014 CARTER NAMED FCS NATIONAL AND BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 8, 2014 RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCES HELP FOOTBALL TO 42-21 WIN
November 4, 2014 FOOTBALL TAKES ON SOUTHERN UTAH ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON
November 1, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS AT NO. 12 MONTANA, 31-13
October 28, 2014 WELL-RESTED FOOTBALL PLAY AT NO. 12 MONTANA ON SATURDAY
October 21, 2014 SANKEY NAMED TO BUCHANAN AWARD WATCH LIST
October 18, 2014 FOOTBALL SEES CAL POLY PULL AWAY IN SECOND HALF
October 14, 2014 FOOTBALL HOSTS CAL POLY FOR HOMECOMING
October 11, 2014 FOOTBALL EARNS FIRST BIG SKY WIN, DOWNS UNC 43-38
October 7, 2014 FOOTBALL BACK ON THE ROAD AT NORTHERN COLORADO
October 4, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS IN SHOOTOUT TO MONTANA STATE, 59-56
September 30, 2014 FOOTBALL HOSTS MONTANA STATE ON SATURDAY
September 27, 2014 FOOTBALL NOT ABLE TO KEEP PACE WITH IDAHO STATE IN 44-24 LOSS
September 23, 2014 FOOTBALL BEGINS BIG SKY PLAY AT IDAHO STATE ON SATURDAY
September 20, 2014 FOOTBALL ROUTS MENLO IN 59-14 VICTORY
September 16, 2014 FOOTBALL CONTINUES HOMESTAND AGAINST MENLO ON SATURDAY
September 15, 2014 CORNISH NAMED NATIONAL, BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
September 13, 2014 FOOTBALL GETS RECORD BREAKING PERFORMANCES IN 42-31 WIN
September 9, 2014 FOOTBALL WELCOMES WEBER STATE FOR HOME OPENER
September 6, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS AT CALIFORNIA
September 2, 2014 FOOTBALL HEADS TO CAL ON SATURDAY
September 1, 2014 SANKEY NAMED BIG SKY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
August 30, 2014 FOOTBALL ROLLS TO 49-13 WIN OVER INCARNATE WORD
August 26, 2014 FOOTBALL OPENS SEASON ON SATURDAY AT INCARNATE WORD
August 21, 2014 FOOTBALL TO HOST ALUMNI FLAG FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT ON FRIDAY
August 17, 2014 FOOTBALL HOLDS FIRST SCRIMMAGE AND BEE A HORNET
August 8, 2014 FAN BUS PACKAGE AVAILABLE FOR FOOTBALL GAME AT CAL
July 16, 2014 KICKOFF TIMES SET FOR 2014 HOME FOOTBALL GAMES
July 14, 2014 DeANDRE CARTER NAMED PRESEASON ALL-BIG SKY
July 3, 2014 BROADNAX NAMED TO CFPA TIGHT END WATCH LIST
July 1, 2014 CARTER EARNS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA HONORS
June 23, 2014 TODD DAVIS SIGNS WITH THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
June 23, 2014 CARTER NAMED TO CFPA WIDE RECEIVER WATCH LIST
June 10, 2014 SAFRON NAMED TO CFPA QUARTERBACK WATCH LIST