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FOOTBALL HOSTS CAL POLY FOR HOMECOMING

FOOTBALL HOSTS CAL POLY FOR HOMECOMING

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A BRIEF PREVIEW
With its first Big Sky Conference victory secured, the Sacramento State football team returns home to face Cal Poly on Saturday, Oct. 18, as part of the University's Homecoming. The game against Mustangs will begin at 6:05 p.m. at Hornet Stadium.

There will be multiple ways to follow this week's game. Hornet fans can tune in to KTKZ 1380 AM (The Answer) to hear the radio call of Jason Ross, Steve McElroy and Danny Sullivan. Live audio streaming is also available via www.hornetsports.com and on the iHeart Radio application for mobile devices.

This week's game will also be broadcast on the internet via WatchBigSky.com. The service is free of charge but fans need to register prior to kickoff. Fans can also download the WatchBigSky.com app to view the games on their iOS devices.

Sacramento State held on for a 43-38 win at Northern Colorado to improve to 4-3 on the season and 1-2 in Big Sky Conference games. The Hornet offense continued to fire on all cylinders, compiling 499 yards of total offense and scoring five touchdowns. The team also picked up a special teams score when De'Jon Coleman scooped up a punt which was blocked by Jacob Bowman and returned 8-yards for a touchdown.

Cal Poly evened its record at 3-3 and improved to 2-1 in league play with a 30-24 win at Weber State. The Mustangs dominated the game statistically, outgaining WSU 510-290. However, Cal Poly needed a touchdown early in the fourth quarter from Brandon Howe to secure the victory.

On the year, quarterback Chris Brown has been the top offensive threat. Brown leads the team with 603 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. He's also thrown for 818 yards and five touchdowns while completing 64.2 percent of his pass attempts. The Mustangs have had 10 players catch a pass but none have grabbed more than nine this season. Roland Jackson owns a team high 283 receiving yards while Jordan Hines has caught two TD passes.

Defensively, Nick Dzubnar is one of top tacklers in the FCS with 83 stops on the year. Dzubnar also leads the team with 5.0 tackles-for-loss.

THE COACHES
Jody Sears is in his first season as the head coach at Sacramento State. Sears was previously the head coach at Weber State from 2012-13 and has been the defensive coordinator at Eastern Washington and Washington State.

Cal Poly is coached by Tim Walsh who is in his sixth season with the Mustangs. Walsh has led CP to 35-28 record during his tenure and owns a 152-110 mark in 24 years as a collegiate head coach. No stranger to the Hornets, Walsh has faced Sacramento State as the offensive coordinator at Sonoma State and head coach at Portland State (1993-2006).

THE SERIES
Cal Poly holds a narrow 17-16 advantage in the all-time series. The teams first met in 1967 and played annually from 1983-2006. After playing only once (2009) between 2007-11, Cal Poly joined the Big Sky in 2012 and is once again a regular on the schedule. The Mustangs have won six of the last seven matchups against the Hornets but Sacramento State is 2-2 in the last four at Hornet Stadium.

HOMECOMING HYPE
• Sacramento State will host its annual Homecoming Game this weekend when it faces Cal Poly. Along with the football game, volleyball will welcome Portland State and men's soccer will square off against Cal Poly on Saturday afternoon. The University will also have different pregame activities, including a parade.
• The Hornets have won five of their last six Homecoming tilts with the lone loss coming in overtime against Eastern Washington in 2011. Sacramento State has also been victorious in seven of its last nine Homecoming games.
• In the Div. I era (1995-pres.) the team is 11-7-1 on Homecoming. The lone tie came against Chico State in 1995 (21-21).
• While the records are incomplete, it is believed that Sacramento State has played Cal Poly three times for Homecoming. Each of those games went in the Hornets' favor. In 1987, Sacramento State rushed for 308 yards, including 107 from Chris Cavote in a 21-13 victory. Two years later, Ramon Massoudi made three fields and the Hornets intercepted a pass at the 15-yard line with seven seconds remaining to clinch a 16-15 victory. In 1991, Troy Mills scored a pair of first quarter touchdowns before Cal Poly rallied back. Following a fourth quarter TD, the Mustangs' game-tying PAT attempt was blocked to preserve a 21-20 Hornet win.

COLEMAN'S CAREER DAY
• In his first two seasons with the Hornets, running back De'Jon Coleman had scored four touchdowns. He nearly matched that total in the game at Northern Colorado as he found the end zone three times.
• Coleman rushed for a season-high 57 yards on 10 attempts (tied season best). He scored his first touchdown on an 11-yard rush midway through the second quarter and also added a 2-yard run to start the fourth quarter scoring.
• The Arleta, Calif., native was also active on special teams as he had four kickoff returns for 105 yards, including a 48 yard return to start the second half. Coleman was also able to scoop up Jacob Bowman's blocked punt and return the ball 8 yards for a touchdown. That score marked the first blocked punt return by a Hornet since Markell Williams travelled 30 yards against Montana in 2011.
• Coleman, who plays on all four special teams for the Hornets, was credited with two tackles.

WHOLE LOT OF SCORING
• Sacramento State recorded its fifth 40-point game of the year on Saturday when it posted 43 at Northern Colorado. The Hornets have now scored 287 points in seven games this year for an average of 41.0 points per game.
• The team's point total in just seven games is already greater that the entire total in all but 12 seasons in Sacramento State history. In fact, no team in the first 30 years of the school (1954-84) scored more than 279 points. The 1999 team holds the school record with 414 points in 11 games. The 1988 team, which played 13 games, ranks second with 368.
• The 1999 team also owns the highest scoring average in school history at 37.6 points per game. That team also began the year by eclipsing 40 points in five of its first seven games. It finished the year with seven games over 40.

BACK IN SACK
• After two weeks of not getting to the quarterback, Sacramento State made up for the lost time with four sacks at Northern Colorado. The team was led by senior Nathan Castro who had a career high 1.5. Senior Jaycee Totty was credited with a full sack while Robbie Kendall, Darnell Sankey and Anthony Payne each had a half.
• The four sacks matched the team high which came in the first game of the season at Incarnate Word.
• Totty remains the team leader with 4.5.
• Combined with the offensive line allowing just one sack to UNC, Sacramento State now has 12 sacks this season while allowing only 11.

KENDALL LEADS THE CHARGE
• Senior Robbie Kendall led Sacramento State with 13 tackles against Northern Colorado. The safety had six solo stops and seven assists in the game, including a half tackle-for-loss. While he was not officially credited with a tackle, none of his plays may have been more valuable than when he slowed running back Robert Holland on fourth-and-goal late in the fourth quarter. That effort allowed linebackers Henry Fernandez and Russell Smith to make the tackle and complete the goal-line stand.
• Kendall is in his second season with the team after transferring from Butte JC. He was the opening game starter at safety a year ago but missed the remainder of the season with a neck injury,
• This year, he ranks second on the team with 67 total tackles and has had 10 or more stops in four games.

JUST A YARD SHORT
• With over five minutes to play at Northern Colorado, Sacramento State looked primed to record its fourth consecutive game with at least 500 yards of total offense. The team had 502 yards before giving the ball back to the Bears on its lone punt of the day. A great defensive stand by the defense returned the ball to the Hornets who were stopped in the end zone for a 1-yard loss and a safety. After a Northern Colorado touchdown, Sacramento State earned possession of an onsides kick attempt and took a knee on the final two plays to drop to 499 yards on the day.
• Despite ending the streak, the Hornets have still posted some gaudy offensive numbers over the last four games where the team has amassed 2,276 yards (569.0 ypg). The streak began with the 551 against Menlo  before adding 532 at Idaho State. The Hornets set the school record with 694 against Montana State.
• In 1999, a Hornet offense which had Ricky Ray and Charles Roberts posted 596 yards against UC Davis, 566 against Montana State and 509 at Weber State.
• The offensive output is nothing new to the current team as it ranks among the FCS elite in total offense this season. Sacramento State is 10th in the FCS and fourth in the Big Sky with 490.0 yards per game. Yale is the national leader with a 593.3 average in its four games.
• Individually, Garrett Safron ranks third in the FCS with 353.0 yards of total offense per game. Safron's 2,473 yards this season already place him seventh in school single-season history and has him on pace to break his own record of 3,781 which was set last year.

DOUBLE DIGIT VISION
• For just the second time this season, linebacker Darnell Sankey did not lead the team in tackles. The junior finished with 11 tackles and recorded his sixth game with at least 10 stops. Sankey remained third in the FCS with 12.7 tackles per game. That total also places him third in the Big Sky as he trails Cal Poly's Nick Dzubnar (13.8) and Southern Utah's Chinedu Ahanonu (13.1)
• Against Montana State, Sankey had 21 tackles which tied Cyrus Mulitalo for second place in school history and left him one shy of Ryland Wickman's school record which came at Eastern Washington in 1997.
• In the six complete games he's played, Sankey is averaging 14.5 tackles and has had at least 10 tackles in each contest.
• The double-digit streak was stopped when Sankey was disqualified at Idaho State for targeting during the first quarter.
• The San Jose, Calif., native leads the team with 89 total tackles and has forced two fumbles. He's also currently second with 7.0 tackles-for-loss. Sankey will crack the Sacramento State single-season top 10 list with 17 more stops.
• Sankey is the latest in a long list of Hornet linebackers who have had national success. Most recently, Todd Davis was an All-American at the position last season and finished fifth with 10.9 tackles per game. Ryland Wickman, Anthony Daisley, Matt Logue, Cyrus Mulitalo and Mike Brannon also earned All-America recognition at the position.

CARTER CLIMBS THE CHARTS
DeAndre Carter earned his third consecutive 100-yard receiving game when he grabbed nine passes for 133 yards at Northern Colorado. Carter, however, came up one catch shy of his third straight game with at least 10 catches. He and teammate Nnamdi Agude remain as the only players in Hornet history to have double digit catches in back-to-back games.
• Last season, the Fremont, Calif., native exploded for 934 yards and a school-record tying 14 receiving touchdowns in 11 games. He missed the final game of the after spraining his ankle at Portland State.
• Carter has caught a TD in 12 of his last 16 games and finished 2013 tied for fourth in the FCS with 14.
• Carter did not catch a touchdown pass as a freshman in 2011 where he had 11 receptions for 161 yards. As a sophomore, he caught TDs in the first four games. However, he did not find the end zone for the remainder of the season, finishing with 32 catches for 344 yards.

Career Receiving Yards    Total    Needs
2. Morris Norrise, 2010-13    2,650    529
3. DeAndre Carter, 2011-pres.    2,121    ---

Career Receiving Touchdowns    Total    Needs
1. Fred Amey, 2001-04    27    ---
    DeAndre Carter, 2011-pres.    27    ---

SAFRON HONORS CONTINUE
• After earning second team all-Big Sky honors last season, senior Garrett Safron found himself on nearly every preseason watch list and all-conference team heading into 2014.
• Last season, Safron rewrote the school single season record book with 294 completions, 460 attempts, 3,289 passing yards and 27 passing touchdowns. He also rushed for a team best 492 yards and seven touchdowns and set the single season mark with 3,781 yard of total offense. Following the year, he was named the team's offensive MVP and became the first Hornet QB to be named first or second team all-Big Sky.
• Last year, Safron had three of the most memorable single game efforts as he threw a  Big Sky record seven touchdowns against Southern Oregon. Midway through the year he completed 41 passes against Montana to take down the school mark and later added a 554-yard effort at Portland State to also set the Hornet record.
• Safron now has nine career 300-yard games which is the most in Sacramento State history.
• The Santa Monica, Calif., native has started every game since the start of 2011 and is now either first or second in every career passing record at Sacramento State.

• Below is where he ranks in school history:

Career Passing Yards    Total    Needs
1. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04    8,376    234
2. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.    8,142    ---

Career Passing Touchdowns    Total    Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.    72    ---
2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04    50    ---

Career Passing Attempts    Total    Needs
1. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04    1,191    56
2. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.    1,135    ---

Career Passing Completions    Total    Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.    707    ---
2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04    658    --

Career Total Offense    Total    Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.    9,849    ---
2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04    8,455    --

Single Season Total Offense    Total    Needs
4. Ryan Leadingham, 2002    2,816    343
5. Tony Corbin, 1995    2,545    62
6. Ricky Ray, 2000    2,480    7
7. Garrett Safron, 2014    2,473    ---

HE'S GOING THE DISTANCE
• Safron has also proved effective with his legs in the early season. His 73-yard touchdown run at Cal was a career long and the longest by a Hornet since Ryan Mole went 87 yards against Montana State in 2004. He added a 70-yard touchdown run against Weber State. Safron leads the team with four rushes of at least 50 yards.
• He enters this week's game against Cal Poly needing 255 rushing yards to pass Portland State's Conner Kavanaugh for the Big Sky record by a quarterback.
• Over his four years, Safron has now rushed for 1,709 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those marks have helped him set nearly all the quarterback rushing marks at Sacramento State. Below is where he ranks on the overall career list:

Career Rushing Yards    Total    Needs
6. Rob Harrison, 1985-86    1,924    215
7. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.    1,709    ---

Career Rushing Touchdowns    Total    Needs
T6. Tyronne Gross, 2002-04    16    2
T6. Garrett White, 1998-2002    16    2
T8. Ricky Ray (QB), 1999-2000    15    1
T8. John Scorza, 1967-68    15    1
10. Lyle James (QB), 1966-68    14    ---
      Garrett Safron (QB), 2011-pres.    14    ---

COACHES LUNCHEONS RETURN
• Each Monday throughout the season the public is invited to the Field House American Sports Pub. Head coach Jody Sears and selected players will speak to the audience. Highlights from the previous game and a look at the upcoming opponent will also be provided. Cost is $12 and includes your choice from a selected menu, drink, tax and gratuity. The luncheons will begin at noon each Monday but will not be held on Oct. 27 (bye week) or Nov. 17 (Causeway Classic luncheon week).
 
JUST THE FACTS
General Notes
• Jody Sears became just the third Sacramento State head coach to win his first career game with the Hornets.
• Linebacker Henry Fernandez, defensive end Jaycee Totty, quarterback Garrett Safron and wide receiver DeAndre Carter were named team captains for the season.
• Former Hornet All-American Charles Roberts was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame on Sept. 20.
• Defensive linemen Jaycee Totty and Peter Nonu are both married. Nonu has two children.

Incarnate Word Game

• The team's 49 points at Incarnate Word were the most in a season opener in school history. The previous mark was 48 against Chico State in 1988.
• The 46 point margin of victory over Incarnate Word was the largest since a 69-19 win over Saint Mary's on Sept. 6, 2003.
• Nnamdi Agude became the 46th player to have a 100-yard receiving game in school history.
Garrett Steele blocked a punt and also recovered a loose kickoff to set up a pair of touchdowns.

Cal Game
• The 28 first quarter points scored by the Golden Bears were the most by an opponent in school history.
• Safron's 73-yard touchdown run was the longest rush by a Hornet since 2004.

Weber State Game
• Robinson (130 rush), Safron (115 rush) and Agude (124 rec) become first pair of 100-yard rushers and 100-yard receiver for Hornets since 2008.
• Sankey (14), Fernandez (12) and Kendall (11) each have double digit tackles.
• Hornets win home opener for fifth straight year.
• Kickoff temp was 100 degrees.

Menlo Game
• The 59 points are the ninth most in school history.
• Eight players scored one touchdown.
• Team tied record with four interceptions.

Idaho State Game
• Safron became school leader in total offense.
• Team dropped to 4-15 in Big Sky openers.

Montana State Game
• Team set school record with 694 yards of total offense.
• Safron became first Hornet QB to throw for 300 yards  (463) and rush for 100 yards (146) in a game.
• Sankey with 21 tackles.
• Agude (197) and Carter (184) become first Hornet duo to each have 100 yards in consecutive games.
• 28 fourth quarter points the most in school history.

Northern Colorado Game
• De'Jon Coleman scores 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 blocked PR).
• Team improved to 9-0 all-time against UNC.

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