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A BRIEF PREVIEW
The Sacramento State football team will play its final home game of the 2014 season when it welcomes Portland State to Hornet Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m. Prior to the start of the game against the Vikings, the team will honor its 18 seniors who will be playing their last game at home.
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 evened its record at 5-5 and improved to 2-4 in Big Sky Conference play with its "most complete game" according to head coach Jody Sears. The tandem of quarterback Garrett Safron and DeAndre Carter nearly rewrote the record book with amazing individual performances. Safron threw for 425 yards while completing 25-of-33 pass attempts with five touchdowns. Four of his TD passes went to Carter who finished with a school record 16 receptions for 273 yards to earn FCS and Big Sky Player of the Week honors. The Hornet defense also did its part, recording a season high five sacks, breaking up six passes and tallying five quarterback hurries.
Portland State (3-7, 2-4) battled No. 15 Montana State but came up just short in a 29-22 loss in Bozeman, Mont., this past Saturday. Redshirt freshman Josh Kraght earned his first start of the season and threw for 218 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 96 and a score. The Vikings trailed 29-15 until Thomas Carter caught a 50-yard pass from Kraght with 45 seconds remaining the in the game. PSU attempted an onsides kick but was unable to recover.
Running back Shaq Richard leads the team 613 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Kasey Closs is the leading receiver with 42 receptions for 538 yards and team-high four TDs. Linebacker Jeremy Lutali paces PSU with 69 total tackles and 9.5 tackles-for-loss. Brandon Tobias has a team-high four sacks and four players have an interception.
Portland State leads the all-time series, 22-10. The 32 total games against the Vikings are the third-most by the Hornets against a Big Sky foe, trailing UC Davis (61) and Cal Poly (35). Portland State and Sacramento State first met in 1965 and played annually from 1983-92 and again from 1994-2010.
• Prior to the start of Saturday's game, Sacramento State will honor 18 seniors who will be playing their final game at Hornet Stadium. Among the list are eight players who have played all four years with the Hornets. Below is a list of each senior:
|60||Jesse Aguilar||K||Anaheim, Calif.|
|28||Dexter Alcala||DB||Tracy, Calif.|
|80||Chris Broadnax||TE||Vacaville, Calif.|
|2||DeAndre Carter||WR||San Jose, Calif.|
|99||JJ Castillo||DL||Lincoln, Calif.|
|97||Nathan Castro||DL||San Diego, Calif.|
|90||Ben Cowger||DL||Madera, Calif.|
|11||Joey DePalma||WR||Shingle Springs, Calif.|
|48||Henry Fernandez||LB||Oxnard, Calif.|
|17||Ofa Fifita||LB||San Bernardino, Calif.|
|40||Brandon Kellermann||RB||Sacramento, Calif.|
|3||Robbie Kendall||DB||Reno, Nev.|
|50||Derek Nielsen||OL||Eugene, Ore.|
|23||Randey Peterson||DB||Vacaville, Calif.|
|12||Garrett Safron||QB||Santa Monica, Calif.|
|18||Mike Sellers||DB||Ewa Beach, Hawaii|
|35||Jaycee Totty||DL||Exeter, Calif.|
|51||John Wallace||OL||Sommerville, Mass.|
CARTER EARNS POW AWARDS
• DeAndre Carter was selected as the FCS National Offensive Player of the Week by The Sports Network and the ROOT Sports Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week following his performance in the 42-21 win against Southern Utah. He had touchdowns of 19, 5, 18 and 40 yards.
• Carter set school records with 16 receptions for 273 yards and also had four receiving TDs. His yardage total is the most in Div. I (FBS and FCS) this season. The previous school records were 15 receptions by Fred Amey in 2004 and 228 receiving yards by Alex Estrada against Southern Utah in 1995.
• Carter became just the fourth Sacramento State player to surpass 200 receiving yards in a game and was the first since Tyrone Taylor had 201 against Weber State in 1996. Carter now has eight career 100-yard games which ranks second in school history.
• Earlier this season, kicker Brad Cornish earned FCS Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
CARTER CLIMBS THE CHARTS
• Carter's 16 catches against SUU moved him to the top of the NCAA FCS list for receptions per game. The senior is now averaging 8.2 receptions per game and is followed by Penn's Spencer Kulcsar at 8.0.
• Carter is also the FCS leader with 15 receiving touchdowns, ranks fourth with 1,066 receiving yards and is sixth with 106.6 yards per game.
• His four TDs last week gives him at least one receiving touchdown in 14 of his last 19 games. He now has seven career multi-TD games, including five with three or more.
• Last season, he exploded for 934 yards and a then-school-record tying 14 receiving touchdowns in 11 games.
|Career Receiving Yards||Total||Needs|
|2. Morris Norrise, 2010-13||2,650||145|
|3. DeAndre Carter, 2011-pres.||2,505||---|
|Career Receiving Touchdowns||Total||Needs|
|1. DeAndre Carter, 2011-pres.||33||---|
|2. Fred Amey, 201-04||27||---|
|2. Bryan Hilliard, 2007-11||38||4|
|T3. Donald Hair, 1985-88||34||---|
|T3. John Farley, 1980-83||34||---|
|T3. DeAndre Carter, 2014||34||---|
|Single Season Receptions||Total||Needs|
|1. Tony Washington, 2008||83||1|
|2. DeAndre Carter, 2014||82||---|
|Single Season Touchdowns||Total||Needs|
|1. DeAndre Carter, 2014||15||---|
|T2. Mike Carter, 1969||14||---|
|T2. DeAndre Carter, 2013||14||---|
HE'S GOT COMPANY
• Carter and junior Nnamdi Agude each went over 1,000 receiving yards with their efforts against Southern Utah. Carter now has 1,066 yards and Agude is close behind with 1,007. Prior to this season, only four Sacramento State receivers had ever gone over 1,000 yards in a season. With two games to play, the duo are already the first pair to each surpass the milestone in the same season.
SAFRON LEADS THE NATION
• Senior quarterback Garrett Safron had 435 yards of total offense against the Thunderbirds and is now the FCS leader with 355.3 yards per game. Safron's average places him 14.2 yards ahead of Idaho State QB Justin Arias for the national lead.
• The Santa Monica, Calif., native's season total of 3,553 is the second highest total in school history, trailing only his own mark of 3,781 from last season. He also owns the fourth best mark by a Hornet with 2,917 in 2012.
• Safron owns nearly every career, season and single-game record in Sacramento State history. His 425 yards against Southern Utah were the third most by a Hornet and give him the top four single-game efforts.
• After earning second team all-Big Sky honors last season, 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.
• Safron now has 11 career 300-yard games which is the most in Sacramento State history and accounts for four of the five 400-yard efforts by a Hornet.
• Below is where he ranks in school history:
|Career Passing Yards||Total||Needs|
|1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.||9,135||---|
|2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04||8.376||---|
|Career Passing Touchdowns||Total||Needs|
|1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.||79||---|
|2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04||50||---|
|Career Passing Attempts||Total||Needs|
|1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.
|2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04||1,191||---|
|Career Passing Completions||Total||Needs|
|1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.||789||---|
|2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04||658||---|
|Career Total Offense||Total||Needs|
|1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.||10,931||---|
|2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04||8,455||---|
|Single Season Total Offense||Total||Needs|
|1. Garrett Safron, 2013||3,781||228|
|2. Garrett Safron, 2014||3,553||---|
|Single Season Passing Yards||Total||Needs|
|1. Garrett Safron, 2014||3,289||377|
|2. Garrett Safron, 2014||2,912||---|
|Single Season Passing TDs||Total||Needs|
|T1. Garrett Safron, 2013||27||---|
|T1. Garrett Safron, 2014||27||---|
HE'S GOING THE DISTANCE
• Safron has also proved effective with his legs. 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 needing 166 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 1,796 yards and 16 touchdowns. Those marks have helped him set all the quarterback rushing marks at Sacramento State. He also became the first player in school history to surpass 10,000 yards of total offense in a career. His total of 10,931 is the second most among active players in the FCS.
• Below is where he ranks on the overall career list:
|Career Rushing Yards||Total||Needs|
|6. Rob Harrison, 1985-86||1,924||128|
|7. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres.||1,796||---|
|Career Rushing Touchdowns||Total||Needs|
|T5. Troy Mills, 1990-91||25||9|
|T6. Tyronne Gross, 2002-04||16||---|
|T6. Garrett White, 1998-2002||16||---|
|T6. Garrett Safron (QB), 2011-pres.||16||---|
• Sacramento State turned up its pressure against Southern Utah, resulting in a season high five sacks. The team's previous high for the year was three.
• Senior Jaycee Totty recorded two sacks to lead the team. Fellow senior Nathan Castro had 1.5. Dexter Alcala, Austin Clark and Henry Fernandez each had a half.
• Along with the five sacks, the team also had a pair of tackles-for-loss as seven players tallied at least a half TFL.
• The Hornets opened the year with 11 takeaways in their first four games and stood at plus-7 in turnover margin during that span. Since that point, Sacramento State is minus-9 in turnovers and are now minus-2 on the year.
• The defense has not intercepted a pass in the last four games and has only one turnover in the last four contests.
• Offensively, the Hornets have one game (Menlo) this season without a turnover. The team has not gone consecutive games without a giveaway since 2000.
• After a two week break, Sacramento State returned to its comfort zone as the team scored 40 or more points for the sixth time in 10 games. The Hornets now have 369 points on the season which is the second highest total in program history, trailing only the 414 from 1999.
• Sacramento State's average of 36.9 points per game currently ranks 15th in the FCS. The average is also the second best in school history (37.6 in 1999).
• The team's 48 touchdowns are tied for the third most in a season. The team needs five more TDs over the next two games to tie the record of 53 from 1999.
• Sacramento State also needs just two more field goals to tie the single-season mark.
• The team is also on pace to set the school mark for most total yards (need 376 yards) and passing yards (need 258).
BACK TO FORM
• Sophomore linebacker Russell Smith missed the first four games of 2014 but appeared to be back in full game shape with his performance against Southern Utah.
• Smith led Sacramento State with a career high 16 tackles. That total broke his previous best of 14 which came last season at Arizona State.
• Smith has earned the start for the Hornets in the last two games at outside linebacker. He started all 12 games as a redshirt freshman last season and ranked second on the team with 78 tackles.
• Following his return this year, he was playing behind senior Henry Fernandez. However, with the injury to Darnell Sankey, Fernandez shifted to the middle freeing space for Smith.
CORNISH HONORED NATIONALLY
• Junior kicker Brad Cornish was named to the Fred Mitchell Award watch list on Oct. 27. The Mitchell Award is presented to the best kicker in the FCS, Div. II or Div. III.
• Cornish has made 12-of-15 field goal attempts this season and ranks second on the team with 81 points. The Santee, Calif., native has also been successful on 45-of-47 extra points.
• Cornish's two field goals at Montana gave him 13 career field goals. Next up on the list are Bret LeVier, Dave DeSilva and Mike Clemons who each made 16 field goals. Four players have 25 or more career field goals with Scott Brown's total of 44 leading the way.
• Cornish moved onto the single-season top 10 at Sacramento State in the last game. He's currently tied for sixth with Chris Diniz (2009) and Juan Gamboa (2008). Scott Brown (1999) and LeVier (2002) each made 14 and share the school record.
SANKEY NAMED TO BUCHANAN LIST
• Junior linebacker Darnell Sankey was placed in high company when he was added to the list of nominees for the Buck Buchanan Award. The award is annually given to the best defensive player in the FCS. Past winners included Kroy Biermann, Jared Allen and Rashean Mathis, who are all currently in the NFL.
• This year's list of nominees is comprised of 23 players. Sankey is one of only six juniors on the list and is one of four players from the Big Sky Conference.
• Sankey is Sacramento State's leading tackler with 99 stops on the year. The San Jose, Calif., native has recorded at least 10 tackles in each complete game he's played in this year. Sankey was disqualified in the first quarter at Idaho State due to a targeting penalty and was forced to leave the Cal Poly game in the third quarter with an injury.
• 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.
• 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.
JUST THE FACTS
• Jody Sears became just the third Sacramento State head coach to win his first career game with the Hornets.
• LB Henry Fernandez, DE Jaycee Totty, QB Garrett Safron and WR 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.
• Former Hornet Todd Davis became the 21st Sacramento State player to appear in an NFL game when he saw action with the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 19.
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 was the largest since a 69-19 win over Saint Mary's (9/6/03).
• Garrett Steele blocked a punt and also recovered a loose kickoff to set up a pair of touchdowns.
• 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.
• 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).
Cal Poly Game
• Safron set career passing yards record.
• Carter set career receiving TD record.
• Sankey suffered knee injury.
• SAC outgained Montana in total yards.
Southern Utah Game
• Carter sets school record with 16 receptions and 273 receiving yards.
• Safron throws for 425 yards and five touchdowns.