A BRIEF PREVIEW
Following a convincing win over Incarnate Word in the home opener, the Sacramento State football team will continue its homestand when it takes on Weber State on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m. The game will also serve as Wing Stop Kids Day with kids 12 and under receiving a free ticket for every adult purchase. The contest will also feature Chick-fil-A Mascot Madness and the first 1,000 kids will receive a complimentary water bottle.
Sacramento State downed Incarnate Word, 56-22, in its home opener on Sept. 9. The Hornet defense created five turnovers and eight different Sacramento State players scored touchdowns in the game.
Despite both teams being in the Big Sky Conference, Saturday's game will be the fourth consecutive year that the two teams will play a non-conference game. The stretch began at Hornet Stadium in 2014 and continued in Ogden, Utah, the last two years. In 2018, the teams will play a league game at Weber State.
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 and Tune-In apps for mobile devices.
The game can also be viewed on WatchBigSky powered by Pluto.TV. The new service by the conference partner allows fans to watch the game on over the type devices. Simply download the Pluto TV app and look for the Hornets on channel 233.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: WEBER STATE
Weber State comes into the game with a 1-1 record but has two impressive games under its belt this year. The team started the year with a 76-0 win over Montana-Western and then pushed Cal to the end before falling 33-20. The Wildcats took a 20-17 lead into the fourth quarter before the Bears scored 10-straight points. Weber State couldn't convert on a fourth down attempt with less than three minutes to play, then Cal added a 73-yard rushing touchdown to seal the win.
Weber State has used a balanced rushing attack which has seen the team average 228.5 yards per game despite the fact that no player is averaging more than 51.0 yards per game. Quarterback Stefan Cantwell has completed 60 percent of his passes and is averaging 297.0 passing yards per game while also rushing 36.0 yards per game.
The WSU defense has also been stout, limiting the opposition to 289.0 yards per game and forcing six turnovers.
Jay Hill is in his fourth season as the team's head coach. Hill has a 16-21 overall record in his tenure and has improved the team's record each season.
TERRELL NAMED NATIONAL POW
Dre Terrell jumped into the national spotlight with his performance against Incarnate Word. The junior had three interceptions in the first half and also led the team in tackles.
For his performance, Terrell was named the FCS National Defensive Player of the Week by STATS, Inc., and also garnered the Defensive Player of the Week honor by the Big Sky Conference on Monday. On Tuesday, his trio of interceptions were selected as the top play of the week by NCAA FCS Football.
The junior tied the school record which was held by Terry Patterson (1973), Merv Davis (1975), Chad Johnson (1995) and Ramon Payne (2004) and became the first Hornet to have multiple interceptions in a game since 2011. His first interception came on a diving over-the-shoulder catch on a 47-yard pass attempt down the middle of the field late in the first quarter. He jumped a route along the sideline and returned it 20-yards early in the second quarter for his second pick. However, the third one was the most thrilling as he made a swiping one-handed, full-extension catch at the 1-yard line with 17 seconds left in the first quarter. Terrell's flurry gave him four interceptions in the first six quarters of the season after not having a pick in his first two seasons. The four interceptions also matched the team total from a year ago.
The last Hornet to have four interceptions in a season was Zach Schrader in 2009. In fact, since moving to Div. I in 1993, only 12 players prior to Terrell had four interceptions in a year. The school's Div. I-AA/FCS era record is held by Marvin Brown who had seven in 1994. The overall school record of 10 was set by Steve Tobias in 1967.
Mister Harriel added an interception at Idaho and Miguel Garcia had one against Incarnate Word to give the Hornets six in the first two games of the year. That total is the most in the FCS this year and is already two more than the team total from a year ago.
NO NEED FOR RED ZONE
Sacramento State scored eight touchdowns by seven different players against Incarnate Word to tie for the third-highest single-game total in the school's Div. I-AA/FCS era. While that number is impressive, it is where the TDs originated from that really stands out.
Five of the team's eight touchdowns were from 32-yards or farther. The scoring started with a 44-yard completion to Isiah Hennie where the receiver took a relatively short pass and made defenders miss down the sideline. Elijah Dotson added a 51-yard touchdown rush in the opening minutes of the second quarter and later had a 32-yard reception for a score to start the second half. The final big plays came from Jaelin Ratliff (48 yards) and Andre Lindsey (60 yards).
In all, the team had seven passing plays and one rushing play of at least 25 yards or longer. That number was in stark contrast to the season opener at Idaho where the Hornets only had one rush over 25 yards.
Dotson has been a catalyst in the first two games of his career. The Antelope HS graduate has already had two rushes and a reception of at least 25 yards as well as a pair of 46-yard kickoff returns. In two games, he is averaging 139.5 all-purpose yards on only 22 touches.
HE MOVES QUICKLY
Wide receiver Andre Lindsey set a career high and recorded the 15th best receiving game in school history with his efforts against UIW. Lindsey finished with 176 receiving yards on only four receptions for an average of 44.0 yards per grab.
His yardage easily eclipsed his previous career best of 149 which came at Idaho State last season on five receptions. Lindsey's mark was also the most by a Hornet since DeAndre Carter set the school record with 273 receiving yards in 2014. The previous high by a Sacramento State player with four receptions in a game was 132 by Mark Young in 1986.
In two games this season, Lindsey is averaging 34.83 yards per reception which places him third in the FCS. He trails only Damin Jeanpiere of Nichols State (39.88, 8 rec.) and Aulden Knight of Hampton (36.20, 5 rec.).
Lindsey came to Sacramento State last season after playing at San Joaquin Delta JC in Stockton, Calif. He finished the year with eight receptions for 178 yards but did not score a touchdown. He is currently averaging 27.6 yards per reception which would easily set the school record but is still 16 catches shy of the 30 reception minimum. The current record is set by Kevin Fontes who averaged 21.28 yards per reception from 1981-82. Fontes also has the single-season record of 23.21 from 1982.
Lindsey is also a member of the Sacramento State track & field team where he was the Big Sky champion in the 110-hurdles.
Kevin Thomson enjoyed his breakout performance against Incarnate Word. The junior completed 10-of-16 passes for 320 yards with five touchdowns and an interception.
With 50 percent of his passes going for touchdowns and an average of 32.0 yards per completion, Thomson had an astronomical efficiency rating of 321.12 against the Cardinals.
He is the only player in the FCS to have a single-game efficiency over 300 this year with the closest being 263.7 by Cal Poly's Khaleel Jenkins against UNI.
Dating back to the 2013 season, there have been only three players to have a higher QB efficiency than Thomson did against UIW.
In two games this year, Thomson ranks second nationally in the FCS with an efficiency of 187.5. The FCS leader is Lamar Raynard of North Carolina A&T at 237.0.
THIRD DOWN SHUTDOWN
The Hornet defense had another strong performance on third down against Incarnate Word. Sacramento State limited the Cardinals to 2-of-17 on third down during the game with the team's only conversions coming on 3rd-and-1 and 3rd-and-5.
This year, the Hornets have limited the opposition to 4-of-28 on third down which ranks second in the FCS at 14.3 percent. Campbell is the national leader at 13.8 percent (4-29).
The defense has also done its job on third and long, limiting Idaho and Incarnate Word to a combined 0-for-15 on 3rd-and-7 or longer.
The Hornet offense was able to find some success on third down against UIW. The team was 6-of-14 during the game, including a stretch of converting four consecutive third downs and five of six tries. The unit was also able to score three touchdowns on third down in the game.
Through two games this season Sacramento State has already forced eight turnovers (six INT, two fumbles). That total places the Hornets second in the FCS only behind Maine's 10. The Sacramento State is also plus-5 as a team this year which is tied for fifth in the FCS.
None of the three players with interceptions this season (Terrell, Harriel, Garcia) had any career picks prior to the season.
As a team, Sacramento State had just four interceptions a year ago which was a program low.
The team finished last season with a minus-3 turnover margin with drastic differences in interceptions and fumbles. The Hornets had nine fewer picks than their opponents but recovered six more fumbles.
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