SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Elijah Dotson rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns and Kevin Thomson added 104 rushing yards as No. 7 Sacramento State turned the tables on Cal Poly in a 38-14 victory at Spanos Stadium on Saturday night.
The victory improved Sacramento State to 6-2 overall and kept the team unbeaten in Big Sky Conference play at 4-0. The four consecutive wins marked the first time a Hornet team has achieved that feat in the same season since 1991. Cal Poly dropped to 2-6 overall and 1-4 in league games.
Dotson went over 100-yards for the second time this season and the eighth time in his career. He had a season-high 19 attempts and averaged 9.3 yards per attempt. The junior put Sacramento State on top early in the second quarter with a 19-yard touchdown run. He added a 1-yard scoring rush early in the third quarter and then had an electrifying 30-yard touchdown where he bounced off several would-be tacklers on his way to the end zone.
"(Cal Poly) was in a particular defense that was a little more susceptible to the run game," Sacramento Stat head coach Troy Taylor said. "They did a good job defending the pass in the first half and luckily we were able to get things going."
Overall, Sacramento State rushed for 348 yards and scored five touchdowns on the ground. Thomson had 104 yards and was not stopped behind the line during the evening. Dotson and Thomson became the 14th Hornet duo to each have 100 rushing yards in a game and the first since 2014. BJ Perkinson ranked third on the team with 57 rushing yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.
"Honestly, you have to give all the credit to the offensive line because they were making the holes," Dotson said. "Without them, we wouldn't be able to get off the line of the scrimmage. We knew that Cal Poly was a good team and was going to come out hungry. We had to be hungry team because we didn't want to go home with a loss."
The defense also rose to the challenge, limiting a Mustang offense which ranked ninth nationally in the FCS and led the Big Sky with 252.9 yards per game, to just 116 rushing yards without a touchdown. Sacramento State finished with 12 tackles-for-loss, including six sacks. George Obinna and Josiah Erickson each had 2.5 TFLs to tie for the team high while Marcus Hawkins had a team-high nine tackles.
"The key was for everybody to keep their eyes on their man," nickelback Marcus Bruce said. "The communication was a big and have everybody have disciplined eyes the whole game. We knew that if we did that, we'd come out victorious."
Sacramento State took the opening kickoff and drove the length of the field but had the drive end when Thomson's pass was tipped and intercepted in the end zone. The quick change didn't effect the defense which forced a punt on the first five Mustang series.
The Hornets finally broke the scoreless deadlock when Dotson capped a 4-play, 52-yard drive on the team's first series of the second quarter. Sacramento State added on on the next series with a 2-yard rush from Perkinson. Pierre Williams caught a 14-yard pass and Dotson had a 29-yard run to take the ball into the red zone. Devon Medeiros closed out the first half scoring with a 32-yard field goal with 16 seconds remaining.
Sacramento State started the second half by forcing the Mustangs to punt and the offense then used seven plays to go 80 yards for a touchdown to go ahead, 24-0.
After Cal Poly made a quarterback change, Jake Jeffrey came on and found J.J. Koski for a 43-yard touchdown pass. The completion by the former Folsom HS standout was the first by Cal Poly in the game.
Perkinson and Dotson then went back to work early in the fourth quarter with TD rushers of 5 yards and 30 yards. The final points came from Cal Poly when Jeffrey hit Quinton Harrison for a 25-yard touchdown with 2:28 remaining.
The win by Sacramento State sets up a dynamic home game against Weber State on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Hornet Stadium. WSU also improved to 4-0 in conference play with a 36-20 win at UC Davis. With losses by No. 3 South Dakota State and No. 5 Villanova, the game could pit two top five teams against one another.
Sacramento State did not allow a sack for the third time in four Big Sky games…Thomson did not account for a touchdown for the first time this season and had his streak of at least five TDs rushing and passing snapped at three consecutive games…Dotson scored a rushing touchdown for the first time since in the season opener. He now has 19 career rushing touchdowns to take sole possession of seventh place in program history…Obinna is now just a half-sack shy of tying the career sack record…Sacramento State had 32 first downs to set a season high and tie for the third-most in program Div. I-AA/FCS history…the team went over 500 yards of total offense (519) for the fourth time this season…the Hornets were flagged three times for 35 yards and now have three or fewer penalties in three straight games.
November 12, 2019 NO. 6 FOOTBALL PLAYS FINAL REGULAR SEASON ROAD GAME AT IDAHO ON SATURDAY
November 11, 2019 MEDEIROS NAMED BIG SKY SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 11, 2019 FOOTBALL RETURNS TO SIXTH IN BOTH THE FCS COACHES AND MEDIA POLLS
November 7, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR NO. 8 FOOTBALL AT NORTHERN ARIZONA
November 6, 2019 KEVIN THOMSON NAMED TO WALTER PAYTON AWARD WATCH LIST
November 6, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: Nov. 1-6
November 5, 2019 No. 8 FOOTBALL PLAYS AT NORTHERN ARIZONA ON SATURDAY
November 4, 2019 FOOTBALL RANKED EIGHTH IN THIS WEEK'S FCS MEDIA AND COACHES POLLS
November 2, 2019 No. 6 FOOTBALL FALLS AT HOME TO No. 3 WEBER STATE, 36-17
November 1, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR NO. 6 FOOTBALL VS. NO. 3 WEBER STATE
October 31, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: Oct. 24-31
October 29, 2019 TOP 10 SHOWDOWN COMES TO HORNET STADIUM ON SATURDAY NIGHT
October 28, 2019 DOTSON NAMED BIG SKY OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
October 25, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR FOOTBALL AT CAL POLY
October 24, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: Oct. 17-23
October 21, 2019 THOMSON, MEDEIROS NAMED PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
October 19, 2019 FOOTBALL THRILLS HOMECOMING CROWD WITH 49-22 WIN OVER NO. 5 MONTANA
October 18, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR FOOTBALL VS. MONTANA
October 17, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: Oct. 9-16
October 16, 2019 FOOTBALL PREPARES FOR TOP 20 SHOWDOWN ON HOMECOMING
October 14, 2019 FOOTBALL CRACKS FCS TOP 25 IN MEDIA AND COACHES POLLS
October 14, 2019 KEVIN THOMSON NAMED BIG SKY OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
October 12, 2019 FOOTBALL NEVER TRAILS IN 34-21 WIN OVER NO. 6 MONTANA STATE
October 11, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR FOOTBALL AT MONTANA STATE
October 9, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: Oct. 2-8
October 8, 2019 FOOTBALL ROLLS INTO #6 MONTANA STATE FOR SATURDAY SHOWDOWN
October 4, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR FOOTBALL VS. EASTERN WASHINGTON
October 2, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: SEPT. 25-OCT. 1
September 25, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: SEPT. 19-24
September 21, 2019 FOOTBALL TAKES FRESNO STATE TO THE LIMIT IN FINAL NON-CONFERENCE GAME
September 20, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR FOOTBALL AT FRESNO STATE
September 20, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: SEPT. 12-18
September 17, 2019 FOOTBALL HEADS SOUTH TO TAKE ON FRESNO STATE ON SATURDAY
September 16, 2019 DARIYN CHOATES NAMED ROOT SPORTS BIG SKY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
September 14, 2019 FOOTBALL BLANKS NORTHERN COLORADO, 50-0
September 13, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: SEPT. 4-11
September 13, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR FOOTBALL VS. NORTHERN COLORADO
September 10, 2019 FOOTBALL RETURNS HOME TO FACE NORTHERN COLORADO ON SATURDAY
September 7, 2019 FOOTBALL BATTLES ARIZONA STATE IN 19-7 LOSS
September 5, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR FOOTBALL AT ARIZONA STATE
September 4, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: AUG. 26-SEPT. 3
September 3, 2019 FOOTBALL TRAVELS TO ARIZONA STATE FOR FRIDAY NIGHT GAME
August 31, 2019 RECORDS FALL IN FOOTBALL'S SEASON OPENING 77-19 VICTORY
August 28, 2019 FIVE FACTS TO KNOW FOR FOOTBALL SEASON OPENER
August 27, 2019 FOOTBALL KICKS OFF SEASON ON SATURDAY NIGHT AT HORNET STADIUM
August 26, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: AUG. 21-25
August 21, 2019 POSITION PREVIEW: QUARTERBACKS
August 20, 2019 POSITION PREVIEW: SPECIALISTS
August 20, 2019 HORNETS IN THE PROS: AUG. 13-20
August 19, 2019 POSITION PREVIEW: RUNNING BACKS
August 17, 2019 DEFENSE STARTS STRONG, OFFENSE IGNITES IN SECOND SCRIMMAGE
August 16, 2019 SECOND SCRIMMAGE SET FOR SATURDAY PLUS TRAINING CAMP NOTEBOOK
August 14, 2019 POSITION PREVIEW: DEFENSIVE BACKS
August 13, 2019 POSITION PREVIEW: WIDE RECEIVERS
August 12, 2019 POSITION PREVIEW: LINEBACKERS
August 10, 2019 OFFENSE AND DEFENSE BOTH HAVE BIG PLAYS IN OPENING SCRIMMAGE
August 8, 2019 POSITION PREVIEW: OFFENSIVE LINE/TIGHT ENDS
August 7, 2019 POSITION PREVIEW: DEFENSIVE LINE
July 30, 2019 FOOTBALL OPENS PRESEASON CAMP ON FRIDAY, AUG. 2
July 15, 2019 ELIJAH DOTSON NAMED PRESEASON ALL-BIG SKY
July 15, 2019 PRESEASON FOOTBALL POLLS REVEALED AT BIG SKY KICKOFF