A BRIEF PREVIEW
The Sacramento State football team will look to bounce back from an overtime loss to Montana when it travels to the Central Coast of California to face Cal Poly on Saturday, Nov. 9. The game against the Mustangs will kick off at 6:05 p.m. from Spanos 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 Rob McAllister, Brian Berger 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 not be televised but can be seen on WatchBigSky.com The service is free but requires viewers to register.
Both teams enter this week's game with identical 4-5 overall records and 3-2 marks in Big Sky games. Both have suffered overtime losses to Montana and lost close games at home to Northern Arizona. The two schools also have wins over Weber State.
Sacramento State most recently battled 12th-ranked Montana into overtime before falling 51-48. The Hornets rallied from a 14-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to force overtime when Garrett Safron found Cole Hikutini for a 5-yard touchdown with 23 seconds remaining. However, the team was forced to settle for a field goal on its first overtime possession and Montana responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass on its first play to claim the victory.
Cal Poly defeated UC Davis, 34-16, this past Saturday at Aggie Stadium. The Mustangs returned to a run-heavy approach as quarterback Chris Brown rushed for 195 yards and three touchdowns while completing just 1-of-5 pass attempts for 15 yards. As a team, Cal Poly amassed 414 rushing yards against UCD.
Brown has been one of three Mustangs to start at quarterback this season. Senior Vince Moraga began the year under center but was injured against Fresno State. Brown then took control of the offense, starting three games, before a hip injury placed him on the sideline. Dano Graves then started three games but did not play against UC Davis due to a hamstring injury.
Kristaan Ivory is the team's leading rusher with 822 yards and six touchdowns in nine games. Ivory also paces the Mustangs with 23 receptions for 123 yards.
Nick Dzunbar has a team-best 92 tackles to lead the defense. Sullivan Grosz ranks first on the team with 9.5 tackles-for-loss, including 6.5 sacks.
Marshall Sperbeck is in his seventh season as the head coach at Sacramento State. During that span, Sperbeck has produced a 33-41 overall record. For a complete bio, please see page 2.
Cal Poly is coached by Tim Walsh who is in his fifth season leading the Mustangs. Walsh has also coached against Sacramento State while at Portland State and Sonoma State.
The all-time series between the two teams is tied, 16-16. The teams first met in 1967 and played annually from 1983-2006. Last season, Sacramento State snapped a five-game losing streak to Cal Poly with a 35-29 win at Hornet Stadium.
• Last weekend's game against Montana marked the third time this season that Sacramento State has gone to overtime. The Hornets, Southern and Northern Iowa are the only Div. I teams (FBS and FCS) to play three overtime contests this season. Sacramento State is also the only school to have all three games come at home.
• Since the inception of college football overtime in 1996, the Hornets have now played 13 games which have required overtime. However, Sacramento State has not fared well in those games, posting a 3-10 record. Also surprising is that 10 of the 13 games — including all three this year — have been settled in the first overtime period.
• A game after Brandon Kellermann was the only healthy running back on the team, Sacramento State received some much needed support with the return of Ezekiel Graham, Jordan Robinson and Demetrius Warren against Montana.
• All four players saw action in the game against the Griz, though none had more than six carries. Kellermann led the way with nine attempts for 69 yards, including a career long 37-yard dash in the second half.
• As a team, the Hornets have tallied 1,418 rushing yards with 13 touchdowns this season. With his most recent effort, Safron is now the team's leading rusher with 391 yards and five touchdowns. However, three other Hornets have at least 200 yards, comprised of Graham (323), Kellermann (316) and Warren (202).
• Sophomore Brad Cornish took over the place kicking duties for Sacramento State against Montana and had a busy day. Cornish converted all six of his extra point attempts and also made field goals of 24 and 25 yards.
• The Santee, Calif., native has kicked off for the team throughout the season but was given a chance to place kick after the team began the year 4-of-11 on field goal tries.
DOUBLE DIGIT DUO
• Prior to this season, Sacramento State had never had two players each catch at least 10 passes in a game. This year, DeAndre Carter and Morris Norrise have achieved the feat twice.
• The pair's first occurrence came against Southern Oregon where Carter caught 12 passes and Norrise 10 in an overtime win over the Raiders.
• Against Montana, the duo posted identical numbers. Carter (165 yards) and Norrise (100) also became the set of Hornet receivers to each go over 100 yards in a game since Andre Taylor (136) and Jason Barnes (116) at Idaho State in 2006.
SACK STREAK CONTINUES
• With the help of a Todd Davis sack, Sacramento State extended its streak with at least one sack to 27 consecutive games.
• The last time the Hornets were unable to get to the quarterback came in the team's 42-28 win over Montana on Sept. 24, 2011.
• This season, nine different Sacramento State players have recorded at least a half sack. The group is led by Sankey who has 5.5.
ROAD SWEET ROAD
• Sacramento State has embraced the road over the last two seasons, winning four its last six games away from home against FCS teams. This year, the team is 2-0 with wins at Weber State and North Dakota, outscoring the opposition 62-10.
• Sperbeck is now 11-15 on the road against conference foes but the team is 9-9 since 2009. His only non-conference road wins came at Oregon State and Colorado.
• Redshirt freshman Cole Hikutini enjoyed his most productive game of his short collegiate career by catching five passes for 42 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Montana.
• Hikutini, who ranks third on the team with four touchdowns this season, scored his first against the Griz with 18 seconds to go in the first half. On the play, the Wilton, Calif., native had a defender draped on his back and drew a pass interference call while still making the catch.
• He scored his second TD with 23 seconds remaining in regulation after tipping the 5-yard pass into the air and gathering the ball on his way to the ground to send the game into overtime.
• Hikutini has made the most of his time in the red zone, converting a quarter of his 12 receptions this season into touchdowns.
SAFRON CONTINUES HIS ROLL
• Through the first nine quarters of the season, Garrett Safron had not thrown a touchdown. The junior then threw a school record seven over the next three quarters and overtime against Southern Oregon and has added 15 more in the last six games. Despite the slow start to the year, Safron is now tied for eighth in the FCS with 17 passing touchdowns this season.
• Safron's seven passing touchdowns broke Ryan Leadingham's record of six against Idaho State in 2003. He enters this week's game needing just four touchdown passes to pass Ryan Leadingham and set the Sacramento State career mark.
• To put the seven touchdowns against SOU in perspective, his single-game effort was greater than or equal to the Hornet team leader in four seasons since 1990.
• He now owns the top three marks for completions in a game with 41 against Montana this year, 37 at UC Davis in 2012 and 34 against Southern Oregon in 2013.
• In his first full year as a starter (2012), Safron set the Sacramento State single season record with 246 completions and a 64.2 completion percentage. He also ranked second with 383 attempts and 22 touchdowns.
• Safron has also proven to be accurate as his current completion percentage of 62.5 percent would easily set the career mark by a Hornet — passing Ricky Ray's .619.
• Below is where he ranks in school history:
Career Passing Yards Total Needs
1. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 8,376 3,132
2. Jason Smith, 2007-09 5,357 113
3. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 5,244 ---
Career Passing Touchdowns Total Needs
1. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 50 3
2. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 47 ---
Career Passing Attempts Total Needs
1. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 1,191 417
2. Jason Smith, 2007-09 795 21
3. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 774 ---
Career Passing Completions Total Needs
1. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 658 174
2. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 484 ---
Single Season Attempts Total Needs
1. Ryan Leadingham, 2001 393 59
2. Garrett Safron, 2012 383 49
3. Ryan Leadingham, 2002 372 38
4. Tony Corbin, 1995 368 34
5. Garrett Safron, 2013 334 ---
Single Season Completions Total Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2012 246 32
2. Ryan Leadingham, 2002 220 6
3. Ryan Leadingham, 2001 214 ---
Garrett Safron, 2013 214 ---
Single Season Yards Total Needs
2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001 2,752 442
3. Garrett Safron, 2012 2,540 230
4. Tony Corbin, 1995 2,532 222
5. Ricky Ray, 1999 2,422 112
6. Tony Corbin, 1996 2,334 24
7. Garrett Safron, 2013 2,310 ---
Single Season Touchdowns Total Needs
1. Jeff Fleming, 2010 23 1
2. Garrett Safron, 2012 22 ---
Garrett Safron, 2013 22 ---
CARTER FINDS HOME IN END ZONE
• After being held without a touchdown at North Dakota, DeAndre Carter returned to his home away from home with a 25-yard touchdown against Montana. The TD, which saw Carter catch a short pass, elude a would-be tackler and dart up down the left sideline, was Carter's 12th receiving touchdown of the season. That total ties the junior for fourth in the FCS and second in the Big Sky. Erik Lora of Eastern Illinois leads the FCS lead with 16 receiving TDs. Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington holds the Big Sky lead with 13.
• Carter began his streak against Southern Oregon where he caught 12 passes for 122 yards and a school record five touchdowns. His reception total tied him for third place in school history and was the most by a Hornet since 2004.
• A week later against Southern Utah, he had five receptions for 56 yards and also found the end zone one time.
• At Weber State, Carter eclipsed his career high with 148 receiving yards on eight receptions with three TDs.
• He added a new wrinkle against Northern Colorado with a 15-yard touchdown run in the first quarter before catching a 12-yard pass in the second quarter. He nearly had a second TD reception but was ruled down on the 1-yard line.
• Carter has become just the third player in school history to catch at least three touchdown passes in a game twice, joining Mike Carter and Eric Harrington.
• Carter did not catch a touchdown pass as a freshman in 2011 where he had 11 receptions for 161 yards. Last year, he got off to a great start, scoring touchdowns in each of 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 Touchdowns Total Needs
2. Morris Norrise, 2010-pres. 18 2
3. Mike Carter, 1968-69 17 1
4. Lamont Webb, 1997-2000 16 ---
DeAndre Carter, 2011-pres. 16 ---
Single Season Receiving TDs Total Needs
1. Mike Carter, 1969 14 2
2. Tony Washington, 2008 12 ---
DeAndre Carter, 2013 12 ---
DAVIS BACK ON TOP
• Todd Davis tallied 11 tackles against Montana to him his fifth double-digit effort of the season. Davis had five solo stops and also recorded the team's lone sack. That performance helped him return to the top of the Big Sky leaders with 10.3 tackles per game. He currently holds a narrow edge over Cal Poly's Nick Dzunbar (10.2) and Northern Colorado's Clarence Bumpas (10.0).
• The Palmdale, Calif, native has recorded at least five tackles in all nine games this season and 30 of his last 32 games.
• Davis has led the team in tackles the past two seasons, tallying 96 in 2011 and 103 in 2012. Last year's total also included a team-best 13.5 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks. That effort helped him be named second team all-Big Sky.
• Since moving to the FCS in 1993, Sacramento State has had five different linebackers earn All-America honors and 22 named all-Big Sky Conference.
• Below is a list of where Davis ranks in school history:
Career Tackles Total Needs
2. Cyrus Mulitalo, 2005-08 336 23
3. Brett Shelton, 2004-07 326 13
4. Todd Davis, 2010-pres. 313 ---
Career Tackles-For-Loss Total Needs
7. Christian Clark, 2007-10 31.0 3.5
8. Todd Davis, 2010-pres. 27.5 ---
MO ON THE MOVE
• Senior Morris Norrise matched his career high with 10 receptions against Montana and extended his streak to 22-straight games in which he's played with a catch. In fact, Norrise has had two receptions in every game and four or more in 20 of the 22.
• Norrise leads the team with a career high 63 receptions this season, is second with 560 yards and third with three TDs. Last season, he had 60 receptions and 777 yards.
•Norrise's average of 7.0 receptions per game places him second in the Big Sky and 12th in the FCS.
• The Berkeley, Calif., native was named to the 2013 Big Sky preseason team and was a second team all-conference selection following last season. He was honorable mention all-Big Sky the previous two years.
• Norrise either is in second place of every major career receiving record at Sacramento State. Below is a look at where Norrise ranks on the Sacramento State career lists:
Career Receptions Total Needs
1. Fred Amey, 2001-04 248 52
2. Morris Norrise, 2010-pres. 196 ---
Career Receiving Yards Total Needs
1. Fred Amey, 2001-04 4,049 1,709
2. Morris Norrise, 2010-pres. 2,340 ---
Career Receiving Touchdowns Total Needs
1. Fred Amey, 2001-04 27 9
2. Morris Norrise, 2010-pres. 18 ---
Single Season Receptions Total Needs
1. Tony Washington, 2008 83 20
2. Fred Amey, 2004 76 13
3. Morris Norrise, 2013 63 ---
JUST THE FACTS
• The team wore black uniforms against Montana for the first time in school history.
• Prior to Sacramento State scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter against Montana, UM had allowed only 13 points in the quarter in its previous seven games combined.
• Jesse Aguilar's missed PAT against Northern Colorado was his first at any level of football (high school, junior college and at Sacramento State).
• Sacramento State's games against Southern Oregon and Southern Utah marked the first time that the Hornets played consecutive overtime games in school history.
• The 63 points scored against Southern Oregon were tied for the fourth most in school history and the most since 2003.
• The team tied the school record with 101 plays against SOU.
• Nine touchdowns were tied the school record while nine successful PATs set a new mark.
• Bill Laveroni (offensive line) and Fred Kelley (tight ends/special teams) are both in their first seasons on the Hornet staff. Laveroni has coached at nearly every level of football from high school to the NFL career. Kelley is back after spending last season as the offensive line coach at Humboldt State.
• Sperbeck's 14 career road wins are the third most in school history. Ray Clemons won 35 games in 15 years and Bob Mattos won 34 in 15 years.
• Prior to being shutout at San Jose State, Sacramento State had scored in 68 straight games and at least a touchdown in 43 consecutive games.
• The 55-point margin of defeat at Arizona State is tied for the fifth largest in school history.
• The team's six first downs at ASU are tied for the third fewest in program history.
COACHES LUNCHEONS RETURN
• The Hornet Club Football Luncheons returned on Monday, Sept. 9, at Buca di Beppo on Howe and Hurley. The luncheons will feature head coach Marshall Sperbeck as well as a student-athlete and will take place from 12 -1 p.m.
• The luncheons will take place each Monday throughout the season. For $12 patrons will receive salad, entree, bread, desert and drink.
FOOTBALL TRAVELS TO CAL POLY FOR IN-STATE SHOWDOWN