Complete Version (PDF)
A BRIEF PREVIEW
The Sacramento State football team will play its first Big Sky Conference home game this Saturday when it welcomes Montana State to Hornet Stadium for a 6 p.m. game.
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.
The Hornets are 3-2 following a 44-24 loss at Idaho State in its Big Sky Conference opener. The two teams posted enormous offensive numbers, combining for 1,171 yards. Quarterback Garrett Safron threw for 382 yards and rushed for 79 but also threw two interceptions and fumbled in the loss. All three of Safron's TD passes went to senior DeAndre Carter who finished with a career high 14 grabs for 158 yards.
No. 13 Montana State is 3-2 and 1-0 in conference games. The Bobcats most recently defeated North Dakota, 29-18, on Saturday in Bozeman, Mont. The team also has non-conference victories over Div. II Black Hills State and Central Arkansas and losses against Arkansas State of the FBS and No. 2 Eastern Washington.
Quarterback Dakota Prukop has taken over for four-year starter DeNarius McGhee and is producing equally impressive numbers. Prukop has completed 68.1 percent of his passes (81-119) for 1,150 yards with eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He's also rushed for a team-high 320 yards and is tied for the team lead with six touchdowns. Running back/kick returner Shawn Johnson is also a high-powered threat for MSU with 664 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns.
As a team, Montana State is averaging 38.0 points per game while allowed 30.0. The Bobcats have been balanced with 245.4 passing yards and 208.2 rushing yards per game. Defensively, the team is giving up 274.8 passing yards and 151.8 rushing yards per game.
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.
Montana State is coached by Rob Ash who is in his eighth season where he has posted a 60-29 record. Overall, Ash is 236-128-5 in 35 years as a head coach.
Montana State leads the all-times series, 14-6. The teams first met in the 1964 Camellia Bowl in Sacramento. The Bobcats have won the last eight meetings and 11 of the previous 12.
• Saturday's game will serve as the team's "Pink Game". Hornet players will have pink socks, gloves and sweatbands. Promotions will raise awareness for cancer.
• Sacramento State donates all proceeds from its pink game fundraisers to Sutter Health.
ALL BY THEMSELVES
• DeAndre Carter and Nnamdi Agude became the first pair of Sacramento State players to each record 150-plus receiving yards in a game. Carter had 14 catches for 158 yards while Agude grabbed 11 passes for 153 yards.
• Carter now has five 100-yard games during his career. His 158 yards are the second most of his career trailing only the 165 he had against Montana last season. The senior also tied Tom Powell for second place in school single-game history with 14 receptions. Fred Amey holds the school record with 15 against Eastern Washington in 2004.
• Three of Carter's catches went for touchdowns. The San Jose, Calif., native scored on passes of 11, 4 and 31 yards in the game. He now has three career games with three or more touchdown receptions, including a school record five against Southern Oregon last season.
• Agude has three 100-yard games in the first five contests of this season. Prior to the year, the junior had never had more than 13 yards in a game.
• Together, Carter and Agude became just the second tandem of Hornet receivers to each catch 10 passes in a game. Last season, Carter and Morris Norrise hauled in 12 and 10 passes, respectively, against Montana.
• The duo also amassed the most yardage by two Sacramento State receivers in a game with a combined 311 yards. Carlos Smith (189) and Sheridan Mitchell (118) had 307 yards against Eastern Washington in 1996 and Eric Harrington (186) and Greg Ochoa (115) combined for 301 at Cal Poly in 1993.
• Last season, Sacramento State had three players go over 100 yards at Portland State. The trio of Shane Harrison (138), Carter (133) and Norrise (126) amassed 397 yards against the Vikings.
NUMBERS ADD UP
• Along with the big receiving numbers for Carter and Agude, the team also set marks for total offense and quarterback Garrett Safron continued his assault on the school record book.
• The Hornets compiled 532 yards of offense at Idaho State and combined with the 551 against Menlo the week before, recorded back-to-back games over 500 yards for the first time since 1999. That season, the team did it in three straight games with 596 against UC Davis, 566 against Montana State and 509 at Weber State.
• Safron's 49 pass attempts were the 10th most in school single-game history.
• His 33 completions tied him with Tony Corbin for the fifth most in school history. Safron now owns six of the top nine marks for completions in a game, including the top four in the Hornet record book.
• His 382 passing yards were the eight most in Sacramento State history and the third best total of his career.
• Safron threw three touchdowns, giving him 18 games with multiple touchdown passes in his career.
• The Santa Monica, Calif., native also began the game by completing his first 18 pass attempts for 167 yards. The FCS record for consecutive completions to start a game is 29 by Quinn Epperly of Princeton set in 2013.
• Three Hornets were also able to record double-digit tackle totals at Idaho State. The trio was led by senior Robbie Kendall and true freshman Tyler Meteer as each had 16 stops. Senior Henry Fernandez added 11 more.
• Kendall recorded his third game with at least 11 tackles this season. The senior, who was limited to just one game in 2013 due to injury, had six solo stops and 10 assists against the Bengals. Kendall now ranks second on the team this season with 45 total tackles.
• Meteer received extensive playing time due to the disqualification of Darnell Sankey in the first quarter. The Del Oro HS graduate responded with four solo tackles and 12 assists. That total was nine more than he had been credited with in the team's first four games.
• Fernandez missed all of last season with an injured back but currently ranks third on the team with 38 tackles. Against Idaho State, Fernandez was credited with two solos and nine assists. He has 32 tackles over the team's last three games.
• Along with those three players, Anthony Payne also set a career high with nine tackles and Nick Crouch tied his career best of eight.
MOVE THE CHAINS
• Sacramento State is tied for eighth in the FCS with 121 first downs this season. That total is the second best in the Big Sky trailing only Eastern Washington's 150.
• Carter has earned the most first downs of any Hornet with 21. He is followed by Safron (18), Agude (18) and Jordan Robinson (14).
• Junior Dominic Coulter and freshman Isiah Hennie have made the most of their chances. Coulter has converted 10 of his 12 receptions while Hennie is 2-for-2.
ANOTHER FIRST TIMER
• Through five games this season, Sacramento State has intercepted six passes. Each of those six have been by a different player and all have been the first interception of that player's career.
• Sankey was the first to get an INT which he returned for a 59-yard touchdown at Incarnate Word.
• Against Menlo, Joshua Armstrong, Crouch, Mike Sellers and Austin Clark each picked off a pass.
• This past game, senior Dexter Alcala stepped in front of a pass in the end zone for his first career interception.
BIG PLAY BARRAGE
• Sacramento State and Idaho State combined for nine pass plays of at least 25 yards. That total was comprised of six by the Bengals and three from the Hornets.
• In the first four games of the year, Sacramento State had only six 25-plus yard passing plays. The Hornet defense had allowed eight plays of that length in the first four contests.
SANKEY RETURNS TO THE FIELD
• Linebacker Darnell Sankey entered last week as the second leading tackler in the FCS with 13.8 tackles per game. However, his time on the field in Holt Arena was limited as Sankey was flagged for targeting and was disqualified from the game during the first quarter.
• In his short playing time, Sankey still managed two tackles, including a 3-yard loss from the 1-yard line which forced a field goal. His averaged dipped to 11.4 tackles per game and moved him to eighth place in the FCS. The game also stopped his streak at four consecutive game with at least 10 tackles.
• Since the targeting rule was put in place prior to last season, Sankey is just the second Hornet to be penalized. Nick Crouch was removed from the Arizona State game last season for a hit during a kickoff return.
• The Big Sky boasts three of the top eight tackles in the FCS and four of the top 10. Cal Poly's Nick Dzunbar is the FCS leader at 13.5 per game. Chinedu Ahanonu of Southern Utah is tied for second at 13.0.
• Against Menlo, Sankey had a career high 17 total tackles. The junior also had a tackle-for-loss and scored a 1-yard touchdown as a fullback on offense.
• Sankey had 14 against Weber State to tie his career high. In the game, the San Jose, Calif., native also had 1.5 tackles-for-loss, a pass breakup and quarterback hurry.
• The San Jose, Calif., native leads the team with 55 total tackles and has forced two fumbles. He's also currently second with 3.0 tackles-for-loss.
• 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
• Senior DeAndre Carter was the lone member of the Hornets to earn preseason all-Big Sky honors in a vote of the league's media. Carter was also a preseason All-American by several publications.
• 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 touchdown in 11 of his last 14 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 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 Yards Total Needs
2. Morris Norrise, 2010-13 2,650 846
T3. Mike Carter, 1968-69 1,834 30
T3. Lamont Webb, 1997-2000 1,834 30
5. DeAndre Carter, 2011-pres. 1,804 ---
Career Receiving Touchdowns Total Needs
1. Fred Amey, 2001-04 27 3
2. DeAndre Carter, 2011-pres. 24 ---
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 eight 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 8,376 966
2. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 7,410 ---
Career Passing Touchdowns Total Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 64 ---
2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 50 ---
Career Passing Attempts Total Needs
1. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 1,191 125
2. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 1,066 ---
Career Passing Completions Total Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 662 ---
2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 658 --
Career Total Offense Total Needs
1. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 8,855 ---
2. Ryan Leadingham, 2001-04 8,455 --
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.
• Over his four years, Safron has now rushed for 1,475 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
8. Mark Schutz, 1984-85 1,571 96
9. George Sula, 1974-75 1,541 66
10. Pedro Lewis, 1991-93 1,487 12
11. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 1,475 ---
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 ---
11. Garrett Safron, 2011-pres. 14 ---
CORNISH CONTINUES TO CRUSH
• Junior Brad Cornish converted a 42-yard field goal at Idaho State as well as all three of his extra points. Cornish is now the team leader with 44 points after going 7-for-8 on field goals and 35-of-36 on extra points.
• Cornish did not make a field goal at Incarnate Word or Cal, but was named the FCS and Big Sky Special Team Player of the Week after setting the Sacramento State record after going 5-for-5 against Weber State. In that game, he had four field goals of at least 40 yards, including a career best 48-yarder.
• To put Cornish's effort into perspective, Sacramento State had made just three field goals of 40-plus yards in the last three seasons (2011-13) combined.
• Former Sacramento State assistant coach Daniel DaPrato is the special teams coordinator for the Bobcats. DaPrato also coached special teams for the Hornets as well as receivers.
• Montana State has 19 players on its roster from California.
• Nnamdi Agude and MSU's Matt Stewart (P) are both graduates of Santiago HS in Corona, Calif.
• Joshua Armstrong and MSU's Blake Braun (LB) both graduated from Redlands East Valley HS.
• Henry Fernandez and MSU's Tiai Salanoa (TE) both graduated from Oxnard HS.
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. 6 (Mattos Golf Tournament), Oct. 27 (bye week) or Nov. 17 (Causeway Classic luncheon week).
JUST THE FACTS
• 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.
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.
• The win at UIW was the team's first in their yellow jerseys.
• 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.
• 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.
• Carter (158) and Agude (153) combine for highest yardage total by a Hornet duo.
April 23, 2015 FOOTBALL HANDS OUT TEAM AWARDS AT BANQUET CELEBRATION
April 18, 2015 OFFENSE SURGES LATE TO WIN THE GREEN & GOLD GAME
April 17, 2015 GREEN & GOLD GAME TO TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY
March 6, 2015 FORMER HORNETS PUT ON SHOW FOR PRO SCOUTS
March 5, 2015 FOOTBALL ADDS TO CLASS WITH SIGNING OF CAPOOCIA
February 25, 2015 HORNET FOOTBALL WEEKEND SET FOR APRIL 17-18
February 20, 2015 FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES 2015 SCHEDULE
February 4, 2015 FOOTBALL COMPLETES SIGNING DAY WITH 32 TOTAL COMMITS
January 28, 2015 HORNET STUDENT-ATHLETES TOTAL 33 FALL BIG SKY ALL-ACADEMIC HONORS
January 21, 2015 FOOTBALL ADDS THREE DURING MIDYEAR PERIOD
January 15, 2015 DEANDRE CARTER TO PLAY IN NFLPA BOWL ON SATURDAY
December 23, 2014 CARTER NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICA BY THE SPORTS NETWORK
December 17, 2014 CARTER NAMED SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICA BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 17, 2014 CARTER ADDS FCS ADA AWARD TO HIS RESUME
December 16, 2014 CARTER EARNS ALL-AMERICA HONORS FROM TWO ORGANIZATIONS
December 10, 2014 JODY SEARS SHEDS INTERIM LABEL, EARNS THREE-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION
November 25, 2014 CARTER, CORNISH LEAD 14 SELECTIONS ON ALL-BIG SKY TEAMS
November 22, 2014 FOOTBALL WINS CAUSEWAY CLASSIC WITH 41-30 WIN OVER UC DAVIS
November 21, 2014 CAUSEWAY CLASSIC GAMEDAY INFO
November 21, 2014 FOOTBALL ALUMNI UPDATE
November 20, 2014 "RELAY OVER THE CAUSEWAY" TO DELIVER GAME BALL ON SATURDAY
November 18, 2014 CARTER NAMED FINALIST FOR THE WALTER PAYTON AWARD
November 18, 2014 61st CAUSEWAY CLASSIC UP NEXT FOR FOOTBALL
November 17, 2014 CARTER NAMED BIG SKY SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 15, 2014 FOOTBALL STORMS BACK FOR 48-41 WIN OVER PORTLAND STATE
November 11, 2014 FOOTBALL SENIOR DAY THIS SATURDAY AGAINST PORTLAND STATE
November 10, 2014 CARTER NAMED FCS NATIONAL AND BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
November 8, 2014 RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCES HELP FOOTBALL TO 42-21 WIN
November 4, 2014 FOOTBALL TAKES ON SOUTHERN UTAH ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON
November 1, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS AT NO. 12 MONTANA, 31-13
October 28, 2014 WELL-RESTED FOOTBALL PLAY AT NO. 12 MONTANA ON SATURDAY
October 21, 2014 SANKEY NAMED TO BUCHANAN AWARD WATCH LIST
October 18, 2014 FOOTBALL SEES CAL POLY PULL AWAY IN SECOND HALF
October 14, 2014 FOOTBALL HOSTS CAL POLY FOR HOMECOMING
October 11, 2014 FOOTBALL EARNS FIRST BIG SKY WIN, DOWNS UNC 43-38
October 7, 2014 FOOTBALL BACK ON THE ROAD AT NORTHERN COLORADO
October 4, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS IN SHOOTOUT TO MONTANA STATE, 59-56
September 30, 2014 FOOTBALL HOSTS MONTANA STATE ON SATURDAY
September 27, 2014 FOOTBALL NOT ABLE TO KEEP PACE WITH IDAHO STATE IN 44-24 LOSS
September 23, 2014 FOOTBALL BEGINS BIG SKY PLAY AT IDAHO STATE ON SATURDAY
September 20, 2014 FOOTBALL ROUTS MENLO IN 59-14 VICTORY
September 16, 2014 FOOTBALL CONTINUES HOMESTAND AGAINST MENLO ON SATURDAY
September 15, 2014 CORNISH NAMED NATIONAL, BIG SKY PLAYER OF THE WEEK
September 13, 2014 FOOTBALL GETS RECORD BREAKING PERFORMANCES IN 42-31 WIN
September 9, 2014 FOOTBALL WELCOMES WEBER STATE FOR HOME OPENER
September 6, 2014 FOOTBALL FALLS AT CALIFORNIA
September 2, 2014 FOOTBALL HEADS TO CAL ON SATURDAY
September 1, 2014 SANKEY NAMED BIG SKY DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
August 30, 2014 FOOTBALL ROLLS TO 49-13 WIN OVER INCARNATE WORD
August 26, 2014 FOOTBALL OPENS SEASON ON SATURDAY AT INCARNATE WORD
August 21, 2014 FOOTBALL TO HOST ALUMNI FLAG FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT ON FRIDAY
August 17, 2014 FOOTBALL HOLDS FIRST SCRIMMAGE AND BEE A HORNET
August 8, 2014 FAN BUS PACKAGE AVAILABLE FOR FOOTBALL GAME AT CAL
July 16, 2014 KICKOFF TIMES SET FOR 2014 HOME FOOTBALL GAMES
July 14, 2014 DeANDRE CARTER NAMED PRESEASON ALL-BIG SKY
July 3, 2014 BROADNAX NAMED TO CFPA TIGHT END WATCH LIST
July 1, 2014 CARTER EARNS PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA HONORS
June 23, 2014 TODD DAVIS SIGNS WITH THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
June 23, 2014 CARTER NAMED TO CFPA WIDE RECEIVER WATCH LIST
June 10, 2014 SAFRON NAMED TO CFPA QUARTERBACK WATCH LIST