MOSCOW, Idaho — A punishing ground game and a stellar performance by the defense led No. 6 Sacramento State to a 31-7 win at Idaho on Saturday. With the win, the Hornets improved to 8-3 overall and 6-1 in the Big Sky Conference. The team will have the chance to play for at least a share of the Big Sky title next week in the Causeway Classic.
The eight victories are the most for Sacramento State in the school's Div. I era (1993-pres.) while the six conference wins are tied for the most since joining the Big Sky.The Hornets also completed a perfect road record in conference games, winning all four for the first time in school history.
The Hornets rushed for 222 yards and outgained the Vandals overall, 409-194. Sacramento State limited Idaho to just eight first downs which marked the first time an opponent had less than 10 since Northern Colorado had five in a rain-soaked game in 2011.
"It was an incredible performance by the defense," Sacramento State head coach Troy Taylor said. "(On offense) we always try to be balanced…we just weren't quite in sync like we wanted to be but we were able to run the ball."
Elijah Dotson rushed for 109 yards and two scores, BJ Perkinson added 67 and Marcus Fulcher provided 31 yards in the fourth quarter to lead the Hornet rushing attack.
"You have to give all credit to the o-line," Dotson said. "They created a lot of holes for me to get through. Having Kevin (Thomson) back made it a lot easier on the run game because it takes the focus off me and BJ."
Sacramento State took little time getting on the board as the offense received great field position following a fumble which was forced by Marcus Bruce and recovered by Caelan Barnes on the opening drive of the game. Six plays later, Kevin Thomson used a dramatic fake toss to freeze the defense then took it himself up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown. The score was his eighth rushing TD of the year and the 17th of his career which moved him into sole possession of eighth place in the Hornet record book.
A second turnover by the defense gave the Hornets a short field and the offense took advantage of the takeaway. Josiah Erickson scooped up an errant snap which went off the hands of Mason Petrino and gave Sacramento State the ball at the Idaho 19. The Hornets weren't able to do much and settled for a short field goal from Devon Medeiros. However, the Vandals were flagged for running into the kicker and Troy Taylor sent the offense back on the field for a chance at 4th-and-inches. After converting to keep the drive alive, Dotson stiff armed his way around the left edge for a 4-yard score for his 20th career rushing score.
"That is what is expected of the defense week in an week out," middle linebacker Marcus Hawkins said. "We hold ourselves to a high standard every week so when we do that, we're not really that impressed by it because that is what we expect."
Medeiros pushed the lead to 17-0 with a 33-yard field goal and the defense followed with another 3-and-out which was capped by sacks from Wyatt Hjelm and George Obinna. The sack by Obinna gave him 13.5 on the year and moved him ahead of Zack Nash for the single-season record at Sacramento State.
The Hornets added one more touchdown to close the half when Perkinson broke through several tackle attempts for a 22-yard score. The Hornets took a 24-0 lead into the locker room and recorded their third first half shutout of the year. Sacramento State limited Idaho to just 16 yards on 25 plays in the half while amassing 298 yards of their own.
Idaho got on the board midway through the third quarter with a 24-yard pass from Petrino to Cutrell Haywood. The drive was set up after the Hornets failed to convert inside the 5-yard line. On third down, Thomson rolled to his right and missed a wide open Perkinson as his lobbed pass fell short. The team elected to go for it on fourth down and the snap sailed off Thomson's hands and was recovered at the 25-yard line.
Any thoughts of a Vandal comeback was ended early in the fourth quarter when Dotson single-handedly took the Hornets into the end zone. The junior had four carries to account for all 31 yards of the drive and score his second touchdown of the game. Dotson went over 100 yards during the series before plowing his way into the end zone for a 5-yard score. The drive was set up by another stop from the Hornet defense. Hawkins brought down a receiver on a screen pass just short of the sticks. The following play, Jeremy Harris blew up a fourth-down rush attempt to give the ball back to Sacramento State.
Idaho had one final chance to score points as it moved down the field to the Hornet 7-yard line. From there, the defense forced a fumble and then added a fourth-down sack to keep the team out of the end zone.
Sacramento State will close out its regular season with the 66th Causeway Classic on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 2 p.m. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early and get inside Hornet Stadium early to honor the senior class prior to the start of the game.
January 11, 2020 TAYLOR, THOMSON RECOGNIZED AT STATS PERFORM FCS AWARDS BANQUET
January 8, 2020 FOOTBALL RELEASES 2020 SCHEDULE
December 19, 2019 THOMSON, OBINNA NAMED TO STATS FCS ALL-AMERICA TEAM
December 19, 2019 OBINNA ADDS AFCA ALL-AMERICA TO HIS POSTSEASON HAUL
December 18, 2019 FOOTBALL SIGNS 16 ON FIRST DAY OF EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
December 17, 2019 MARTIN, THOMSON AND OBINNA ADD TO FOOTBALL'S ALL-AMERICA AWARD WINNERS
December 16, 2019 THOMSON, DOTSON NAMED TO HERO SPORTS FCS ALL-AMERICA TEAMS
December 12, 2019 TROY TAYLOR WINS STATS EDDIE ROBINSON AWARD
December 9, 2019 THOMSON NAMED TOP FOUR FINALIST FOR THE WALTER PAYTON AWARD
December 6, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR FOOTBALL VS. AUSTIN PEAY IN THE FCS PLAYOFFS
November 27, 2019 TROY TAYLOR NAMED BIG SKY FOOTBALL COACH OF THE YEAR
November 26, 2019 FOOTBALL PLACES 15 ON ALL-BIG SKY TEAMS; THOMSON NAMED OFFENSIVE MVP
November 22, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR NO. 4 FOOTBALL IN THE 66TH CAUSEWAY CLASSIC
November 19, 2019 NO. 4 FOOTBALL READIES FOR 66TH CAUSEWAY CLASSIC
November 18, 2019 FCS PLAYOFF TICKET INFORMATION
November 18, 2019 FOOTBALL HITS NEW HIGH, RANKED FOURTH IN BOTH FCS POLLS
November 16, 2019 NO. 6 FOOTBALL CONTINUES HISTORIC SEASON WITH 31-7 WIN AT IDAHO
November 15, 2019 FIVE FACTS FOR NO. 6 FOOTBALL AT IDAHO
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