Poly Pounding


So much for that trip to paradise.

SDSU’s problems from their 56-3 defeat at Illinois seemed to be magnified as the Jackrabbits got pounded for the second consecutive game, falling to Cal Poly, 48-14. It does nothing but raise more questions about what exactly is going wrong for the football team that has now given up 125 points in the last nine quarters and has not had two back-to-back losses of this magnitude since 1912.

“Terrible defense at times,” SDSU (1-2) head coach John Stiegelmeier said. “They had four big pass plays, two for touchdowns, and they are a running football team.”

Cal Poly (1-2) found the scoreboard first, striking for six on a third-and-21 conversion pass from Andre Broadous to Jarred Houston to give the Mustangs the early lead. Broadous dizzied the Jacks defense all day, passing for two touchdowns, racking up two more on the ground and amassed 282 yards during the day.

For a moment SDSU answered, as quarterback Thomas O’Brien hit running back Zach Zenner on fourth-and-two to score from 31 yards out and even the score at 7 apiece.

From there, Cal Poly was all over the Jackrabbits, scoring three touchdowns, capped by a 46 yard interception return from Bijon Samoodi to make it 28-7. The Jacks drove down the field and nearly scored but O’Brien slid down at the one, instead of diving into the endzone and SDSU – without timeouts – ran out of the time in the first half.

“We had our own opportunities. We got down to the goal line a couple of times, especially at the end of the first half and we didn’t get any points. That really took a toll on our football team and we had that interception return for a touchdown that killed us and we need to respond to that,” Stiegelmeier said.

O’Brien, who has since left the team and will be replaced Saturday at Illinois State by redshirt freshman Austin Sumner, had a career day passing for 376 yards and two touchdowns. His pass to the end zone that could have cut the lead to two scores in the third quarter was picked off by All-American cornerback Asa Jackson and ran back 100 yards to finish off the Jackrabbits. Both Aaron Rollin and Dale Moss – in his first career start – were beneficiaries of the big day by O’Brien, with each crossing the 100-yard mark in receiving yards.

Cal Poly beat up the Jacks in a way that is completely contrary to how they played in their first two games, lighting SDSU with a passing game that was used on 29 of their first 139 plays of the season. The combination of long passing plays and the seemingly absent Jackrabbits secondary has only added to the long (and continually growing) list of problems that the Jacks carry to Normal, Ill. for a meeting with Illinois State, opening Missouri Valley Football Conference play.

“They are a tough football team and we have our work cut out for ourselves. Going on the road again won’t be easy but we’re going come ready to play,” Stiegelmeier said.