Mustang Notebook: Kupp joins Barden in FCS lore

Eastern Washington wide receiver ties ex-Cal Poly star Barden, others by catching a TD pass for 11th straight game

jscroggin@thetribunenews.comNovember 16, 2013 

CP vs E. Washington

Cal Poly loses to Eastern Washington 35-22, Saturday, November 16 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. Cal Poly QB Chris Brown (9) looks to avoid Eastern Washington's LB Albert Havili (54). Photo by Laura Dickinson 11-15-13

LAURA DICKINSON — ldickinson@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

It’s been five years since “Throw it to Ramses” T-shirts flooded the student section at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

But the former Cal Poly All-America receiver Ramses Barden’s name was thrown around once again in the Mustangs’ 35-22 loss to No. 3 Eastern Washington on Saturday.

The record-breaking wideout was joined by Eagles freshman receiver Cooper Kupp in a distinction shared by a small group of FCS receivers that also includes Randy Moss and another former Eastern Washington player.

With a 32-yard scoring grab late in the second quarter, Kupp caught a touchdown in his 11th straight game, tying the FCS single-season record for consecutive games with a touchdown reception set by Moss for Marshall in 1996 and equaled by Barden in 2008 and Eastern Washington’s Brandon Kaufman in 2010.

With eight catches for 139 yards Saturday, Kupp set an FCS record for freshman receiving yardage (1,231) and, with a 24-yard touchdown catch to open the third quarter, moved within three touchdown catches of tying Moss’ FCS single-season record for freshman, 19, also set in 1996.

“He’s obviously really talented,” Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin said, “but on top of that, he maximizes his talent and opportunities. He deserves it because of how hard he works at it. He does all the little things to put himself in position to break those records. He’s always making huge plays. It’s constant.”

With one game left in the regular season and the Eagles poised for another deep playoff run, Kupp should have the chance to not only own the FCS single-season record for consecutive games with a touchdown catch but could further it by a few more. The overall Division I record is 13 games set by Rice’s Jarrett Dillard in 2006.

However, one of Barden’s greatest distinctions is still safe at least through the offseason.

Barden olds the overall Division I career record for consecutive games with a touchdown catch. From 2007-08, Barden had touchdown grabs in 20 straight games. Larry Fitzgerald holds the FBS record, hauling in touchdown catches in 18 consecutive games between 2002-03.

Grosz just outside top five

With next week’s season finale at Northern Colorado left to play, Cal Poly senior defensive tackle Sullivan Grosz sits sixth on the Mustangs’ career sack list with 21.

Grosz upped his season total to 71⁄2 with a first-quarter sack of Eastern Washington’s Vernon Adams on Saturday and sits fourth in Cal Poly’s 19-year Division I history.

With one sack next week, Grosz would pass Chris White, a defensive lineman who had 211⁄2 sacks from 2003-06.

Buck Buchanan Award winner Chris Gocong holds the program’s all-time and Division I career sack record with 42 between 2001-05, including the 231⁄2 he had to set the program single-season record in 2005.

Home-field neutrality

The Mustangs lost half of their home games this season, and the three defeats were the most losses at home since 2002, though the six home games were the most since 2008 and have only been equaled three times since 1999.

Cal Poly went 3-8 in 2002, former head coach Rich Ellerson’s second season at the helm, and dropped home contests to Northern Arizona (31-24), Northern Iowa (29-28, 3 OT) and UC Davis (28-14) that year.

The Mustangs have not lost four home games in a single season since 1965, when the team went 2-8 under Sheldon Harden, losing to Linfield (Ore.) and now-defunct programs Cal Western, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara.

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