SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento State football team seemed to take control over Cal Poly early in Saturday’s 35-29 win at Hornet Stadium, but it took a lot longer for that to reflect on the scoreboard after some costly turnovers.
Fumbles recovered by sophomore linebacker Nick Dzubnar on back-to-back plays conspired to sink Sacramento State in the first quarter, setting up Mustangs scores that put the Hornets in a 10-0 hole.
Moving the ball without much resistance on the game’s opening drive, tight end T.J. Knowles lost a fumble after a hit by cornerback Nico Molino on the Cal Poly end of the field, and Dzubnar returned it to the Sacramento State 2-yard line.
Starting for injured fullback Akaninyene Umoh, Cal Poly’s Brandon Howe ran in a touchdown to put the Mustangs up 7-0.
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On the Hornets’ next play from scrimmage, Dzubnar picked up a fumble from the hands of Sacramento State receiver Morris Norrise, setting the Mustangs up with ideal field position again.
That drive ended with a 32-yard field goal by Bobby Zalud, who also had three kickoffs downed for touchbacks against the No. 2 team in the FCS in kick return average.
UNEXPECTED JERSEY SWITCH
The Mustangs were expecting to wear their white road jerseys with gold numbers for the game when they arrived in Sacramento on Friday.
The color combination was last worn in a 45-23 victory at Weber State earlier this month, much to the chagrin of the Utah media members that had to try and identify unfamiliar Cal Poly players from the press box.
The numbers proved difficult to see in the bright conditions in Ogden, Utah, the home of the Big Sky Conference offices.
Many complaints reached the seat of a Big Sky official attending the game, and when the Mustangs tried to break the jerseys out again, conference commissioner Doug Fullerton called to rule them out, according to a Cal Poly representative.
Unfortunately for the Mustangs, those were the only jerseys that traveled with the team.
Former Cal Poly assistant coach John Crivello, the father of current Mustangs assistant coach Matt Crivello, was called to deliver the team’s gold jerseys when he was already on the road to Sacramento on Saturday morning.
John Crivello and the team’s gold jerseys with green numbers arrived about two hours before game time, and four starters were forced to use alternate jersey numbers because of the late change.
HORNETS PLAY FOR FALLEN TEAMMATE
Hornet Stadium was flooded with black T-shirts in memory of former Sacramento State defensive end John Bloomfield, who died Oct. 21 after surgeries to correct a lung condition instead put him into a coma earlier this season.
Bloomfield’s father and younger brother led Sacramento State onto the field before the game wearing the black shirts that had Bloomfield’s name, the number 43 and a quote that read “Family Forever.”
Bloomfield, also a former teammate of Cal Poly running back Deonte Williams and receiver Brandon Michalkiewicz when the trio played together at Sierra College in 2009, has been described as one of the most inspirational Hornets players in the locker room.