Cal Poly

Cal Poly turns to backup QB for home opener vs. Weber State

Sophomore Jake Jeffrey will step in as Cal Poly’s starting quarterback when the Mustangs host No. 10 Weber State in their home opener Saturday night at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Sophomore Jake Jeffrey will step in as Cal Poly’s starting quarterback when the Mustangs host No. 10 Weber State in their home opener Saturday night at Alex G. Spanos Stadium. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

Cal Poly’s Jake Jeffrey is back in a familiar position.

The third-year sophomore quarterback from Folsom will be under center Saturday night when the Mustangs host No. 10 Weber State in their home opener at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

Jeffrey takes over for senior starter Khaleel Jenkins, who injured his knee during Cal Poly’s season-opening loss to North Dakota State.

The 6-foot, 187-pound Jeffrey started the final six games of the 2017 season after Jenkins suffered a season-ending knee injury, the same one he injured against the Bison last Saturday.

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Initial reports indicated Jenkins could be sidelined for the remainder of the season, but Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh said there’s a chance he could return for the Big Sky Conference opener later this month.

Walsh said Jeffrey, Kyle Reid and Jalen Hamler all took extra reps in practice this week.

“Jake’s experience is very valuable, his toughness is very valuable and his intelligence is very valuable,” Walsh said. “Kyle and Jalen are very athletic but untested, so there are some things in there we have to look at and make decisions on who is going to play. I would think you will probably see at least two out of the three play Saturday night.”

Both Jeffrey and Reid played against North Dakota State after Jenkins’ injury.

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They went a combined 4-of-6 passing for 65 yards and rushed eight times for a loss of 15 yards. The Mustangs fell 49-3 to the No. 1-ranked team in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Perhaps the most encouraging news for Mustang fans is the possibility of Jenkins returning this year.

The San Diego native has appeared in 15 games over the past four seasons, including seven starts in 2017 when he passed for 597 yards and eight touchdowns, and rushed for 377 yards and four scores.

“He’s a quality young man,” Walsh said. “To see how he has handled back-to-back years of being injured is truly a testament to who he is as a young man. Our players see a man who cares as much about his team as he cares about himself.”

Saturday’s opponent, Weber State, lost its season opener, 41-10, against Pac-12 opponent Utah.

The Wildcats return five players that earned All-America honors last year, and 10 all-Big Sky honorees.

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