A Cal Poly football team desperately seeking to return to winning ways failed to snap a four-game losing streak at Idaho on Saturday.
The Vandals (4-5) defeated Cal Poly 21-9 in a game where the Mustangs were held to a first-quarter field goal until 2:47 remained in the game.
Promising first half
The Mustangs entered Saturday with four straight losses to teams currently ranked among the FCS top-25 polls. Last week, Cal Poly was beaten 38-14 by Sacramento State, which scored the first 24 points of the game.
Cal Poly showed promise in the first half against Idaho, allowing just 7 points to trail 7-3. The defense played well, allowing one long play in the first half, which resulted in a touchdown for the Vandals.
The defense held up against the passing game, which featured a 2020 NFL draft prospect in Jeff Cotton. Cotton was held without a catch in the second and third quarters after recording four receptions in the first quarter.
The senior wideout, who leads the conference in catches, receiving yards and yards per game, found the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Cotton was held to 5 catches for 65 yards after recording 10 receptions for 192 yards and a score last week against Idaho State.
Mason Petrino, the son of head coach Paul Petrino, returned under center after suffering a concussion against Portland State on Oct. 12. Petrino was 13 for 22 with 138 yards.
However, as the game wore on, the Cal Poly defense had no answer for Idaho’s big running back, Aundre Carter. The redshirt freshman had 23 carries for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Offensive struggles continue
The offense failed to keep the momentum it found on its opening drive. As a team, the Mustangs averaged 3.3 yards per play in the first half and just 106 total yards. Cal Poly finished with 242 total yards.
Cal Poly had 3 three-and-outs and only 6 first-downs entering the fourth quarter.
The rushing attack was held to 146 yards on 48 carries. Drew Hernandez led the way with nine rushes for 66 yards and Duy Tran-Sampson had 17 carries for 56 yards. Tran-Sampson, who entered the game leading the conference in rushing yards, left the game in the second quarter with an injury before returning in the third quarter.
J.J. Koski caught all four of Jalen Hamler’s completions for 97 yards.
Cal Poly (2-7, 1-5) will have a bye before the final home game of the season, when Eastern Washington (4-5, 3-2) comes to town.