Cal Poly

Cal Poly Football Notebook: Defense hurt by loss of Jackson

OGDEN, Utah — The Cal Poly football team went without starting cornerback Asa Jackson in the Mustangs’ 47-14 loss at Weber State on Saturday — a game in which Cal Poly gave up 364 yards and four touchdowns through the air.

Jackson was dressed for the game, but in dealing with an ankle injury and turf toe decided before kickoff that he was unable to adequately push off.

Whether Jackson would have limited the Wildcats’ passing or not, the Mustangs still took a blow by losing Jackson, who’s also the team’s No. 1 punt returner.

“We try to do the same things regardless,” Cal Poly coach Tim Walsh said. “Obviously, he’s one of our best players, so you’d like to have him out there, but if he feels he doesn’t have the confidence playing that position where he can push off and go cover people, you’re going to have him for a longer day than maybe we were” already having.

“I think he did the right thing and just said, ‘I can’t do it,’ ” Walsh said

Johnson held in check

A week after setting the Cal Poly single-game program record with five touchdowns, receiver Dominique Johnson was held to just one catch for 7 yards.

Johnson was a game-time decision with an undisclosed injury just one week after grabbing a career-high 13 catches for 273 yards.

He did not start the game and didn’t see many passes come his way. Johnson’s one catch came in the first quarter and converted a first down on fourth-and-2 at Cal Poly’s 45-yard line.

Two plays later, as Smith was looking for Johnson down the middle of the field, Weber State’s Josh Morris stepped in front of the pass for an interception and returned it to the 48-yard line.

It was the impetus for a string of six straight scores for the Wildcats.

Jon Hall led Cal Poly with two catches for 45 yards. David Mahr, Eric Gardley and Jono Grayson also had two receptions apiece for the Mustangs with Mahr scoring a touchdown on 28-yarder.

Prather punts were getting the roll

Cal Poly senior punter Harlan Prather came into Saturday’s game averaging just under 35 yards per punt.

But against the Wildcats, it was a different story as the Mustangs never gave Weber State’s Tim Toone, the top punt returner in the Football Championship Subdivision, a chance for a big return.

On two first-half punts, Prather averaged 52.5 yards with a long of 56.

The directional punting specialist wasn’t exactly booming the ball, but both of his kicks took big Cal Poly bounces and rolled backward into Wildcats territory.

Snow takes a snow day

Early in the week, forecasts called for snowstorms and temperatures threatening to reach the 20s for Saturday’s game in Ogden.

Theoretically, the white stuff was supposed to be a bigger bother to the California boys, but the snow never came.

As it turned out, temperatures were in the mid-40s for game time, well above freezing, and it did not even rain.

Most of the game was played under sunny skies.

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