If there’s one Sacramento State player most worth the focus of the Cal Poly defense, it’s likely a first-year running back who’s had a breakout four-year collegiate debut.
After leading the state in all-purpose yardage at Los Angeles Southwest College last season, Ezekiel Graham has brought that all-around game to the Hornets.
Graham started by winning the starting spot over senior running back A.J. Ellis, a former Fresno State transfer who once had a 165-yard, three-touchdown game for the Bulldogs.
The junior leads Sacramento State with 655 rushing yards and three touchdowns and has also been one of the team’s top receiving threats, ranking second on the Hornets with 26 catches for 261 yards and two more touchdowns.
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Graham’s career game came in a 54-31 victory over Idaho in late September, where the 5-foot-9, 170-pound back ran for a season-high 158 yards and went 74 yards on a wild screen play that’s also Sacramento State’s longest pass of the season.
Graham had a season-long 52-yard run against Idaho State and broke a 46-yard run against North Dakota.
He’s also performed well against the FCS elite.
In a failed upset bid of No. 1 Eastern Washington last week, Graham ran for 82 yards and a touchdown, averaging 4.8 yards per carry in a game the Hornets lost 31-28.