Linebacker Kennith Jackson started his final regular-season game in Alex G. Spanos Stadium in a memorable way in the Cal Poly football team’s 70-14 victory over Idaho State on Saturday.
The fifth-year senior grabbed interceptions on two tipped balls to set up the Mustangs’ first two scores, which came in lightning-quick succession in the first quarter.
After Bengals quarterback Kevin Yost opened the game with three straight completions, his fourth pass was bobbled by his intended receiver and bounced right into Jackson’s grasp.
Jackson went down after advancing 3 yards, and on the next play, Cal Poly quarterback Andre Broadous hit sophomore receiver Willie Tucker wide open down the middle of the field for a 48-yard touchdown pass.
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On the ensuing Idaho State drive, Yost completed three more passes in a row before the fourth was tipped by another receiver and right to Jackson again.
This one Jackson returned 24 yards to the Bengals’ 9-yard line, and Mustangs running back
Deonte Williams scored untouched on a run up the middle on the next play.
In just 11 seconds of possession, Cal Poly had 14 points. Jackson had his first two interceptions of the season, upping his career total to six picks.
WILLIAMS BREAKS A RECORD
With 117 rushing yards and three touchdowns on15 carries in the first half alone, Deonte Williams continued his ascent up the Mustangs’ program single-season rushing list.
James Noble still holds the record with 1,578 yards in 2005, but Williams did unseat Noble in one record category Saturday.
The victory over Idaho State was Williams’ ninth game with 100 yards or more this season, besting Noble’s program record eight 100-yard games in 2005.
Williams has had triple-digit rushing totals in every game but one this season, a 31-yard effort at Weber State where he totaled just six carries after suffering an ankle injury.
BROADOUS FLASHES ARM
Broadous had only been averaging 104 passing yards per game this season as the Cal Poly offense has churned up more than 315 rushing yards per game, the third-leading total in the FCS.
But he didn’t stop throwing after that deep touchdown pass to Tucker on the Mustangs’ first offensive play.
With four minutes left in the first quarter, Broadous already had 100 passing yards. Including a 31-yard scoring pass to Cole Stanford, Broadous was 3 for 4 for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
BIG SKY TIEBREAKER UPDATE
Earlier in the day, Southern Utah pulled the upset of the week, beating Big Sky Conference front-runner Northern Arizona 35-29.
The Lumberjacks had started conference play 6-0 and were the lone team in the Big Sky with an unblemished conference record. That meant Northern Arizona was the only team left that
could win the Big Sky title outright.
The Lumberjacks’ loss leaves four teams with 6-1 Big Sky records, but it did eliminate the possibility of a four-way tie for the conference title since Northern Arizona hosts Cal Poly in the
regular-season finale next week.
The Mustangs can clinch a share of the Big Sky championship with a victory over the Lumberjacks and may need to win just to assure themselves a berth in the FCS playoffs.
The only scenario where Cal Poly receives the conference’s automatic berth to the 20-team playoff bracket is if the Mustangs win the Big Sky outright.
Cal Poly appears to lose the tiebreakers should it end tied with any one of the other two teams with one conference loss, Eastern Washington and Montana State, or both.