OGDEN - The Weber State football team dropped to 0-3 on the season with a 35-21 defeat to 19th ranked McNeese State Saturday night in the 2012 home opener at Stewart Stadium.
After a scoreless quarter McNeese State started the scoring with a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead at halftime.
The Wildcats put together a strong drive to open the third quarter when Mike Hoke found Shaydon Kehano for a 10-yard touchdown to cut the McNeese lead to 14-7. The next Cowboy possession Danny Mullarkey recovered a fumble forced by Tony Epperson and the Wildcat took the ball over. On the next play McNeese State intercepted a pass from Hoke. On the next play Dionte Spencer ran for a 91-yard touchdown run that gave the Cowboys a 21-7 lead. The 91-yard run set a McNeese State school record.
The Cowboys totaled 301 rushing yards on the game and finished with 557 yards of total offense, finishing with 300 yards of total offense more than Weber State. McNeese State also recorded three sacks on the night.
Hoke finished the night 9-19 passing for 69 yards with one touchdown and one interception. C.J. Tuckett led the rushing attack with 66 yards and a touchdown. Javaris Murray of McNeese State finished with 122 rushing yards and one touchdown and Spencer added 106 yards and a touchdown.
Another bright spot for the Wildcats was the play of punter Tony Epperson who set a school record with an average of 55.0 yards per punt. Epperson finished with eight punts for 440 yards. After three games this season he is averaging 48 yards per punt. Epperson also forced a fumble and recorded five tackles.
Defensively, Obi Owoh had two sacks and Danny Mullarkey recovered two fumbles.
The loss dropped Weber State to 0-3 on the season for the first time since 2007.
"McNeese State is a terrific football team and I give them a lot of credit," said WSU head coach Jody Sears. "We made some mistakes that really killed us and changed the momentum. We have to move on and be ready to go next week. We did some uncharacteristic things today and made some mistakes. We just have to throw our shoulders back and move forward, no crying and whining. Just get back to work on Monday."
The game was played in front of 9,617 fans for the home opener at Stewart Stadium.
Weber State will now open Big Sky Conference play next week when the 'Cats host Eastern Washington. The Eagles come in ranked 10th in the nation in the latest poll. Next week's game begins at 6:00 p.m. and will be the annual Homecoming game.