OGDEN --- The Weber State football team fell to 0-6 on the season with a 45-23 loss to #20 Cal Poly Friday night at Stewart Stadium.
The Wildcats had season-highs in total offense, rushing yards, passing yards and first downs but still could not stop the Mustangs from making big plays.
Weber State finally improved on their season-long first half struggles and had two first quarter field goals by Shaun McClain and led 6-0 after the first quarter. McClain's 46-yard field goal in the first quarter was a career-long.
Cal Poly added a touchdown early in the second quarter but the Wildcats came back with a 9-yard touchdown pass from Mike Hoke to Erik Walker to give the 'Cats a 13-7 lead with 7:00 to play in the first half. Cal Poly added a late touchdown to take a 14-13 lead at halftime.
Weber State jumped out with a six-yard touchdown run by C.J. Tuckett with 10:08 to play in the third quarter and the Wildcats led 20-14. However, WSU would be outscored 31-3 the rest of the way.
Kristaan Ivory scored on a five-yard run and the next possession a Hoke pass was picked off by Barrett Wangara who returned the ball 58-yards for a touchdown. A Mustang field goal at the end of the quarter gave Cal Poly a 31-20 lead after three quarters.
They started the fourth quarter with a quick 34-yard touchdown from Andre Broadous to Willie Tucker to break the game open.
WSU totaled 528 yards of total offense, with 291 passing and 237 rushing. They held Cal Poly, who came in ranked third in the country, to 246 rushing yards.
Individually Tuckett had his best game of the season, finishing with 19 carries for 98 yards and one touchdown. In the process he became the 27th Wildcat to reach 1,000 career rushing yards. Kris Parham added 53 yards and Hoke had 51 rushing.
Tuckett also led the Wildcats in receiving with seven catches for 56 yards. Walker added four catches for 41 yards and a touchdown and Lanny Papanikolas had three catches for 60 yards.
Hoke finished the day 22-39 for 291 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception.
Defensively, junior Anthony Morales continued his strong play, finishing with a career-high 17 total tackles, including two tackles for loss.
WSU received more bad news on the injury front. Junior Tony Epperson suffered a torn MCL in his right knee and will miss four to six weeks of action. Epperson is leading the nation in punting at 48 yards per punt.
"I'm proud of the way the guys started the game," said WSU head coach Jody Sears. "They came out and they executed. They had great attitude, great energy. Had some confidence, made some plays, and put some points on the board. The interception returned for a touchdown killed us and in the second half we just didn't make the plays we needed."
With the win the 20th ranked Mustangs improve to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in conference play. The Wildcats drop to 0-3 in Big Sky games.
The game was the first Friday game in Weber State history. The Wildcats will now hit the road for their next two games beginning next Saturday when they play at Sacramento State.