WSU football plays at Sacramento State Saturday
Courtesy: Weber State  
Release: Friday 10/08/2012
Courtesy: Robert Casey
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Anthony Morales leads the Big Sky in tackles.

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Game #7 Weber State (0-6, 0-3 BSC)
at Sacramento State (4-2, 2-1 BSC)
Saturday, October 13 • 6:00 p.m. (PDT)   
Sacramento, CA •  Hornet Stadium (21,195)
TV: none
Online video: bigskytv.org
Radio: FM - 106.9 “The Zone”
Live stats: hornetsports.com
Series: Weber State leads 11-5
Streak: Weber State 1 win
In Sacramento: Sacramento State leads 5-3
Last Meeting: 09/17/11 - Ogden - WSU 49, SAC 17
 Weber State heads back on the road to take on the Sacramento State  Hornets this Saturday.  The game will kickoff at 7:00 p.m. Mountain time (6:00 p.m. Pacific) from Hornet Stadium in Sacramento. 
 The Wildcats are 0-6 on the season and coming off a 45-23 loss at 20th ranked Cal Poly last Friday.  The Hornets come into the game with a 4-2 overall record and a 2-1 record in Big Sky action following a 27-22 win at Southern Utah on Saturday. 
 Weber State holds an 11-5 all-time series advantage over the Hornets and the ‘Cats have won four of the last five games played in the series.  
  Saturday’s game will air live on FM-106.9 “The Zone” It will not be heard on 1280 The Zone but will air on 106.9 FM.  Carl Arky, the 2011 Utah Sportscaster of the Year, will call all the action.  He will be joined in the booth by former Wildcat standout Ty Sparrow.
 There will be no TV of the game but it will be seen live for free on the internet at bigskytv.org.  
 Live stats of the game will be available at hornetsports.com. 
 Weber State fell to 0-6 overall and 0-3 in Big Sky play following 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 pull out the victory.  The ‘Cats finally got going in the first half and held a 20-14 lead early in the third quarter but were outscored 31-3 the rest of the way.  The Mustangs improved to 5-0 overall with the victory. 
    Weber State entered Friday’s game having been outscored 110-12 in the first half and did not have a single point in the first quarter.  That all changed Friday as the Wildcats finally got off to a good start.  The ‘Cats had two field goals in the first quarter and added a touchdown in the second quarter, just their second first half touchdown of the year. 
 Now after six games WSU is being outscored 41-6 in the first quarter and 83-19 in the second quarter for a total of 124-25 in the first half.  The third quarter is now tied 43-43 and the opponents are winning the fourth quarter 64-38. 
    Weber State junior defensive captain Anthony Morales continued his outstanding play this season with a career-high 17 total tackles in Friday’s game with the Mustangs.  He recorded eight solo tackles and nine assisted tackles with two tackles for loss. 
 Morales now leads the Big Sky and ranks 11th in the nation  in tackles with an average of 11.0 tackles per game.  He has recorded double figures in tackles in each of the last three games and 11 times in his career at Weber State.  He is averaging 14.7 tackles per game in the three Big Sky games.
 In his career the Edmond, Oklahoma native has 189 total tackles in his 26 career games with the Wildcats.  He also has 16 career tackles for loss. 
    Weber State’s senior C.J. Tuckett had his best game of the season Friday, finishing with 19 carries for 98 yards and one touchdown against the Mustangs.  In the process he became the 27th Wildcat to reach 1,000 career rushing yards.  He also led the WSU receiving group with seven catches for 56 yards. 
 After six games this season Tuckett has 83 carries for 360 yards and three touchdowns.  He has played in 31 career games at Weber State had has 171 carries for 1,034 yards and 13 touchdowns.
    WSU senior quarterback Mike Hoke had another strong outing in Friday’s loss.  He threw for a season-high 291 yards and finished the day 22-39 passing with on interception and one touchdown.  He also added 51 yards rushing.
 On the season the Kailua, Hawaii native has is 112-192 passing for 1,170 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions.  He currently ranks 10th in the conference in passing at 195 yards per game and is eighth in total offense at 213.3 yards per game.  He ranks fourth in passing in Big Sky games. 
 Hoke has appeared in 32 career games and currently ranks 11th in passing in school history with 3,369 career yards.         
    WSU junior Shaun McClain was 3-4 on field goals in Friday’s game with Cal Poly.  He connected on a 22-yard field goal for the first points of the game in the first quarter and followed that up with a 46-yard field goal late in the quarter.  That 46-yarder is a new career-long for McClain, breaking his old career-long of 45 yards.  He missed a 50-yard attempt at the end of halftime but converted on a 25-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
 On the season the Redland, California native is 5-7 on field goals this season and 9-10 on extra points.  He leads the Wildcats with 24 points scored.  McClain has appeared in 27 career games and ranks seventh in school history in career field goals made with 29.   
    Weber State junior Tony Epperson suffered a torn MCL in his right knee in Friday’s game and will miss 4-6 weeks of action.  Epperson still leads the nation in punting with an average of 48 yards per punt.  He has punted 32 times this season for 1,536 yards.  He has recorded four punts of more than 70 yards, including a 74-yard punt at BYU, which ranks as the seventh best in school history.
 The Park City, Utah native has also been one of WSU’s top defenders this season and ranks second on the team in total tackles with 42.  He also has one interception, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble on the year. 
 Weber State wide receivers Shaydon Kehano (leg) and Chase Nakamura (arm) will both miss the rest of the season with injuries along with sophomore linebacker Luke King (shoulder). 
    Weber State was sacked three times in Friday’s loss to Cal Poly and after six games the Wildcats have been sacked 23 times this season, an average of 3.8 per game.  The 23 sacks allowed is the most given up by any team in FCS football so far this season. 
    Weber State has struggled on third down conversions on offense and defense this season.  The Wildcats rank 12th in the conference in third down conversions at 35.8 percent.  The ‘Cats are 34-95 on third downs this season.  On defense the ‘Cats are also 12th in the Big Sky, allowing third opponents to convert their third downs attempts 46.8 percent of the time.   
    Weber State is 0-6 to start the season for just the fifth time in 50 years of Division I football.  The Wildcats began the season 0-6 in 1975, 1976, 1979 and 2004.  The worst winless start was in 2004 when they began 0-8 before winning at Idaho State for the only win of the season. 
    After five games the Wildcats rank 13th in the Big Sky in scoring offense at 17.7 points per game.  The 23 points scored in Friday’s game was the second most in a game this season.  WSU is also 12th in scoring defense at 38.5 per game.  In addition the ‘Cats are ninth in rushing offense, 11th in rushing defense, 10th in total offense and 11th in total defense. 
    Weber State remains the only team in the Big Sky still seeking its first win of the season.  Two conference teams are undefeated overall and four are undefeated in conference play.  The Big Sky has four schools that are ranked in the Top-25 in the latest Sports Network poll.  Montana State is 6-0 and ranked second in the nation and Eastern Washington is 4-1 and ranked sixth.  Those two teams will meet this Saturday in Bozeman.  After their win at Weber State Cal Poly (5-0)  improved to 15th in the nation in the latest poll and Northern Arizona is ranked 16th.  Montana is just outside the top-25 poll. 
“I was proud of the way we started the game on Friday.  We came out strong and executed. They had great attitude, great energy.  I think we may have played the best we have all year against a very talented football team in Cal Poly.
“There are a lot of positive things that are happening for us.  We have great veteran leadership.  We are becoming more mentally tough and we are moving forward and trying to improve on our weaknesses. 
“We face another really good team this week at Sacramento State.  They have a very balanced offense and apply great pressure on defense.” 
 The Hornets of Sacramento State enter Saturday’s game with a 4-2 overall record and a 2-1 mark in Big Sky Conference games.  They are coming off a 27-22 win at Southern Utah last weekend. 
 The Hornets began the season with a loss at New Mexico State but followed that up by upsetting Colorado 30-28 in Boulder.  It was the second-straight year the Hornets have defeated an FBS team after beating Oregon State in Week 1 last season. 
 They defeated Northern Colorado in a non-conference game, then lost to North Dakota and defeated Idaho State before winning in Cedar City. 
 Sacramento State ranks third in the Big Sky in rushing defense, allowing just 113.2 yards per game.  They are seventh overall in scoring defense, allowing 30.3 points per game and rank second in the conference in sacks with 16 so far this season.  Offensively, the Hornets are fourth in rushing offense at 194.8 yards per game and rank seventh in the conference in total offense at 432.8.
 Junior Ezekial Graham ranks third in the conference in rushing at 91.5 yards per game.  Sophomore quarterback Garrett Safron is fourth in the league in total offense at 264.8 and is sixth in passing at 225.7 yards per game.  Junior linebacker Todd Davis ranks seventh in tackles at 9.3 per game and is fifth in tackles for loss.  Linebacker Jeff Badger was named Big Sky co-Defensive Player of the Week after recording 12 tackles and a sack in Saturday’s win at Southern Utah.  Kicker Edgar Castaneda is tied for first in the Big Sky in field goal percentage at 81.8.  He is 9-11 on the season.     
    The Hornets are coached by Marshall Sperbeck who is in his sixth season as head coach at Sacramento State.  He enters Saturday’s game with a 28-34 overall record with the Hornets.  Prior to coming to Sacramento State he spent 15 seasons as the head coach at Foothill Junior College in Los Altos, California.   
 Weber State holds an 11-5 all-time series lead over Sacramento State and the Wildcats have won four of the last five games played.  WSU is 8-0 all-time against the Hornets in Ogden, however in games played in Sacramento the Hornets lead 5-3 all-time and have won five of the last six.  WSU won 32-27 in 2008, the season the Wildcats won the Big Sky Championship.  That was WSU’s only win in Sacramento since 1998.  Two years ago the Hornets won 24-17 in Sacramento. 
LAST MEETING - 11/21/09 - OGDEN - WSU 49-17
 Weber State dominated the 20th ranked Hornets 49-17 September 17, 2011 in WSU’s home and Big Sky opener.    The Wildcats never trailed in the game and totaled 522 yards of total offense in the game, including 324 yards rushing.  Mike Hoke finished the day 17-33 for 198 yards and three touchdowns.  Josh Booker added 86 yards rushing and a touchdown.  Shaydon Kehano had four catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns.  David James had a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown, the second longest interception return in school history and Anthony Morales added 13 tackles. 
 The game marked the first game played in Weber State’s new turf field at Stewart Stadium. 
    WSU is under the direction of first-year head coach Jody Sears who brings nearly 20 years of coaching experience to Weber State.  He joined the WSU staff in January as the defensive coordinator and was named head coach in April.  He is the 10th head coach in Weber State history.  Sears will also be the defensive coordinator and coach the safeties for the Wildcats.
    Before coming to Weber State he spent the past three seasons at Washington State where he spent the last three seasons as the co-defensive coordinator with the Cougars under head coach Paul Wulff, a former college teammate at Washington State.
    He is no stranger to the Big Sky Conference as he spent five seasons (2003-07) as the defensive coordinator at Eastern Washington, also under Paul Wulff.  During his time with the Eagles he coached safeties, linebackers and defensive backs.  In his five seasons at Eastern Washington he coached seven players to Big Sky All-Conference honors.
    Prior to his time at Eastern Washington Sears spent three seasons (2000-02) as an assistant coach at Army where he coached cornerbacks and the defensive line.  He also spent time as an assistant coach at St. Ambrose University, an NAIA school in Davenport, Iowa and Iowa State.
    Sears played football at Washington State where he was a two-year letterwinner with the Cougars after walking on as a wide receiver.  He played under head coaches Jim Walden, Dennis Erickson, and former Weber State head coach Mike Price.  He graduated from Washington State in 1991 and received his master’s degree from Iowa State in 1996. 
    Sears, 44, is a native of Pullman, Washington.  He and his wife Molly are the parents of five children.
    Coach Sears has selected four team captains for the season.  Mike Hoke, Brian Jankowski, Anthony Morales, and Trevor Pletcher will serve as the Wildcat team captains for the year. 
    The 2012-13 Weber State Athletics season marks 50 years since Weber State became a four-year institution and began athletics competition at the Division I level.  Events and festivities are planned throughout the year to celebrate 50 years of Division I athletics at Weber State.
    After Saturday’s game the Wildcats will stay out on the road to take on in-state rival and new Big Sky Conference member Southern Utah next Saturday, Oct. 20 in Cedar City, Utah.  After that WSU will have a bye week before their next home game Nov. 3 against Montana. 

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