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Wildcats home for Big Sky opener Saturday
Courtesy: Weber State  
Release: Tuesday 09/24/2013
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Saturday's game is the annual Homecoming game at Weber State.
Courtesy: Weber State
Saturday's game is the annual Homecoming game at Weber State.

Watch online | Listen live | Live stats

Game #5 Sacramento State (1-3) at Weber State (1-3)
Saturday, Sept. 28 • 6:05 p.m.
Ogden, UT • Stewart Stadium (17,500)
Radio: KLO 1430 AM/103.1 FM
Online video: WatchBigSky.com
Live audio: WeberStateSports.com
Live stats: WeberStateSports.com
Twitter: @weberstate, @weberstatefb
Series: Weber State leads 11-6
Streak: Sacramento State 1 win
In Ogden: Weber State leads 8-0
Last Meeting: 10/14/12 - Sacramento - SAC 19, WSU 14

 

QUICK HITS
• After three games on the road the Weber State football team returns home and opens Big Sky Conference action this Saturday when the Wildcats host Sacramento State.
• Weber State is 1-3 on the season and coming off a 43-6 loss at #12 McNeese State last week
• Sacramento State is 1-3 and will also open Big Sky play this week.
• WSU has played one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season.
• Saturday’s game is the annual Homecoming game at Weber State.
• Sacramento State has never won in Ogden and the Wildcats hold an 8-0 all-time series lead over the Hornets at Stewart Stadium.

MEDIA FOR SATURDAY’S GAME
Saturday’s game with the Hornets will kickoff at 6:05 p.m. from Elizabeth Dee Shaw Stewart Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on KLO 1430 AM and 103.1 FM with Carl Arky and Ty Sparrow calling all the action. It can also be heard online at kloradio.com and WeberStateSports.com.
The game can be seen for free online at WatchBigSky.com. Live stats of the game will be at WeberStateSports.com.

PROMOTIONS FOR SATURDAY’S GAME
Saturday’s game is the annual Homecoming game at Weber State. Fans can get five tickets to the game for just $25. It’s also Hill Air Force Base Appreciation Night with tickets offered to employees, courtesy of SelectHealth.

WILDCATS FALL 43-6 AT #12 MCNEESE STATE
Weber State started the game with a quick score but it was all McNeese State after that as the 12th ranked Cowboys defeated Weber State 43-6 on a rainy Saturday night at Cowboy Stadium.
The Wildcats got off to a great start when James Washington forced and recovered a fumble on McNeese’s opening drive. Three plays later Austin Chipoletti found Cameron Livingston for a 48-yard touchdown to give the ‘Cats the opening lead. WSU’s two-point conversion failed and the ‘Cats led 6-0. However, it was all McNeese State after that as the Cowboys scored 43 unanswered points to seal the win.
The Cowboys finished the game with 585 yards of total offense, compared to 308 for the Wildcats. McNeese State had 363 yards of rushing. Five of McNeese State’s touchdowns were plays of more than 40 yards.

DEFENSIVE STRUGGLES
The Wildcats are giving up an average of 55.8 points per game in four games this season, which ranks last in the Big Sky and 121st in the nation. WSU is also last in the conference in rushing defense, passing defense and total defense. WSU is giving up an average of 591 yards of total offense per game.

‘CATS HAVE PLAYED ONE OF TOUGHEST SCHEDULES
The Wildcats have faced one of the toughest schedules in the nation in the four games played this season. According to the Sagarin ratings Weber State has played the 34th most difficult schedule in all of Division I college football, including FBS and FCS. The schedule ranks as the eighth most difficult in nation in FCS football. All three teams the Wildcats have played on the road are ranked in the top 100 in the Sagarin ratings in all of Division I football.

NO FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS FOR WILDCATS
After four games this season Weber State has not attempted a field goal. The Wildcats are one of only seven teams in the nation that have not attempted a field goal this year. Weber State and Colgate are the only two teams in the nation that have played four games and not attempted a field goal. WSU’s opponent this week, Sacramento State, has not made a field goal this season and is 0-5 on the year.

SCORELESS IN SECOND QUARTER
The Wildcats have not scored a point in the second quarter in any of the four games this season. WSU has been outscored 76-0 in the second quarter in the four games. This week’s opponent, Sacramento State, has not scored a point in the third quarter in four games and has been outscored 31-0 in that quarter.
The Wildcats have scored 29 points in the first quarter in four games this season. They scored 29 points in the first quarter in all 11 games last year.

ANTHONY MORALES MOVING UP RECORD LISTS
Weber State senior Anthony Morales recorded 10 tackles in Saturday’s game at McNeese State, posting four solo tackles and six assisted tackles. With the 10 tackles Morales moved into the top 10 in WSU history in career tackles. In 34 career games the senior captain now has 279 career total tackles, moving him past Scott Shields into 10th in WSU history. He needs nine more tackles to pass former Wildcat teammate Nick Webb for ninth on the career list.
Morales, a native of Edmond, Okla., is leading the Wildcats and ranks seventh in the Big Sky in tackles at 9.2 per game. He was a preseason All-American and All-Conference selection.

CAREER NIGHT FOR LUKE KING
WSU sophomore linebacker Luke King had a career night in Saturday’s game at McNeese State. King led the Wildcats with a career-high 11 tackles in Saturday’s game, recording five solo tackles and six assisted tackles. He also recorded his first career sack and his first career forced fumble in the game.
King, a native of Salt Lake City, is fourth on the Wildcat team in tackles at 6.8 per game, ranking 22nd in the Big Sky.

JAMES WASHINGTON WITH STRONG DEFENSIVE NIGHT
Weber State got another big night from junior defensive tackle James Washington. The Kearns, Utah native had four tackles in the game with the Cowboys, including two tackles for loss. He also recorded WSU’s first sack of the season and has his first career forced fumble and fumble recovery.
On the season Washington is averaging 3.3 tackles per game. He has played in 22 career games at Weber State.

BO BOLEN MOVING UP WILDCAT RECORD LISTS
On the offensive side of the ball WSU junior Bo Bolen finished Saturday’s game with 122 all-purpose yards. He had a season-high 90 yards rushing on 15 attempts, including one rush of 45 yards. Bolen also had three receptions for 32 yards and had his first career punt return.
The Aurora, Colo., native passed Fine Unga and moved into fifth place in Weber State history in career all-purpose yards with 3,991 yards. He trails Trevyn Smith, Bryant Eteuati, Tim Toone and Nick Chournos on the career all-purpose list. Bolen is also now 21st in WSU history in career rushing yards with 2,064 yards and ranks third in career kickoff return average.
This season Bolen leads the Big Sky and is 16th in the nation in kickoff return average at 28.8 yards per game. He ranks fifth in the conference and 36th in the country in all-purpose yards at 128.8 per game.

AUSTIN CHIPOLETTI THROWS FIRST CAREER TOUCHDOWN
WSU freshmen Austin Chipoletti started for the second consecutive game Saturday at McNeese State and threw his first career touchdown pass. On just the third play of the game for the Wildcat offense, Chipoletti found Cameron Livingston for a 48-yard touchdown completion. It was also the first career touchdown for Livingston.
Chipoletti, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., finished Saturday’s game 8-27 passing for 85 yards and the one touchdown, in addition to two interceptions. He also rushed for a season-high 47 yards on 19 attempts. In four games this season the true freshman is 26-57 passing for 186 yards and has rushed for 56 yards.

WILDCATS IN BIG SKY OPENERS
The Wildcats will open Big Sky play Saturday against Sacramento State. Weber State is 22-28 all-time in Big Sky Conference opening games, and is 18-11 when opening the Big Sky season at home. The Wildcats have opened the conference season at home in each of the last four seasons. They won the first three before falling 32-26 to Eastern Washington in last year’s Big Sky opener.

WSU IN HOMECOMING GAMES
Saturday’s game is not only the Big Sky opener but it is also the annual Homecoming game for the Wildcats. Weber State is 23-28 all-time in Homecoming games. The Wildcats had won four straight Homecoming games before falling to Eastern Washington last season. This will the third Homecoming game against Sacramento State. The ‘Cats beat the Hornets for Homecoming in 2005 and 2009.

AROUND THE BIG SKY
Once again five Big Sky teams are ranked in the top 25 in the nation as the league opens conference play this week. Weber State’s next opponent, Eastern Washington, is 2-1 on the season and ranked second in the nation. They will play at No. 4 Sam Houston State Saturday. Montana is 3-0 on the season and ranked seventh in the country. Montana State is 2-2 following a loss to Stephen F. Austin Saturday. Cal Poly is ranked 18th and Northern Arizona is 24th in the latest polls.
There are six Big Sky games this weekend to open conference play.

WSU INJURY REPORT
WSU junior wide receiver Shaydon Kehano suffered a leg injury during fall camp and is expected to miss another one to two weeks of action. Kehano suffered a similar injury to the same leg last season in the third game of the year and missed the rest of the season. He earned Big Sky All-Conference honors as a sophomore in 2011 and has appeared in 20 career games at WSU.
WSU senior wide receiver Kela Marciel ruptured his patella tendon in his left knee last week in practice and will miss the rest of the season. Freshman Ryan Tuiasoa suffered an right ankle sprain in the game at Utah and will miss the rest of the season.

ABOUT SACRAMENTO STATE
Sacramento State opens Big Sky play Saturday night against the Wildcats and like Weber State, enters the conference schedule with a 1-3 record. The Hornets started the year with two FBS road games, losing 24-0 at Sacramento State and 55-0 at Arizona State. They picked up their first win of the season Sept. 14 with a 63-56 overtime win over Southern Oregon. They are coming off a 24-24 overtime loss to Southern Utah last week in a non-conference game in Sacramento.
The Hornets are ninth in the league in scoring offense, averaging 21 points per game. They rank 12th in the league in defense at 39.8 points a game and are 12th in total defense, allowing 458.2 yards a game. They rank third in the Big Sky in first downs, averaging 20.8 per game and they are last in the league in turnover margin at -7. Sacramento State is a perfect 12-12 on the season on extra points but the Hornets have not made a field goal in five attempts this season. Sacramento State has also not scored a point in the third quarter in any game this season.
Individually, senior Ezekiel Graham is fourth in the Big Sky in rushing yardage at 75.8 yards per game and is third in the conference in all-purpose yards at 138.0 per game. Graham also leads the conference in punt return average at 8.8 per return. Junior quarterback Garrett Safron is sixth in the league in passing yards at 219 per game and ranks second in the conference in touchdown passes with nine. Safron is also fifth in the league in total offense.
Morris Norrise is fifth and DeAndre Carter ranks eighth in the Big Sky in receptions per game. Carter is third in the league in scoring. Senior Todd Davis ranks fourth in the conference in tackles at 9.5 per game.
The Hornets finished 6-5 last season and were 4-4 in Big Sky play, finishing in a tie for fifth in the league standings. They were picked to finish sixth this season in the preseason polls.

Head Coach MARSHALL SPERBECK
The Hornets are coached by Marshall Sperbeck who is in his seventh season as head coach at Sacramento State. During that span Sperbeck has compiled a 31-40 overall record with the Hornets. No coach in Sac State history has won more games overall or in conference in their first six seasons than Sperbeck. He has a career record of 22-26 in Big Sky games and is 2-4 against Weber State.

SERIES HISTORY
Weber State holds an 11-6 all-time series edge over Sacramento State and the Wildcats are a perfect 8-0 against the Hornets in Ogden. The two teams have met each season since 1996 when Sacramento State joined the Big Sky. The Wildcats have won four of the last six meetings overall between the two teams.

LAST MEETING - 10/14/12 - OGDEN - SAC 19, WSU 14
Sacramento State defeated Weber State 19-14 on Oct. 14, 2012 last season at Hornet Stadium.
Sacramento State finished with 310 yards of total offense, compared to 237 by the Wildcats. Defensively Weber State played one of its finest games of the season. The Wildcats had seven tackles for loss, including two sacks by Trevor Pletcher. Weber State also forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles. Anthony Morales finished with 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and one forced fumble.
The game was tied 7-7 at halftime when the Hornets responded with 12-straight points and led 19-7 with 7:12 to play.
Trailing by 12 Weber State converted on a fourth and three with a 17-yard pass from Mike Hoke to Erik Walker to cut the Hornet lead to 19-14 with 3:59 to play. However, the Wildcats were unable to stop the Hornets from reaching a first down and Sacramento State ran out the clock for the win.
Offensively Hoke finished the day 19-35 for 135 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception, but he was sacked five times by the Hornets. C.J. Tuckett led the rushing attack with 20 carries for 64 yards and one touchdown.



TEAM CAPTAINS
Coach Sears has selected four team captains for the season. Bo Bolen, Anthony Morales, Connor Myers and Shelton Robinson will serve as the Wildcat team captains for the year. Morales is serving as captain for the third straight season. Combined the four players have appeared in 112 games for Weber State.

WILDCATS COME FROM ALL OVER
Weber State’s roster this season includes players from 13 states and Canada. A total of 25 of WSU’s roster come from the state of Utah. The ‘Cats have 14 players coming from the state of Florida and 13 from California. Eight players come from Idaho, six from Hawaii, five from Oklahoma and four from Texas. The ‘Cats also have players from Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington, as well as one from Alberta, Canada.

COACHING STAFF CHANGES
The Wildcats made several key changes to the coaching staff in the offseason. Steve Morton returns for his second season with the Wildcats and was elevated to the position of Associate Head Coach. He also continues to coach the offensive line.
Robin Pflugrad, a former head coach at Montana, joined the program in February as the new offensive coordinator. Pflugrad brings nearly 30 years of coaching experience to Weber State, including several years coaching in the Big Sky. Pflugrad has brought a new up-tempo offense to the Wildcats this season.
Eric Lewis is the new defensive coordinator for the Wildcats. Lewis is in his second season as an assistant at Weber State and also coaches the secondary.

LOOKING AHEAD
After Saturday’s game the ‘Cats will be back on the road for two-straight games, beginning next week at Eastern Washington. The Eagles are currently ranked second in the nation. Following that game the ‘Cats will play at Cal Poly Oct. 12. The Mustangs are currently 18th in the nation.
WSU will next be home on Oct. 19 to host Montana State.

 

 


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