Las Vegas oddsmakers follow a not-so-secret formula for teams coming off huge upsets bet against them. Sacramento State hopes to defy those odds this weekend when the Hornets host the Northern Colorado Bears at 2 p.m.
Last season, the Hornets upset Oregon State in Corvallis 29-28 in overtime and dropped their next two. After last Saturday's 30-28 upset victory over the Colorado Buffaloes, Hornets coach Marshall Sperbeck was quick to guard against another letdown.
"Coming into that next week (2011 after the Oregon State win) a lot of it was our kids weren't used to that kind of attention because we hadn't beaten a team like that in our program's history," Sperbeck said in a weekly Big Sky teleconference. "There were a lot of firsts, and I think the other thing is, the kids started getting ahead of themselves a little bit as far as thinking down the road. Hopefully, we've learned from that and we just have to focus in on right now and this week. I hope we can do a better job with handling our success than we did last year."
Kicker Edgar Castaneda, whose last-second, 30-yard field goal defeated the Pacific-12 Conference Buffaloes said he has done more than 30 media interviews this week. By Tuesday, Sperbeck was ready to put a cap on the coverage to focus on Northern Colorado (1-1).
Northern Colorado is a member of the Big Sky Conference but Saturday's contest counts as a nonconference game. The Bears were defeated 41-0 by Utah in their season opener, but last Saturday they beat Division II Colorado Mesa 40-3, ending a 12-game losing streak dating back to last season's 0-11 team.
After beating Oregon State in the 2011 season opener, the Hornets lost at Southern Utah 35-14 and at Weber State 49-17 en route to a 4-7 season.
Aggies hope to rebound
UC Davis coach Bob Biggs praised his team's efforts in the first half of last Saturday's game at San Jose State but says it was an interception that swung the momentum back to the Spartans, who beat the Aggies 45-13.
"We slugged them in the mouth and had them on their heels," Biggs said. "We could have gone up 10 or 14 or 17 points, but we gave them the chance to regroup and they came out in the second half and got their run game going. It was hard to keep up from there."
The Aggies gave up 35 unanswered points, including 21 in the third quarter, after scoring on their first possession.
Despite the interception, Aggies quarterback Randy Wright is zeroing in on history. His 194 yards passing against the Spartans put him at 5,042 career passing yards. He needs just 345 more to push inside the Aggies' top 10 all-time list.
He's already 10th on that list with 420 completions and 726 attempts. With four more touchdown tosses, he'll also break into the top 10 in that category.
Among active NCAA Football Championship Subdivision quarterbacks, Wright is ranked 10th in passing yards per game (210.1), 11th for career yards, 13th for completions and 16th for touchdowns.
Wright and the Aggies visit South Dakota State on Saturday in Brookings, S.D. Kickoff is at noon. The Aggies are 2-3 all-time at South Dakota State and are hoping to win the coin toss. The Aggies won the coin toss in their first two games and scored on their opening drives.