At 2-2, Sacramento State football coach Marshall Sperbeck can see plenty of growth. But he also can see gaps in the Hornets' performance. To him, the first third of the season has been about establishing one thing: consistency.
"I really think it's just consistency," Sperbeck said in his weekly Big Sky Conference coaches call. "We've had some good moments and some moments we'd obviously like to have back. That's the case with a lot of teams early and still in development.
"I'd say the biggest thing for us is consistency as a football team."
The Hornets are 1-1 at home, on the road and in the Big Sky. They face another team Saturday, Idaho State, that likes to throw the ball. The kickoff for the game in Pocatello, Idaho, is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
The Bengals (1-2, 0-0 Big Sky) are averaging 355.3 yards passing per game with 164 passes thrown in their three games. They are coming off a 73-7 loss at Nebraska.
The team's lone victory came against NCAA Division II Black Hills State, while its other loss came at Air Force.
While the Bengals' offense puts up big numbers, the defense gives up bigger ones: Defensively, Idaho State has allowed 465.7 yards and 42.3 points per game. The Bengals struggle with run defense, coach Mike Kramer said.
"We're anxious to return to speed on our level," Kramer said on the Big Sky coaches call. "Sac State will be another rough (defensive) test. I'm really concerned with our run defense. We're 120th in the country. Yes, we've played Air Force and Nebraska, but throughout my career at ISU, through 14 games, our run defense has been substandard. We've got to be much better at run defense."
Hornets running back Ezekiel Graham had 140 yards his career high as a Hornet and 11th all-time for Sac State rushing in a 35-13 loss to North Dakota last Saturday. He's been a consistent ball carrier, averaging 5.3 yards per carry while amassing a team-leading 348 yards.
More Magleby Del Oro High School graduate and University of Nevada transfer quarterback Mason Magleby came on for the final series of the North Dakota game and completed 6 of 7 passes for 74 yards. He capped the drive with a 10-yard pass that deflected off wide receiver Austin Dotson's hands and was caught by Shane Harrison in the end zone. The touchdown was the first for both Hornets.
Magleby transferred to Sac State after spending three years (one redshirt) at Nevada. He missed the majority of training camp this summer because of a back injury but returned to practice during the first week of the season.
UC Davis looking to run Since rushing for 176 yards in the season opener against Azusa Pacific, UC Davis' next-highest output was last Saturday (84 yards) against Cal Poly. The Aggies are averaging 93 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 103rd in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
"We had a great game plan and then we went into a lull," coach Bob Biggs said of last Saturday's 28-20 defeat in San Luis Obispo. "We moved the ball but then couldn't finish. We struck with a 70-yarder and then went into that lull."
It was actually a 67-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Randy Wright to Corey Galindo.
The Aggies are consistently good in one area and that's avoiding penalties. They are eighth in the FCS for fewest penalty yards per game at 33.5 and tied for 11th for fewest penalties per game at 4.5.
"We're not hurting ourselves," Biggs said. "We just need to find more consistency."
Perhaps that will come against 0-4 Weber State at home Saturday. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.
Everything's all white In their road losses at San Jose State and Cal Poly, the Aggies wore both white jerseys and pants.
Retired assistant coach Fred Arp told UCD's media relations staff that it's the first time the Aggies had worn all white in at least 45 years.
The Aggies will wear their traditional gold pants and dark blue jerseys Saturday against Weber State.