After one of his toughest losses in his tenure as Sacramento State's football coach, Marshall Sperbeck has to prepare to take his team to Weber State for Saturday's Big Sky Conference opener.
Ogden, Utah, is a place where the Hornets are 0-8.
Sac State looked as if it would have some momentum entering that game during Saturday's nonconference game against visiting Southern Utah, another Big Sky team.
The Hornets played well and never trailed in regulation but lost 24-21 in overtime on Colton Cook's 38-yard field goal.
"We were very fortunate to win at Sac State," Southern Utah coach Ed Lamb said during Wednesday's Big Sky coaches' conference call. "I thought Sacramento State had really won the game a couple of times down the stretch."
Saturday, Sperbeck said the loss was "tough to swallow," but he was more philosophical Tuesday.
"It was a good football game between two evenly matched teams," Sperbeck said. "It's a game of inches and critical plays wrapped up in three hours of fun. Despite the ending, I thought we played our best game."
Now the Hornets (1-3) head for Weber State (1-3) to play a team that has been outscored on the road by a combined 183-19 in its past three games, all losses.
Two defeats were at Football Bowl Subdivision members Utah (70-7) and Utah State (70-6). Saturday, the Wildcats fell 43-6 to unbeaten McNeese State, which is ranked ninth nationally in the Football Championship Subdivision.
"They kind of went through what we did in opening with San Jose State and Arizona State," Sperbeck said. "It's going to be a tough football game."
The Hornets have lost three times at Weber State since Sperbeck took over in 2007.
"I don't think it has a lot of bearing on this team," Sperbeck said. " Good teams find a way to win on the road, bottom line."
Moving up For a former unpolished walk-on, junior quarterback Garrett Safron is proving to be a gem for the Hornets.
After completing 19 of 35 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns against Southern Utah, Safron climbed higher in several Hornets career passing categories.
The Santa Monica native is tied for third with Tony Corbin (1995-96) and Mike Sullivan (1981-83) for touchdowns with 34. Ryan Leadingham (2001-04) is the all-time leader with 50, and Jason Smith (2007-09) is second with 38.
Safron also is fourth in completions (357), sixth in passing yards (3,810) and eighth in passing attempts (536).
In a 63-56 overtime win against Southern Oregon in Week 3, Safron set a school record for touchdown passes with seven.
"Garrett has played well the last two weeks," Sperbeck said. "I've been impressed with his maturity and leadership."
Roberts inducted Former Sac State star Charles Roberts has been inducted into the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Hall of Fame.
The 5-foot-6, 177-pound running back spent most of his eight-year Canadian Football League career with Winnipeg.
Roberts rushed for 10,285 yards and 69 touchdowns and had 3,396 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. He retired at the end of the 2008 season.
Roberts (1997-2000) is Sac State's all-time rushing leader with 6,553 yards and touchdowns with 56.
NOT SO GREAT EIGHT
Since joining the Big Sky Conference, the Sacramento State football team has never won at Weber State.
1997: Weber State, 52-14
1999: Weber State, 52-49
2001: Weber State, 38-31
2003: Weber State, 26-14
2005: Weber State, 26-14
2007: Weber State, 23-7
2009: Weber State, 49-10
2011: Weber State, 49-17
Source: Sacramento State media guide
Call The Bee's Bill Paterson (916) 326-5506.