SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Southern Utah put together a scoring drive on the opening possession of the game and led by as many as 11 points but Cal Poly quarterback Andre Broadous ran a quarterback keeper three yards with 45 seconds remaining to give the Mustangs their first lead of the game and ultimately a 31-27 win.
For just the second time this season Southern Utah scored on its first drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead. The Thunderbirds drove 60 yards in six plays, punching it in on a one-yard Deckar Alexander run.
After Cal Poly cut the deficit to 7-3 on a 33-yard James Langford field goal the Thunderbirds went up 14-3 with a 14-yard pass from Brad Sorensen to Daryl Brown.
The Thunderbirds then squandered an opportunity. After Tyler Osborne sacked Broadous and stripped the ball from him, Niock Witzman recovered the fumble on the Cal Poly 49-yard line. On SUU's first play, however, Sorensen never got a handle on the snap and fumbled it right back to the Mustangs.
Cal Poly was the beneficiary of an unnecessary roughness penalty on the first play of its ensuing drive, spotting the ball at the SUU 35-yard line. The Mustangs then ran the ball on seven straight plays, getting into the end zone and pulling within 14-10 when Broadous ran one yard up the middle for a touchdown.
SUU went back up by seven as time expired in the half when Colton Cook hit a 33-yard field goal to give the Thunderbirds a 17-10 lead at the break.
On the opening drive of the second half Cal Poly drove 76 yards in 1:19 to tie the score at 17-17. The Mustangs ran five plays, including a 47-yard Broadous run, and got the tying score on a 3-yard Jake Romanelli run.
Sorensen completed 25-of-42 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns and the Thunderbirds wound up with 70 rushing yards, with Austin Minefee carrying 12 times for 44 yards and Deckar Alexander 12 times for 33. Abbel Aiono had a team-high five receptions for 53 yards, while Minefee, Measom and Fatu Moala had four receptions each, for 54, 70 and 60 yards.
Romanelli carried 22 times for 101 yards while Broadous finished with 81 yards on 16 carries.