Weber State football: Wildcats blown out by Sacramento State on homecoming night
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
OGDEN — They say home is where the heart is, but for the Weber State Wildcats (1-4), being at home didn't mean all that much. On homecoming night Saturday, Weber State dropped its fourth-consecutive game, 31-3, to Sacramento State (2-3) in front of a packed, disappointed crowd at Stewart Stadium.
After a decent first quarter, the second quarter was a train wreck for the purple and white. The Wildcats had three three-and-outs, coughed up two turnovers, lost an onside kick, lost 6 yards on an attempted punt that gave the Hornets the ball back on WSU's 15-yard line, and gave up 14 points.
"They kind of had a snowball effect on us, and things didn't get worked out quite like we wanted to," said Weber State quarterback Austin Chipoletti. "We've just got to come out, focus and finish the little things."
When the Hornets got the ball with just 3:05 remaining in the first half, it was still a 0-0 ballgame. After a couple of bursts out of the backfield by Demetrius Warren, Sacramento State drew first blood with a 15-yard TD pass from Garrett Safron to DeAndre Carter.
Following yet another WSU three-and-out, Tony Epperson was sent out to punt the ball back to the Hornets with just 20 seconds remaining in the half.
Epperson received the snap, scrambled out of the pocket in what looked like an attempt to waste some time, tried to kick it on the run and was left with loss of minus-6 yards, giving SSU the ball back inside the red zone.
On the very next play, Safron rifled another pass to Carter in the back of the end zone to put the visiting team up 14-0 with 13 ticks left in the half.
The Hornets quickly scored a couple of TDs in the third quarter to take a commanding lead as fans slowly started to shuffle out of the stadium.
The 'Cats eventually got downfield and chipped in its first field goal of the season, a 42-yarder from Carson Fackrell, to at least put the home team on the board.
However, it was mostly much of the same sloppy play in the second half, as the Wildcats gave up another turnover, scored just three points and gave up 17 more in the lopsided 28-point loss. It was WSU's worst home loss in nine years.
"We need to spend more time on it and make more emphasis of (turnovers). We had a great week of practice, but that doesn't guarantee you anything," said head coach Jody Sears. "We've got to have the mental fortitude and the mental leadership and toughness carry over from practice to games."
Deon'tae Florence, who just transferred to Weber State from Boise State, was a bright spot for the Wildcats. He finished the night with two picks to anchor the defense.
Weber State will next travel to Roos Field in Eastern Washington to take on the Eagles at 6 p.m. Saturday night.
Ryan Love is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying communications. He has been a part-time sports reporter and scoreboarder for the Deseret News since Oct. 2012.
Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724
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