Buzz of the Crowd: Numbers foresee success for Hornet Football

State Hornet Staff

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Usually, the start of a new fall semester at Sacramento State is full of the same sights and sounds as the year prior. Freshman anxiously move into their dorms with the excitement of getting away from their parents, faculty stress about being unprepared for their lectures and clubs push hard for new recruits.

However, the sights and sounds emanating from Hornet Stadium have changed. 

While Sac State has never before been known for having a dominant football program, but after last season, the Hornets numbers may show that changing. 

For the third time in the last five seasons, Sac State finished with six wins, the most recent coming last year with a 6-5 record. Despite five losses, two came against Football Championship Subdivision top-25 teams (Eastern Washington and Montana State), and the third was against a UC Davis team that wore its heart on its sleeve in honor of a retiring coach. Those three losses came by a combined 13 points.

Because people love to point fingers, let’s first blame the offense.

Then-sophomore quarterback Garrett Safron finished with 2,917 total yards that placed him fourth among quarterbacks in the Big Sky Conference. His 22 touchdown passes were only two behind the conference leader, Idaho State senior Kevin Yost. The Hornets’ offense also scored 14 rushing touchdowns on 163 yards per game while dividing the work among three running backs the entire season.

If it isn’t the offense’s fault, then it must be the defense.

Sac State was the fifth best defensive team in the conference, allowing their opponent 394 yards a game, and was ninth in the entire FCS in sacks. 

While the Hornets should always strive for improvements such as establishing a more consistent running game with a featured back and on the defensive side of the ball coming up with more interceptions, they finished 2012 with a winning record and their second straight win against a Pac-12 opponent. It just didn’t go their way.

This season, with a quarterback who saw success and is hungry for wins and a defense that is looking to move forward from last year’s foundation, there is no reason why football can’t capture a seven or eight win season. The numbers are there, and they don’t seem to be lying to me.

Kuhn can be reached on Twitter at @rskuhn