Sac State improves to 3-1 in Big Sky with win over North Dakota

Curtis Manlapig

The offense and defense of the Sacramento State football team were dominant Saturday as the Hornets took down the University of North Dakota.

Sac State won the game 31-7 behind great play from senior linebacker Todd Davis.

Davis had a solid game piling up two sacks, one interception and eight tackles.

Davis was constantly in the backfield of the UND offense and at times came through untouched. He now leads Sac State in tackles with 82.

The Hornets defense recorded five sacks, three interceptions, both of which were game highs, and one fumble recovery. Sac State gave up seven or less points for the second time this season.

Head coach Marshall Sperbeck was pleased with the way his defense bounced back after blowing a 17-point lead last week to Northern Arizona.

“We did talk about this week making sure we played for 60 minutes and staying focused for the whole night,” Sperbeck said. “I thought our defense played a heck of a game.”

Not to be outdone by Davis, Hornets junior quarterback Garrett Safron had another big game guiding the offense toward its third win in the Big Sky Conference.

Safron completed 19-24 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were rushing scores. His 18 passing touchdowns puts him fourth all time in a single-season at Sac State.

The Hornets were dominant across the board in every major offensive category.

The Hornets held the advantage over North Dakota in passing yards 202-167 and rushing yards 176-49. Sac State held the ball 15 minutes longer than UND.

Sac State’s longest drive was a 15 play 99 yard drive that lasted 7:02 in the end of the second quarter.

The Hornets longest play of the drive came on a 33-yard pass to junior wide receiver DeAndre Carter as he got his foot down in bounds just inside the sideline.

Junior running back Brandon Kellermann finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Kellermann had a career game rushing 27 times for 121 yards and one touchdown.

He and freshman running back Jordan Robinson, who went down in the second quarter with an undisclosed injury, were the primary backs for the third straight week. They combined to run 37 times for 172 yards.

“That hurt us a little bit because I thought [Robinson] was having a good game and doing some good things,” Sperbeck said. “[Kellermann] came in and got his first hundred. I was excited for him to get a few more carries.”

North Dakota’s offense was silent for most of the game. The standout trio of wide receivers, Jameer Jackson, Greg Hardin and Kenny Golladay were held to just 135 receiving yards. Their season average was 243 yards receiving per game coming into the matchup.

Sac State is now 3-1 in the Big Sky and 4-4 overall. The Hornets have no game this week and will next play Nov. 2 at home against Montana.