Hornets lose sixth-straight game in blowout

Jeremiah Martinez

Sacramento State football’s rough season continues, as the team lost its sixth-straight game after a 44-0 loss to Southern Utah University (4-2 overall, 4-0 in Big Sky Conference) on Saturday at Cedar City, Utah.

The Hornets (1-6 overall, 0-4 in conference) remain winless in Big Sky Conference play and are the only team who haven’t won a game within the conference this season.

It’s the second time this season Sac State has been shut out in a game.

Sac State coach Jody Sears said he told his team to keep their composure after the loss.

“There’s only one way to handle these situations and that is staying united,” Sears said. “There’s no magic message. There are no excuses when we don’t make plays and we don’t play as well as we should’ve.”

Saturday’s game also featured the Hornets’ true freshman quarterback Nate Ketteringham making his first collegiate start, but he struggled to drive the ball through Southern Utah’s defense.

Sears said the young quarterback played tough throughout, despite his struggles.

“That defense that he was facing, they’re very good and you got to tip your hat to them,” Sears said. “He showed so much promise today.”

Ketteringham went 14-of-31 for 117 yards and an interception.

For Southern Utah, quarterback Ammon Olsen dominated the Hornets’ defense all game, throwing for 421 yards and five touchdowns. Olsen was also efficient, throwing 27 completions on 40 attempts.

The Hornets allowed two 100-yard receivers from Mike Sharp (nine receptions, 154 yards, and three touchdowns) and Justin Brown (seven receptions, 160 yards, two touchdowns).

Southern Utah running back Malik Brown had a productive game against the Hornets, rushing for 105 yards on 16 carries.

The Thunderbirds outgained the Hornets 570-179 yards of total offense despite Sac State dominating time of possession (45:33 to 29:27).

Southern Utah’s dominating night started with scoring 21 points in the first quarter. The Thunderbirds had quick scoring possessions of seven, three and two-play drives to begin the game.

Sac State held Southern Utah on defense, stopping the Thunderbirds for eight straight drives after allowing 21 points, but the Hornets’ offense couldn’t get anything going all night.

The Hornets ran one play inside the Thunderbirds 20-yard line and failed to convert on two field goal attempts to avoid a shutout.

Running back Jordan Robinson was held in check by the Thunderbirds’ defense all game, rushing for 29 yards on 10 carries, which stopped his streak of 100-yard games at four.

Robinson averaged 2.9 yards a carry, the second lowest he has had in a game this season.

Sac State will return home next weekend, taking on another struggling team, Idaho State University, for the Hornets homecoming game.

“We need to come back home and perform very well for our students, our community and our seniors,” Sears said. “We need to have good preparation and we need to have a good week of practice…we have to go back to work and we got to play better.”

Idaho State will enter the matchup at 2-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play. The Bengals have struggled on the road with a 1-3 on the road this season.