Best of Sac State 2022: Sac State football wins best male sports team

Sacramento State football has turned the corner in its last two seasons winning back-to-back Big Sky titles and has secured their second consecutive victory as the school’s favorite sports team in the Best of Sac State polls. 

RELATED: Sac State football crowned Big Sky champions after 27-7 victory over UC Davis

Spring ball is an offseason period where the Hornets host 15 practices and players can learn the system, fix early mistakes, and display their talent for evaluation by coaches to get moved up in the depth chart. 

“It’s competitive, that’s what it is,” said returning cornerback Prince Washington about the atmosphere of spring ball.  “Everybody wants to be the best and we know we left something on the field last year so we know next year is all we got, [we’re] thinking of it like that, so we’re trying to win and go win it all.” 

Since fall of 2018, the program has made a complete turnaround with its management, and it all started with the hiring of head coach Troy Taylor. 

Taylor has a 15-8 overall record and has only lost one game in conference play. Part of that success comes down to coaching and execution but the other half of that success is the culture and atmosphere that Taylor has helped establish while at the helm. 

“Our guys love playing football,” Taylor said. “When we recruit guys we’re looking for coaches and players that really love football, so any opportunity to practice or play, our guys love it.”

Despite it still being early in the season, Taylor said the key to succeeding as a team is consistency and not looking too far into the future or the past, but planning for everything.

At first, senior quarterback Jake Dunniway said he wondered whether their first season under the new coaching regime was a fluke or if the culture was completely set. However, he said later that last season proved that it wasn’t and now success is his new expectation. 

“Having continued success in our second season kind of proved to us that it wasn’t just a fluke, [and] that we could really do it,” Dunniway said. “Now we have a lot of guys with experience leading into this season, we know what we’re capable of.”

Although it’s only spring and the Hornets are taking things day by day, now that they have won back to back Big Sky titles and earned playoff berths in consecutive seasons, according to Dunniway, it’s not just a goal to reach a national title, he said it’s what they expect. 

The next time the Hornets play will be in their home opener against Utah Tech on Sept. 3 at Hornet stadium.