Football Hits Road For Third Straight Week
Sept. 24, 2007
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007 • 6:05 p.m. PDT/7:05 p.m. MDT
Alex G. Spanos Stadium (11,750) •
Series Record: Cal Poly, 5-2
Last Meeting: October 1, 2005; CPU 31-14
Career Record: 14-18-1 (4th Year)
Record vs Cal Poly: 0-0
Cal Poly: Rich Ellerson (
Record at Cal Poly: 43-29 (7th Year)
Career Record: 47-36 (8th Year)
Troy Coverdale, play-by-play
Chris Ott, color analyst
Both Cal Poly and
This will be the eighth meeting between
For the first time this season, there are no players on the Cal Poly roster that went to school with any member of the
2007 Cal Poly Schedule
Sept. 1 at
Sept. 8 at
Sept. 15 WEBER STATE W, 47-19
Oct. 13 *at UC Davis 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 *at
Oct. 27 at
Nov. 3 *at
Nov. 10 *NORTH DAKOTA STATE 4:05 p.m.
*Indicates Great West Football Conference Game
Five And Twenty
Against Northern Arizona on Saturday, five different receivers caught passes for 20 or more yards. Junior tight end Ryan Chesla caught four passes for 60 yards and a long of 34 yards, while junior wide receiver Cory Fauver caught three for 41 yards and a long of 20. Senior wide receiver Andy Birkel snagged three passes for 37 yards and a long of 22, while junior running back David Woods caught two for 47 yards and a long of 28. Senior tight end Clint Wright also caught two passes for 26 yards with a touchdown and a long reception of 23 yards. Last season, the Bears never had more than three players catch a pass for 20 or more yards in the same game, in fact, the last time NC had five players with receptions or 20 or more came back on Oct. 18, 2003 at Florida Atlantic, a 21-19 loss.
Slow But Steady
The Bears offensive production has seen improvement during each of the first four games in the first quarter. Against Hawai'i, NC had 15 yards of offense, while they tallied 35 against Chadron State, 121 at San Diego and 132 in the Big Sky opener against Northern Arizona on Saturday.
It Might Not Show On The Board
Last year through four games, the Bears were 1-3, while this season they are 0-4, but a better team in most areas. Below is a chart of last season's statistics through four games compared with this year's numbers.
2007 2006 Change
First Downs 61 60 +1
Points Per Game 8.2 13.0 -4.8
Rushing Yardage 362 348 +14
Total Offense 1055 1050 +5
Interception Returns 4-57 1-0 +3-57
Opponent Int Ret. 3-31 6-98 +3-67
Kick Return Avg. 20.5 17.3 +3.2
Opp. Punt Ret. Avg. 13.5 18.0 +4.5
Opp. Fumbles 10 5 +5
Avg. Per Punt 40.9 34.1 +6.8
Opp. Third Down Conv. 36% 44% +8%
Sacks 3 3 Even
Opponent Sacks 9 10 +1
Red-Zone TD 45% 44% +1%
Opp. Red Zone TD 65% 68% +3%
Frequent Flier Miles
The Bears are playing their fourth road game in five weeks and when they return home on Sunday, will have amassed 11,376 miles already this season. The season opener to Honolulu was 3,358 miles, while it was 869 to San Diego, 523 to Flagstaff and will be another 938 this week to San Luis Obispo. Next week's trip seems short in comparison, as it is just 434 miles to Pocatello, Idaho.
Strength Of The Defense
If you asked anyone prior to the start of the 2007 season what the strength of the Northern Colorado defense would be, most people would have stated the linebacker corp. On Saturday against Northern Arizona, for the third time since head coach Scott Downing took over, two linebackers recorded more than 10 tackles in the game, as junior Cristian Sarmento led the team with 13 and junior Joe Kenney tallied 11. Sarmento currently leads the team with 36 tackles on the year, while Kenney is tied for second with senior DB D.J. Craft at 26.
Several key players were injured in the Northern Arizona game and are questionable for the game against Cal Poly. John Eddy suffered a right ankle injury, while Korey Askew injured his left leg and Quincy Wofford his right leg.
Both junior Brian Barmann, sophomore Tyrone Wilson and freshman Ryan Kemp recorded their first catches of the season against Northern Arizona, bringing the total to 14 different players who have caught a pass in a game this year for the Bears. Senior Andy Birkel leads the team with 19 catches, while both Cory Fauver and Ryan Chesla have caught 14 passes.
New Look Bears
When freshman defensive tackles Amal Gumbs and Dominique Ceja started against Northern Arizona on Saturday, they became the 14th and 15th different players to make their first career start this season. At San Diego, both junior wide receiver Cory Fauver and freshman running back Dan Freismuth made their first starts, while DT Martin Awatchie, TE Andrew Emmerling, WR Jeff Vaden and QB Mike Vlahogeorge started for the first time against Chadron State and WR Jason Caprioli, OL Eric Christensen, DE John Eddy, DE Joe Silipo, CB Quincy Wofford, RB David Woods and OL James Zapp all started against Hawai'i.
I'd Like To Return This Please
For the last two seasons, head coach Scott Downing has saw something in his defensive players he likes for the return game. In 2006, Derek Gainey returned 16 of the team's 39 kickoffs for 312 yards (19.5 per return) and Aaron Henderson returned 10 of the team's 12 punt returns for 42 yards. This year, Eric Brown has eight of the team's 22 returns for 207 yards (25.9 per return) in the last three games and ranks fourth in the Big Sky Conference with his 25.9 per return average.
Junior defensive end Mark Rodden, who spent his first two seasons with the Bears on the offensive line, notched the longest interception return of the year, picking off San Diego for 25 yards. NC has four interceptions in four games, as senior defensive back D.J. Craft has a 24-yard interception return against Chadron State and both freshmen C.J. Stemo and Max Hewitt picked off passes against Hawai'i.
Northern Colorado ranks fourth in the Big Sky Conference in opponent third-down conversions, allowing the opponent to convert on just 35.8 percent of its attempts on third downs (19-of-53). Montana, Weber State and Northern Arizona rank first through third, respectively in the league.
By The Numbers
Junior linebacker Joe Kenney recorded the 150th tackle of his career at Northern Arizona and now has 152... Junior quarterback Mike Vlahogeorge is just 33 yards shy of passing for 500 in his first season with the Bears... Senior punter Rafael Mendoza has punted for 1,226 yards this season, bringing his career total to 5,837 yards just 163 yards shy of 6,000.
Redshirt freshman Joe Silipo had a breakout game against the San Diego Toreros, recording a career-high six tackles which included a sack for a four-yard loss and a forced fumble on the same play. He also tallied 2.5 tackles for a loss of 13 yards in the game.
For the third time since head coach Scott Downing took over the reins, two players recorded over 100 all-purpose yards in the same game as junior running back David Woods tallied 180 and senior wide receiver Andy Birkel had 101.
Thank You Fans
Northern Colorado had 6,684 fans in attendance at the season home opener against Chadron State. It is the third-best attended home opener at a Big Sky stadium this season (23,599 - Montana vs Southern Utah; 12,022 - Portland State vs UC Davis) and bests the stadiums all-time average attendance of 5,202.
All New Conference Call
For the first time in Big Sky Conference history, the league will sponsor a weekly conference call with the nine head coaches. The call will take place on Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon (Mountain) beginning Sept. 5. Northern Colorado head coach Scott Downing will fill the fifth time slot from 10:02 to 10:10.
10:30-10:38 John Zamberlin, Idaho State 11:10-11:18 Jerome Souers, Northern Arizona
10:38-10:46 Bobby Hauck, Montana 11:18-11:26 Paul Wulff, Eastern Washington
10:46-10:54 Ron McBride, Weber State 11:26-11:34 Marshall Sperbeck, Sacramento St.
10:54-11:02 Rob Ash,
11:02-11:10 Scott Downing, No.
In a vote by the players,
There are 90 players on the 2007 roster and 70 of them attended high school in
Fountain Of Youth
True Freshmen: 25
Redshirt Freshmen: 19
All In The Family
The Bears sport two pair of brothers currently on the roster in Matt (Fr-LB) and Mike (Jr-QB) Vlahogeorge, and Justin (So-RB) and Korey (So-DB) Askew but there are several other members of the team who had brothers on previous year's teams. Senior linebacker Asa Matthew's brother Adam played for the Bears from 1999-2003, while senior nose guard Vinny Pallone's brother Dominic played for the Bears from 1996-00.