Cal Poly football prepares for San Jose State on the road in week two

Posted at 8:28 PM, Sep 05, 2023

On Saturday Sept. 2, the Cal Poly Mustangs opened up their 2023 campaign with a win and while it wasn’t perfect, the team looked heads and shoulders above the team that took the field last season as the offense put up a total of 460 yards while the defense didn’t allow a touchdown in a 27-10 win.

In addition, first year head coach Paul Wulff got his first win at the helm of the program.

“It's always fun to win and in particularly the players, to actually kind of showcase and test yourself,” Wulff said.

While on paper the defense executed well, for co-defensive coordinator Cody Von Appen, there’s still much to clean up before they take on FBS opponent San Jose State.

“Our overall tackling, we missed a bunch of tackles in that game," Von Appen explained. "Guys were taking poor angles to the football and then just our details with our finishes in coverage, especially just guys finishing in phase.”

This week, the defense will have their hands full with Spartans quarterback Chevan Cordeiro who was picked as the Mountain West Preseason offensive player of the year after an all-conference season in 2022. So far this season in two losses to No. 6 University of Southern California and No. 18 Oregon State University, Cordeiro has thrown for 350 yards and three touchdowns as well as rushed for 118 yards.

“Keeping the ball in front of us and keeping him in the pocket is going to be a huge goal for our guys," Von Appen explained. "We've got to be very conscious on how we rush him with our front four and then when we pressure him, just making sure that we contain him and keep him in the pocket because he's very dangerous with his legs.”

“He's a veteran player and he's played in a lot of games," Wulff added. "Back-to-back weeks facing USC and Oregon State, I think he'll be ready to go.”

Offensively, the team made big plays across the board including an 87 yard pass from quarterback Sam Huard to transfer sophomore tight end Carlton Brown.

“Whenever you have the ability to make big plays, it gives you a shot in any game,” Wulff explained.

Despite an impressive start on the stat sheet, the team missed out on multiple redzone opportunities going 4/6 including a failed 4th down conversion and a fumble on the goal line. Against San Jose State, they'll need those points.

“It's a good step to get to the red zone and then put ourselves in position to score points. That's number one," Wulff laughed. "Then just growing the efficiency of scoring points when we get in there.”

Growing pains are still very much apart of this team but in week one, potential impact players started to rear their heads early as the team looks to mature and improve.

Kick off against San Jose State University at CEFCU Stadium set for 1 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

San Jose State is 3-0 against Cal Poly at the Division I level with their last meeting in 2017. The Mustangs last win against an FBS opponent was Sept. 15, 2012 when they defeated Wyoming 24-22.