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‘Cats check out competition in Cali

For the first time since 2016, Weber State University’s football team suffered consecutive losses, falling to James Madison University on Sept. 18 and UC Davis on Sept. 25.

After the gut-wrenching 17–14 loss to the Aggies, the ‘Cats fell in the FCS Stats Perform Media Poll from No. 14 to the No. 19 spot.

Weber State heads to Cal Poly in search of a victory after back-to-back losses.
Weber State heads to Cal Poly in search of a victory after back-to-back losses. Photo credit: Weber State Athletics

Weber State hopes to clean up some penalty issues that proved game-changing against UC Davis.

“If you told me we were going to lose the turnover margin 3–0 to UC Davis, I would’ve told you we don’t have a shot,” Wildcat head coach Jay Hill said. “We still should’ve won that game.”

The ‘Cats had a roughing the passer call, which negated an interception made by senior safety Braxton Gunther, and a pass interference call, which set up UC Davis’ game-winning touchdown.

Hill is confident in the state of his defense, which has kept the team in games this season.

“The defense has done some things in the last two weeks that are as good as anybody in the country,” he said.

The defense held James Madison to just 109 yards in the first half and gave up just 111 to UC Davis through one half of the game.

Coach Hill was more critical of the offense and said he felt the game against UC Davis should’ve been 21–7 at the half, not 7–7.

“We’ve got to hit the plays that are there to be made,” Hill said.

Sophomore quarterback Kylan Weisser threw two interceptions to go along with his lone touchdown pass.

“The reality is we need our quarterbacks to take care of the ball a little bit better,” Hill said. “We need to get Bronson back and Kylan playing at a little bit better level.”

Now the team heads to San Luis Obispo, California, to take on California Polytechnic State University, and Weber State leads the all-time series between the two teams 9–6.

Cal Poly is led by head coach Beau Baldwin, who previously coached at Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University and the University of California, Berkeley.

“He’s had to go through some quarterback injury issues,” Hill said. “He’s doing a good job of trying to get his guys in position to make plays. I don’t see it as a far departure off what he believed in at Eastern and Cal.”

Weisser will be back under center for the ‘Cats against Cal Poly. He’s thrown two touchdowns to two interceptions on the season and is completing 59.65% of his passes.

The current Weber State football roster continues to rewrite the university’s record books.

Junior running back Josh Davis surpassed 3,000 rushing yards against the Aggies and now ranks No. 4 on the Wildcats’ all-time rushing yards list, just behind Lee White by 16 yards.

Senior wide receiver Rashid Shaheed is ranked No. 3 in the nation in kickoff return yardage, averaging 41.3 yards per return this season. Shaheed only needs one more kickoff return touchdown to set the all-time FCS record with what would be his seventh.

Win or lose, records broken or not, the team is riding with each other.

“I trust every teammate around me,” sophomore cornerback Eddie Heckard said. “I look to my left and my right, in front of me and behind me. We know what little mistakes we have to fix. We’re still the same team, and I feel like we’re still the team to beat.”

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