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STORY BY STEVE SCHAACK-ISU MEDIA RELATIONS
POCATELLO, Idaho- In what turned out to be an offensive shootout, the Idaho State football team lost 52-45 to UC Davis on Saturday evening at Holt Arena in front of a crowd of 5,212.
Both teams combined for 1,069 yards of offense, with UC Davis tallying 640 total yards and the Bengals 429. ISU's Kevin Yost was 29-for-41 with a career-high five touchdown passes and 374 passing yards. Rodrick Rumble had seven catches for 142 yards and a touchdown while Luke Austin caught four passes for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
Josh Hill caught 10 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown and Cameron Richmond caught six passes for 63 yards and one touchdown.
Phil Pleasant, Mitch Beckstead, Demetrius Allen, Trevor Spence, Cameron Gupton and Leki Fuapau all had career high nights in tackles. Pleasant had 22 tackles, Beckstead 20, Allen, 14, Spence eight, Gupton eight and Fuapau seven. Spence also had a sack, tackle for loss, pass break up and a quarterback hurry.
The game was back and forth early as UC Davis jumped out to a 7-0 lead with eight minutes left in the first quarter after a 55-yard run by Courtney Williams. Less than a minute later, Yost hit Rumble in stride on a 67-yard touchdown strike to tie the game with 7:32 to play in the quarter.
After a 44-yard field by the Aggies, Hill scored on an eight-yard touchdown reception from Yost with 29 seconds left in the quarter. The Bengals only points in the second quarter was a 37-yard field goal by Brendon Garcia with 1:45 left in the first half while UC Davis scored touchdowns, one with 10:22 left in the second quarter and another with 17 seconds left in the half when quarterback Randy Wright found Anthony Soto open on a 42-yard reception.
UC Davis jumped out to a 38-24 lead with 5:04 left in the third quarter. The Bengals were able to get within a touchdown three different times in the second half.
With 3:47 left in the game Richmond caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Yost. The defense was in a position to make a stop in the final two minutes of the game but was called for an offsides penalty, sealing the Aggie win.
Idaho State returns to the field next Saturday at Northern Colorado for a 1:35 kickoff.
Mike Kramer Quotes
"A wonderful effort coming off about as ugly thing that could have happened last week. It was a wonderful effort by our 88 players, our 12 coaches, equipment, everybody. We spilled our guts on every play. I couldn't be more proud. Give Davis a lot of credit. We could not stop their power play. We grew a lot today and I am much more proud of where we are as a program today than I was last Saturday night."
On going for it on 4th down in the fourth quarter
"If we didn't get it, that would have been game set match. We had three time outs left and we had an opportunity on the last drive with three timeouts left to get a stop and we jumped off sides. It is amazing how you come from 67 point loss to one guy jumping off sides. That is a tribute to our team and how much we grew in a week. We didn't fold or bury our head in the sand. The key play of the game came at the end of the first half when I ran a defense I haven't called in 10 days. We didn't play it correctly, we paid the price for it and I called it. That is my responsibility. We want our players in this program to be accountable and I am accountable for that call. We asked Jake Pele to cover their No. 3 wide receiver in an empty set in the middle of the field and that touchdown turned out to be the difference in the day. We tried to play the most safe defense we could play and we prevented ourselves from being able to win because we played a defense we just have not played."
On last second touchdown at end of first half
"For three games in a row we have given up a drive on the last drive of the first half. We have to find a way to get a stop."
On Improvement of Offense
"I was proud of the way the offense played. Our pass protection was much better then it has been in a long time and Kevin just played outstanding."
On teams improvement
"We made the kind of progress these kids show they have. It has to equate to a victory. They have to be rewarded for it.
To have lost to on the road to a Big Sky opponent by 67 and to lose at home by seven means we have two things going for us. We like to play at home and our crowd as small as it was inspired us today."
On Areas team has improved
"We didn't have as many pass drops. Our pass protection continues to evolve. I am so proud of our front because that is three freshmen and a sophomore that are playing well beyond their years. That is a tribute to the offensive staff."
On Luke Austin scoring touchdowns
"I asked Luke at halftime how many touchdowns he had and he responded, 'none yet.' I am proud of our receiving corp. We are a wide receiver driven offense. In the second half we demonstrated we are one of the best passing teams in the conference."
- The 67-yard touchdown reception by Rodrick Rumble was the third longest team offensive play since 2007 and it was his longest reception of his Bengal career.
- The 45 points scored by Idaho State was the eighth most points scored by a Bengal team in the last 11 years.
- Kevin Yost now has 5,083 passing yards in his career and is in eighth place. He needs 67 passing yards to pass Mike Machurek and move into seventh place. Yost has 496 career completions, ranking him third and 794 passing attempts, ranking sixth.
- Rodrick Rumble now has 179 career receptions for 2,304 yards and 14 touchdowns. His 179 receptions and ranks fourth and he needs three to move into third and pass Merril Hoge's 182 receptions. Sale' Key is second with 187 receptions. Rumble's 2,304 yards ranks fifth and he needs 63 yards to pass Akilah Lacey to move into fourth place.