HERO Sports welcomes you to "Two-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 125 FCS programs, with two being released each day from June 18 to August 18 (with the final day having three in one day). Today we give you … Cal Poly.
CAL POLY (1-10 IN 2017)
Big Sky Conference (Cal Poly was 12th in 2017)
COACH: Tim Walsh – 10th year (51-52)
2017 OFFENSE: 18.5 ppg. (99th in FCS)
2017 DEFENSE: 32.0 ppg. (102th in FCS)
SUM IT UP: Those two numbers and rankings above are ugly, but 2017 can almost be thrown away for Cal Poly as a lost season. The Mustangs were coming off a playoff appearance with high expectations, but injuries took over. All-American fullback Joe Protheroe and quarterback Khaleel Jenkins missed a majority of the season. Those are big losses considering Cal Poly runs the option. But throw those with six other starters who missed a good chunk of the year, four of which were captains, and that took its toll. Protheroe is a huge part of that offense. And with him back, Cal Poly shouldn't be sitting at the bottom of the conference anymore.
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: The Big Sky is always competitive, but it's going to crank up a notch in 2018. At least seven different teams are being talked about nationally as playoff contenders. Cal Poly hasn't been in those conversations. But with a healthy squad, the Mustangs could join that group.
TOP RETURNEE: FB Joe Protheroe (Preseason All-American, missed most of last season).
THE NEXT FIVE: QB Khaleel Jenkins (started first 5 games last year until injury); J.J. Koski (leading receiver); OL Harry Whitson (3-year starter); LB Jayson Lee (60 tackles); CB Mark Reza (41 tackles, 2 INT.)
TOP NEWCOMER: CB Kevin Howell (Nevada transfer)
DID YOU KNOW?: Pro Football Hall of Fame member John Madden played football and baseball at Cal Poly.
THE QUOTE: "There is no question we're a better football team than we were at the end of the 2017 season. There is great competition at a lot of positions and hopefully that will lead to better performances by whoever gets those positions." — Head Coach Tim Walsh said after spring football
Social Media Spotlight
The Hashtag: #RideHigh
Football Twitter: @calpolyfootball