POCATELLO, Idaho – Cal Poly let a 14-point third-quarter lead slip away as Idaho State outscored the Mustangs 21-3 over the final 18 minutes for a 38-34 Big Sky Conference football victory on Saturday afternoon in Holt Arena.
The loss spoiled a brilliant rushing performance by Cal Poly junior quarterback Khaleel Jenkins, who rushed for 202 yards on 25 carries, No. 2 in Cal Poly football history for rushing yards in a single game by a quarterback. Chris Brown ran for 226 yards against Montana in 2014.
Jenkins ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more, but the Mustangs suffered their fifth straight loss to open the season, matching the 0-5 start by the 2002 Cal Poly team.
Cal Poly overcame an early 10-0 deficit with 17 second-quarter points. Casey Sublette kicked a career-long 43-yard field goal and Jenkins ran 14 and 22 yards for touchdowns and a 17-10 Mustang advantage.
Idaho State quickly scored in the final two minutes of the first half to knot the score at 17-17 at intermission. Tanner Gueller ran 30 yards to cap the 75-yard, six-play drive.
Cal Poly built a 31-17 lead in the third quarter as Jenkins hit Kyle Lewis with a 65-yard bomb on a streak pattern and Jake Smeltzer with a 13-yard pass on a crossing pattern.
A 29-yard field goal by Sublette with 11:50 to play gave Cal Poly a 34-24 lead, but Idaho State came storming back on a 30-yard pass from Gueller to Michael Dean and a two-yard run by James Madison to retake the lead, 38-34, with 6:41 to go.
Gueller threw three touchdown passes and completed 14 of 24 passes for 341 yards. Gueller also ran for 60 yards and another Bengal score.
Jenkins completed four of eight passes for 89 yards and four Mustangs caught one pass each.
Senior fullback Jared Mohamed rushed for 75 yards on 23 carries and Lewis added 53 yards on 10 trips.
Mason Montgomery, who led the Big Sky in tackles through the first four games, and Augustino Elisaia each had nine tackles for Cal Poly. Elisaia and Leroy Mealancon both recorded sacks and Darren Adjei recovered an Idaho State fumble.
Mario Jenkins notched 18 tackles for the Bengals.
Cal Poly plays on the road again next Saturday, visiting Southern Utah for a 5 p.m. (PDT) kickoff.
Photos courtesy of Julie Hillebrant, Idaho State Athletics Media Relations