Fresno State non-conference preview: Cal Poly Mustangs

Troy Babbitt-US PRESSWIRE

Fresno State hosts Cal Poly out of the Big Sky on Saturday Sept. 7 at 10 p.m. ET

Fresno State hosts Cal Poly out of the Big Sky on Saturday Sept. 7 at 10 p.m. ET, and as of now there is no television details for the game. If broadcast it likely will be online as part of the Mountain West's new digital network.

Coach: Tim Walsh (26-19, fourth years with Cal Poly)

2012 record: (9-3, 7-1, co-champs of Southland)

2012 season in review: Cal Poly made a big splash in their first year of the competitive Big Sky Conference where they were co-champs of the conference and earned a FCS playoff berth. The Mustangs lost just 18-16 against eventual national runner-up Sam Houston State in the first round of the playoffs.

Their offense was one of the best at the FCS level by being No. 1 in passing efficiency, third in rushing offense with 324.2yards a game, No. 7 in scoring offense at 38.6 points per game and also had a very good offensive line that allowed just .83 sacks per game.

Returning Starters: 15

Key returning players: OT Giovanni Sani, DT Sullivan Grosz, FB Akaninyene Umoh, LB Johnny Millard, DB Bijon Samodi and PR Chris Nicholls

2013 Strengths: They return 15 total starters and also get back defensive backs Bijon Samoodi and Kevin Britt, both missed the 2012 season with injuries. Phil Steele names defensive tackle Sullivan Grosz as an All-American selection and also ranks Grosz as the 40th best player heading into the 2013 FCS season. Steele also tabs six others as an all-conference selection, and those six are listed above in the key returning player section.

2013 Weaknesses: Cal Poly does lose quarterback Andre Broadous and also running back Deonte Williams who led the Big Sky Conference in rushing last season with 1,506 yards and 12 touchdowns. Replacing those two players will not be an easy task, and the offense could take a step back in 2013.

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