Ogden • It looked like Weber State was playing somebody its own size on Saturday night at Stewart Stadium.
But nothing changed for the Wildcats.
Sacramento State quarterback Garrett Safron threw three touchdown passes to DeAndre Carter, and the Hornets blasted Weber State, 31-3, in the Big Sky Conference opener for both teams.
After consecutive losses to Utah, Utah State and undefeated McNeese State, the Wildcats appeared to match up better with the one-win Hornets than any opponent this season.
Sacramento State scored 14 points in the final 64 seconds of the first half, however, to snap a scoreless tie and take control of the game.
Weber, which has scored 22 points in its last 17 quarters, is now 1-4 with games coming up against nationally ranked Eastern Washington, Cal Poly and Montana State.
"It's hard to win a college football game," said coach Jody Sears. "Now the mental toughness has to come through."
The second quarter against Sacramento State was a disaster for the Wildcats, who squandered the game's first scoring chance when freshman Zach Smith fumbled the ball away at the Hornet 10.
"We've got to understand taking care of little details," said Sears. "That's the coaches. That's our responsibility. … We're not going to play the freshman card the youth card."
It was still scoreless with 3:05 remaining in the half when the Hornets took possession at the Weber 43.
Sacramento State, which had managed only 61 yards of offense on its first seven possessions, suddenly shredded the Wildcat defense. The Hornets drove for a touchdown, which came on a 15-yard pass from Safron to Carter with only 1:04 left.
After the ensuing kickoff, Weber failed to move and botched a punt attempt, turning the ball over at its 15. On first down, Safron passed to Carter for another touchdown for a 14-0 halftime lead.
"The punt thing … " Sears said. "We've got to get that ball punted and go to the locker room [trailing] seven-zip."
Said cornerback Deon'tae Florence: "We had our heads up. We came back out with the same confidence we started with. We knew we just made a couple of mistakes at the end of the first half. We told ourselves, 'Just clean it up a little.'"
Sacramento State scored on the first possession of the third quarter, however, and ended up handing the Wildcats their worst home loss in nine years.
The only bright spot for Weber? Carson Fackrell attempted and made the Wildcats' first field goal of the season. He hit a 42-yarder in the third quarter.
Sacramento St. 31, Weber St. 3
Sacramento St. 0 14 17 0 31
Weber St. 0 0 3 0 3
Sac • Carter 15 pass from Safron (Aguilar kick), 1:04.
Sac • Carter 15 pass from Safron (Aguilar kick), :13.
Sac • Broadnax 16 pass from Safron (Aguilar kick), 11:54.
Web • FG Fackrell 42, 6:50.
Sac • Carter 51 pass from Safron (Aguilar kick), 4:51.
Sac • FG Aguilar 20, 2:42.
Attendance • 6,610.
First downs 19 13
Rushes-yards 34-91 43-143
Passing 291 91
Comp-Att-Int 27-35-2 14-23-0
Return Yards 18 38
Punts-Avg. 7-51.4 9-37.3
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 4-4
Penalties-yards 4-30 4-25
Time of Possession 32:31 27:29
Rushing • Sacramento St., Warren 7-36, Safron 12-27, Graham 10-19, Carter 3-9, Team 2-0. Weber St., Bolen 8-66, Zac.Smith 9-39, Chipoletti 12-33, Booker 9-24, C.Dixon 1-12, Livingston 1-0,
Adamczyk 3-(minus 31).
Passing • Sacramento St., Safron 25-32-2-288, Vercher 2-3-0-3.
Weber St., Chipoletti 10-18-0-87, Adamczyk 3-4-0-3, Zac.Smith 1-1-0-1.
Receiving • Sacramento St., Norrise 9-60, Carter 8-148, Maciel 3-19, Broadnax 2-18, Graham 2-3, Hikutini 1-24, Agude 1-13, B.Robertson 1-6.
Weber St., Walker 5-62, Booker 3-9, Livingston 2-4, Bolen 2-1, Raymond 1-14, Chipoletti 1-1.