Ogden • Growing pains were expected, but nothing like this.
It's true that Weber State returned a handful of experienced performers at the offensive skill positions as well as on defense. But the Wildcats also had to rebuild nearly their entire offensive line.
Then, there was the matter of the coaching carousal in the spring.
But, as Weber State (0-6, 0-3 Big Sky) prepares for a road game at Sacramento State on Saturday, no one expected this. According to preseason polls, the Wildcats were supposed to finish middle of the conference pack.
"It's definitely frustrating," said senior WSU running back C.J. Tuckett. "We want to win. We come out, everyone competed and plays hard.
"You've got to try and stay up when things are down."
Right now, things are down. And it will take a concentrated four-quarter effort against the 4-2 Hornets to turn the tables on a season that is more than halfway completed.
Weber State is also on the road, at Southern Utah, next week before hosting Montana and Northern Colorado. The Wildcats close the season at Idaho State.
Weber State coach Jody Sears said that there is a learning curve that comes with change. Use mistakes, he said, as a teachable moment.
"We knew we were going to go through a process," he said. "That goes back to the consistency of your attitude and energy. Consistency with everything you do during the daily routine. Make sure the kids are feeling good â¦ you're encouraging them, loving them, holding them accountable for everything."
Sears hasn't seen a drop in his players' attitude or willingness to work. After a flat performance at UC Davis, the Wildcats came back with a great effort through three quarters in a loss to Cal Poly.
Weber State, however, has yet to put together four quarters of solid football.
"Lack of execution," WSU quarterback Mike Hoke said. "It's kind of the story of every game, pretty much."
The Wildcats had a 20-14 lead in the second half against Cal Poly. An interception return for a touchdown, however, fueled a 31-3 Mustang run.
Weber State managed season highs in total offense, rushing yards, passing yards and first downs.
Yet, "The sad thing in football, when you make too many mistakes, you can't win," Tuckett said.
Weber State at Sacramento State
P Saturday, 7 p.m. MDT
TV • None
Radio • 106.9 FM
Records • WSU 0-6, 0-3 Big Sky, SSU 4-2, 2-1
Series record • WSU, 11-5
Last meeting • WSU 49-17 (Sept. 17, 2011)
About the Wildcats • In six games, WSU has been outscored 41-6 in the first quarter and 83-19 in the second quarter. ... Linebacker Anthony Morales leads the Big Sky and ranks 11th in the nation with an average of 11 tackles a game.
About the Hornets • SSU began the season losing to New Mexico State but rebounded by upsetting Colorado 30-28 in Boulder. ... Ezekiel Graham is the third-leading runner in the conference at 91.5 yards per game. Quarterback Garrett Safron ranks fourth in the BSC in total offense at 264.8 yards.