The Tribune (SLO) - - Insight - BY DAN ITEL di­[email protected]­luiso­

The Cal Poly foot­ball team will try its hand against a Pac-12 op­po­nent for the first time since 2015 when they face off against Ore­gon State in a non-con­fer­ence game next sea­son.

The Mus­tangs will play the Beavers on Sept. 14 at Reser Sta­dium in Cor­val­lis, Ore­gon, in what will be the first matchup be­tween the schools, Cal Poly ath­letic an­nounced Wed­nes­day along with the team’s en­tire 2019 sched­ule.

Cal Poly lost a closely fought con­test against Ari­zona State in 2015, fall­ing 35-21 in a game that was tied 21-21 with eight min­utes to go in the fourth quar­ter.

The Mus­tangs, com­ing off a 5-6 over­all record with a 4-4 mark in the Big Sky, are also sched­uled to play at Cal in 2020.

Cal Poly’s streak of play­ing at least one Foot­ball Bowl Sub­di­vi­sion team ended at 12 years in 2018. The Mus­tangs have played 23 games against FBS schools since 2002 with vic­to­ries over Texas-El Paso in 2003, San Diego State in both 2006 and 2008 and Wy­oming in 2012.

Ore­gon State placed last in the Pac-12 North with a 1-8 record (2-10 over­all) this past sea­son.

Cal Poly’s 2019 sched­ule in­cludes five home games at Alex G. Spanos Sta­dium, open­ing with the Univer­sity of San Diego on Aug. 31 and fol­low­ing with Big Sky Con­fer­ence con­tests against Montana State on Oct. 5, North Dakota on Oct. 19, Sacra­mento State on Oct. 26 and East­ern Washington on Nov. 16.

The Nov. 16 con­test will be Alumni Week­end, a Home­com­ing Cel­e­bra­tion, while the Oct. 26 game is on Mus­tang Fam­ily Week­end.

The Mus­tangs’ four Big Sky games on the road are Sept. 28 at South­ern Utah, Oct. 12 at UC Davis in the Bat­tle for the Golden Horse­shoe, Nov. 2 at Idaho and Nov. 23 at North­ern Colorado.

San Diego, Montana State, East­ern Washington, UC Davis and Weber State are 2018 Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship Sub­di­vi­sion play­off qual­i­fiers. This sea­son, Cal Poly played eight teams ranked at one time or an­other in FCS Top 25 polls, win­ning four of its last six games en route to a 5-6 record.

“Once again one of the tough­est sched­ules in the FCS with five 2018 play­off teams and a Pac-12 game on the road,” said Mus­tang head coach Tim Walsh. “It should be ex­cit­ing and we look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing our mo­men­tum we ended with in 2018.”

Idaho re­joined the Big Sky for foot­ball this fall af­ter a 17-year jour­ney in the Foot­ball Bowl Sub- divi­sion. North Dakota con­tin­ues to play an eightgame Big Sky sched­ule, but the Fight­ing Hawks are mov­ing to the Mis­souri Val­ley Foot­ball Con­fer­ence in 2020.

The Mus­tangs will have byes on Sept. 21 and Nov. 9, and FBS schools may sched­ule 12 games next fall if de­sired.

Cal Poly will not play Big Sky mem­bers Port­land State, Montana, Idaho State and North­ern Ari­zona in 2019 and, for the sec­ond straight year, will play Weber State in a non-con­fer­ence con­test Sept. 7 in Og­den, Utah.

Cal Poly is 30-26 in its first seven sea­sons in the Big Sky, cap­tur­ing the con­fer­ence crown in 2012.

JOE JOHN­STON jjohn­[email protected]­bune­

Cal Poly slot back Mal­colm Davis (3) in the Mus­tangs’ 38-24 win at home on over South­ern Utah in the Big Sky Con­fer­ence sea­son fi­nale.

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