Breakdown: Cal Poly’s offense

By Eli Gehn


Junior quarterback Andre Broadous leads the Mustangs heading into Saturday’s contest against NIU. Through the first three games of the season, Broadous hasn’t made any mistakes through the air (he’s yet to throw an interception) even though his passes have been limited throughout the year. Through two games, Broadous has completed 27 of 42 attempts for 375 yards and two touchdowns. He is also a dual-threat quarterback who can make plays with his legs, compiling 202 yards on 48 carries with four touchdowns, all of which leads Cal Poly. “[Broadous] is a versatile guy – a very good threat for them,” said Huskies head coach Dave Doeren.

Grade: C-

Running backs

Cal Poly averages 230 yards on the ground thus far this season. The Mustangs use a handful of running backs who are listed as slotbacks and fullbacks. Behind Broadus, the Mustangs are led by senior fullback Jake Romanelli in their option attack offense. Romanelli averages 5.3 yards per carry and 77.7 yards per game. He’s also cashed in three rushing touchdowns this year. The Mustangs have nine different players out of the slotback and fullback positions running the ball this season. With a similar offense compared to the Army Black Knights, the Huskies will have to play with a “run-first” mentality.

“Offensively, they’re a blend of what Army did and some of the spread stuff you’re seeing in college football,” Doeren said. “I know they operate a fast tempo [offense], a lot like our offense.

Grade: C

Wide Receivers

The Mustangs don’t have any major standouts when it comes to the receiving game due to the lack of passing plays they have in their playbook. The two starting receivers are redshirt freshmen this year, Chris Nicholls and Lance Castaneda. Castaneda has been the most productive receiver through the first three weeks of the season with five receptions for 88 yards. Nicholls compiled six receptions for 51 yards of his own. Unlike Nicholls, who stands at 5’8″ and weighs in at 175 pounds, Castaneda has the build of a goal-line receiver, standing at 6’3″ and weighing 215 pounds. The Huskie secondary can’t sleep on Castaneda because of his physical stature.

Grade: C-

Offensive Line

The offensive front has been able to provide a decent run game for the Mustangs to start the 2011 season. The Cal Poly line had some nagging injuries since the year began, and they will be without season opening starting center Hal Kelley, due to a leg injury he suffered in week one. The Mustangs have made a lot of arrangements on the offensive line. The NIU defense should have a big advantage since the battle in the trenches won’t favor any team in terms of size.

Grade: D+