J.J. Koski, Junior, Wide Receiver, 6-1, 195, Danville, Calif. | San Ramon Valley High School
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — J.J. Koski is a wide receiver by trade. He leads the Cal Poly football team with 17 receptions for 317 yards, on top of a 2017 season with a team-leading 28 catches for 454 yards and three touchdowns.
Saturday night at Sacramento State, Koski displayed his talents in other areas.
The San Ramon Valley High School graduate returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, snapping a 14-14 tie and giving Cal Poly the lead for good.
And Koski’s 68-yard romp around left end on a reverse pitch from quarterback Khaleel Jenkins with eight minutes remaining in the game sealed the 41-27 Big Sky Conference verdict inside Hornet Stadium.
Cal Poly, which rushed for 462 yards in the game, needed just one pass completion and, of course, it was Koski on the receiving end of the Jenkins throw for 16 yards and a key first down late in the third quarter.
For his efforts, Koski has been selected as the Coca-Cola Cal Poly Student-Athlete of the Week.
The punt return was Cal Poly’s first resulting in a touchdown since 2008 when Tre’dale Tolver returned a Wisconsin punt 40 yards in front of over 80,000 fans at Camp Randall Stadium.
Koski broke the long drought, returning an Owen Hoolihan punt for a 21-14 lead with 9:31 to play in the first half. Koski fielded the punt on one hop at his own 30, broke left, cut right at midfield, raced down the right sideline and, thanks to a block by Quentin Harrison, cut left at the 20 and scampered untouched into the end zone.
With 7:39 to play in the game and Cal Poly up by 14 points, Jenkins ran to his right several steps, then pitched the ball to Koski going the other way. Again, Harrison provided the key block which allowed Koski to get into the house and give the Mustangs a three-possession lead.
This week, Koski is second in the Football Championship Subdivision with his one punt return for the season and 40th in yards per reception at 18.65. His 70.0-yard average per punt return wound be No. 1 in the nation, but he has just the one attempt so far. Koski averaged 1.4 yards on 10 punt returns a year ago.
Cal Poly has a bye this week and hosts UC Davis in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe on Mustang Family Weekend, Saturday, Oct. 20. Kickoff inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium is set for 4:05 p.m.