Sacramento State Hornets to end 31-year playoff drought on Saturday

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- A home game on Saturday will end a 31-year playoff drought for Sacramento State’s football team.

The last time the team made it to the playoffs was in 1988.

Big Sky Conference co-champions, ranked fourth in the country -- it’s been a long time coming for Hornets football.

“I knew we’d be a really strong program and win championships at some point. I didn’t know it would be this year,” head coach Troy Taylor told FOX40.

Taylor, who was named Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year, was hired only 11 months ago. He pieced together a staff that includes six local coaches from area high schools.

Together they had a common goal: turn Sacramento State into a winning program.

“I think we were able to get like-minded people, not all clones or anything. But all had kind of the same vision. No egos at all, everybody working together, and good things happen,” Taylor said.

Outside of a handful of players, Taylor and his staff have turned it around with the same roster that finished 2-8 last year.

“We knew, we felt like coming in that there was great players on the roster. You hoped they would buy into our stuff, obviously, they have,” assistant head coach Kris Richardson said.

What Taylor has done in less than a year with the program has also fueled speculation that he and his staff could be yanked away by a bigger university with deep pockets.

But Taylor said that’s not him.

“If anyone looks at my career and my resume, it’s never been dictated by money, presumably big jobs or whatever. I came back here to be a part of this program. All I can say is I love being here. I enjoy being here,” Taylor said.

On Saturday night at Hornet Stadium, the stands will be filled for Sacramento State’s first playoff game in 31 years.

“We’ve got a lot of work here. We feel we can build something special, and I’d like to be here for a really long time," Taylor said.

It’s a moment the Hornets plan on enjoying as long as they can.

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