The Hornets (4-3, 1-2 Big Sky) led by 13 points at the start of the fourth after De'Jon Coleman ran 2 yards for a touchdown. With 2:26 left to play, Sacramento State's defense stopped three plays on the 1-yard line and got the ball on its own 1 after fourth-and-goal. Jordan Robinson's run for a loss ended in a safety.
Rubalcaba threw for 301 yards and three touchdowns, and Robert Holland ran for 122 yards on 13 carries.
Ellis Onic II scored on a 100-yard kickoff return in the second quarter for the Bears (2-4, 1-2).