No. 9 Cal Poly football continued its winning streak by blowing out No. 12 North Dakota State 37-6 on Saturday night at Mustang Stadium.
The Mustangs improved to 5-1 overall and remained perfect at 3-0 in the Great West Conference. The Bison fell to 4-2 overall.
Cal Poly’s first home game since the academic school year began brought out 6,923 fans to pack a currently-renovated Mustang Stadium.
Freshman James Noble started the Mustangs’ initial drive with a 32-yard run on the first play of the game. Cal Poly capped its opening drive with a 39-yard field goal from junior Nick Coromelas four minutes into the game.
Noble finished with 161 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries.
On the defensive side, senior defensive end Chris Gocong continued to carve up opposing offenses recording his 11.5 sack of the season. The play went for a 13-yard Bison loss during North Dakota’s opening drive. Freshman wide receiver Tredale Tolver returned the Bison’s punt for 37 yards setting up Coromelas’ second field goal to put Cal Poly up 6-0.
North Dakota threatened to retaliate late in the first quarter off a series of runs by junior halfback Kyle Steffes. However, the Bison’s first attempt at scoring was unsuccessful as freshman wide receiver Ramses Barden blocked kicker Cory Vartanian’s field goal.
Cal Poly’s first touchdown came less than a minute in the second quarter when senior quarterback Anthony Garnet threw a deep pass to Tolver who sped past the Bison coverage. Coromelas converted the extra point to put the Mustangs up 13-0.
The Mustang’s scored again midway through the second quarter off a 16-yard touchdown strike from Garnett to Barden.
Late in the second half, Garnett and Barden hooked up on back-to-back plays to put Cal Poly within 20 yards of the goal. Garnett hit senior full back Adam George on an easy rollout pass for the Mustangs’ third touchdown of the game – the Mustangs were up 27-0 at halftime and well on their way to destroying one of the nation’s top teams.
Despite the margin, the stadium remained packed for the second half.
Steffes coughed up the football on the Bison’s opening play setting up yet another Mustang field goal.
The Bison finally penetrated the Mustangs’ stingy defense in the middle of the third quarter when Steffes capped a drive with a 2-yard touchdown carry.
The Mustang defense – led by Gocong, linebacker Kyle Shotwell and cornerback Cordel Webb – was all over North Dakota State holding it to under 200 yards of total offense.
With under five minutes left in the game, Noble snuck through the middle of the Bison defense then broke free for his fifth touchdown of the season.
Garnett threw for 166 yards and three touchdowns on 11 completions in 16 attempts.
Walker completed nine of 18 passes for 89 yards. Steffes rushed for 93 yards and one touchdown on 23 runs.
The Mustangs have next week off before traveling to Montana for a non-conference game.