SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – South Dakota dominated both sides of the football in securing a 48-14 road victory over Cal Poly on Saturday evening inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
The Coyote offense rolled up 615 total yards, the most since posting 642 total yards against Houston Baptist in 2019. The total included 353 yards rushing, the most in coach Bob Nielson’s USD tenure.
“Another really good first half,” said Nielson. “Offensively we moved the ball very consistently with a great mix of run and pass.
“The backs ran really well, ran really hard and Carson Camp played well, did some good things, made some big plays on the perimeter.”
Mike Mansaray, starting in place of Travis Theis, carried 21 times for a career-high 141 yards and two touchdowns. Mansaray, a freshman from Columbus, Ohio, became the first Coyote running back to surpass 100 yards in a game since Kai Henry had 145 against Western Illinois in 2019.
“Execution (was key to the offensive success), we harped on it all week and we came out and did it,” said Mansaray. “It (the win) proves that we can play anywhere, on our home turf or away.”
The Coyote offense, scoring on all seven of their drives in the first half with five touchdowns and two field goals, held the ball for almost 40 minutes of the 60-minute contest.
South Dakota took the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards on seven plays before Mansaray scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 13-yard run.
The Coyote defense forced a three-and-out and the offense used just two plays to go 58 yards as quarterback Carson Camp found a streaking Carter Bell open across the middle of the field and Bell outraced the Cal Poly defense to the endzone pushing the lead to 14-0.
The Mustangs cut the lead to 14-7 when Kahliq Paulette hit Chris Coleman for a nine-yard touchdown reception at the 9:23 mark of the opening quarter.
The Coyotes, though, responded again as the offense drove 75 yards on 11 plays, capped by a one-yard TD run from Mansaray.
Mason Lorber hit on a pair of field goals in the second quarter, including a 42-yarder before the halftime buzzer. The two field goals sandwiched two more South Dakota touchdowns in the second frame.
Camp hit tight end Austin Goehring for a 36-yard touchdown before Nate Thomas, who nearly gave the Coyotes a second running back over 100 yards, got his first collegiate touchdown on a three-yard run. Thomas, a freshman from South Holland, Illinois, rushed 15 times for 92 yards while Shomari Lawrence added 56 yards rushing on nine carries.
Camp finished the game hitting on 17 of 20 pass attempts for 226 yards and two touchdowns as the freshman has surpassed 200 yards passing in five of his seven career starts.
Cole Stenstrom, a freshman from Arden Hills, Minnesota, capped the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run for his first collegiate touchdown.
Meanwhile, the South Dakota defense continued its strong start to the season, coming within a late TD pass away from holding Cal Poly to under 200 total yards. The defense limited the Mustangs to only seven first downs and 243 total yards in the win.
Brock Mogensen led the way defensively with five total tackles to go with a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. Elijah Reed and Tre Jackson had four total tackles in the win.
“Defensively we continue to play well,” added Nielson. “We got them off the field on third down a high percentage of times.”
South Dakota, now 2-1, will open Missouri Valley Football Conference play with a road contest to Springfield, Missouri for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Saturday against Missouri State.