South Dakota compiled impressive offensive statistical advantages over Cal Poly en route to a 48-14 non-conference victory before the 10th sellout in Alex G. Spanos Stadium history, the first in five years, Saturday night.
The Coyotes (2-1) had a 35-7 advantage in first downs, 615 to 243 in total yards and 42:35 to 17:25 in time of possession over the Mustangs (1-2) in the final non-conference game for Cal Poly as it enters Big Sky Conference play next week.
The Mustangs scored their only touchdowns in the firsts and fourth quarters. The Coyotes exploded for 21 points in the first quarter and 20 in the second en route to their second win in five meetings with Cal Poly.
Freshman quarterback Kahliq Paulette, starting in place of the injured Spencer Brasch (fractured hand), hit Chris Coleman with a nine-yard scoring pass six minutes into the game and backup signal called Conor Bruce connected with Michael Briscoe on a 61-yard touchdown strike with 2:40 to play in the game.
Coyote quarterback Carson Camp completed 17 of 20 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns wnile Mike Mansaray rushed for 141 yards and two more scores.
Paulette finish nine of 23 for 112 yards passing. Cal Poly's ground game accumulated just 62 yards, paced by Shakobe Harper with 28 yards on six carries and Paulette with 27 yards on nine trips.
Coleman caught four passes while Michael Roth and Giancarlo Woods each had two receptions.
Linebacker Matt Shotwell, Cal Poly's leading tackler the last three seasons, made 13 tackles (eight solo) Saturday. The lone turnover by South Dakota was a fumble recovered by Zach Hernandez while Elijah Ponder notched a pair of sacks.
Cal Poly opens Big Sky play next Saturday at Montana.
- Eric Burdick, Assistant Athletics Director for Athletics Communications
Stivers Records Double-Double But Mustangs Fall 3-1 to LMU Saturday
Redshirt senior outside hitter Jamie Stivers recorded a double-double and two other Mustangs had double-digit kills but the Cal Poly volleyball team fell at home Saturday to Loyola Marymount University in four close sets, 3-1 (25-19, 25-27, 29-27, 25-23) in its final non-conference match of the regular season.
Stivers had a match-high 15 kills and a season-high 15 digs for her third double-double of the year. Cal Poly redshirt freshman outside hitter Tommi Stockham chipped in a season-high 14 kills while junior middle blocker Meredith Phillips added 10 kills and six blocks. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Amy Hiatt, who got the start in the match, had a career-high nine kills. Junior setter Avalon DeNecochea dished out 46 assists to go with a season-high six blocks, five digs and four kills. Freshman libero Peyton Dueck led the team in digs with a season-high 21.
The Lions (9-1) outhit the Mustangs (2-9) .300 to .226. They also had 11 blocks compared to six for Cal Poly. From the service line, LMU had seven aces and 17 errors while the Mustangs had five aces and 19 errors.
In the first set, LMU got out to a 7-3 lead before Cal Poly slowly made its way back to cut the deficit to one at 14-13. The Lions then scored three straight points to push the lead back to four. The Mustangs got it back to as little as two points several times but could not get any closer than that and thanks to LMU hitting .481 for the set, they won it 25-19.
The second set was back-and-forth early until, with the Lions up 7-5, they scored three straight to go ahead by five. Cal Poly then cut the lead to three with back-to-back points. Later with Cal Poly down 16-11, the Mustangs scored five consecutive points, with two of those coming via an ace from junior defensive specialist Lea Ungar. It was a back-and-forth affair from there until, tied at 25, a block by Phillips and DeNecochea followed by a kill from Stockham sealed the set for the Mustangs 27-25.
The third set started much like the second set ended with the teams trading points and small runs. Tied at 12, Cal Poly went on a 4-1 run to go up 16-13. Trailing 21-18, LMU went on a 4-1 run of its own to tie the set at 22. Cal Poly had set point leading 24-23 when the Lions scored back-to-back points to take a 25-24 lead. The Mustangs held off their set point to tie it at 25. The Mustangs held off two more set points before tied at 27, LMU scored consecutive points to win it 29-27.
In the fourth set Cal Poly started on fire, getting out to an 11-3 lead. However, with LMU trailing 15-7, a 9-0 run by the Lions gave them their first lead of the set at 16-15. It was back-and forth from there until, tied at 22, consecutive kills by LMU gave them a 24-22 lead. The Mustangs then scored to make it 24-23 but another Lion kill finished the set and the match for LMU 25-23.
With non-conference play now over, Cal Poly will begin its quest in Big West starting next week seeking the program’s third conference title in the last four seasons. Cal Poly is 44-4 in Big West matches since 2017. The Mustangs will start Big West play next Friday, September 24 on the road at Long Beach State at 7 p.m. followed by a road match at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, September 25 at 5 p.m.
- Connor Leary, Cal Poly Athletics Communications