Put simply, the University of South Dakota was embarrassed in its first Great West Conference game.
Cal Poly, the No. 8 team in Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), scored touchdowns on its first three possessions and went on to whip the Coyotes 49-22 Saturday night in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Here’s all you need to know:
** At one point, Cal Poly (3-1) was up 42-7. Yeah, 42-7.
** Mustangs’ QB Jonathan Dally threw the ball just 10 times in the game but threw for 162 yards and three touchdowns. All three scores went to 6-foot-6 receiver Ramses Barden, who had just three catches for 158 yards. Dude shredded the Coyotes.
** USD QB Noah Shepard completed just 18-of-34 passes for 211 yards and 0 touchdowns and 1 interception. Once again, Shepard was the Coyotes’ only running threat — 92 yards and 3 scores. The next highest rusher had 28 yards.
** Cal Poly rushed for 301 yards.
** USD standout wide receiver Dan Skelly caught 3 passes for 26 yards and 0 touchdowns. Last week at Montana State, Skelly caught just 2 passes for 28 yards and 0 touchdowns.
** USD’s first 4 possessions Saturday at Cal Poly were as follows — Punt, Interception, Punt, Punt.
Two areas that should be of concern for Coyote fans right now are the kicking game and running game.
— First-year USD placekicker Justin Veazie has hit just 2-of-7 field goal attempts, including another one Saturday at Cal Poly. In fairness, field goals haven’t really mattered the last three games for USD, but it’s definitely a trouble spot right now. You have to wonder how much confidence the coaching staff has in the kicking game.
— When your starting quarterback is your leading rusher (which Noah Shepard is right now) and not by design, you have to be worried. Yeah, USD has 19 total rushing touchdowns this season, but 10 of those have come in the 2 home games against NAIA teams.
For now, its another loss for the Coyotes (2-4), who are at home next Saturday for DakotaDays.