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No. 11 Cal Poly Pulls Away in Second Half for 38-16 Victory Over San Diego

No. 11 Cal Poly Pulls Away in Second Half for 38-16 Victory Over San Diego


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – For the second straight year, Cal Poly opened its football season against the University of San Diego and pulled away in the second half for a victory.

Coach Tim Walsh's 11th-ranked Mustangs, who turned a 20-14 third-quarter lead into a 41-14 win in 2012, outscored the Toreros 21-6 in the second half to turn a 17-10 halftime lead into a 38-16 triumph Saturday afternoon in Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

Junior slotback Kristaan Ivory scored on runs of 81, 2 and 61 yards en route to a career-high 185 yards -– his second 100-yard game as a Mustang -- while junior wide receiver Willie Tucker caught a career-high seven passes for 113 yards as Cal Poly improved its series record against San Diego to 3-0.

In his first college start, Mustang junior quarterback Vince Moraga completed 15 of 21 passes for 226 yards, the most yards by a Cal Poly quarterback in a game since Sept. 17, 2011, when Andre Broadous and Doug Shumway combined for 233 yards in a 48-14 win over South Dakota State.

Cal Poly never trailed, scoring on its first offensive play of the game as Ivory scooted 81 yards around left end and down the sideline for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

After the two teams traded field goals -- San Diego's David Last kicked a 22-yarder and Bobby Zalud answered with a 44-yarder for Cal Poly -– Matt Guillaume caught a 16-yard pass from Mason Mills with 9:39 to go in the second quarter for the Toreros, tying the game at 10-10.

Ivory's two-yard run with nine seconds left to play in the first half capped a quick seven-play, 65-yard drive and gave Cal Poly the lead for good at 17-10.

A 61-yard run by Ivory and a 45-yard romp by Akaninyene Umoh extended Cal Poly's lead to 31-10 in the third quarter and each team scored one touchdown in the final period.

Mills hit Reggie Bell with a two-yard scoring pass with 10:30 to play in the game for San Diego and, less than a minute later, Cal Poly's Cole Stanford ran four yards moments after Tucker caught a 74-yard pass from Moraga.

Cal Poly accumulated 533 total yards, 307 of them on the ground, while San Diego gained 394 yards in total offense, 257 through the air. Despite the loss, San Diego held a 19-17 advantage in first downs.

Both turnovers in the game were San Diego fumbles recovered by Xavier Ramos and Kyle Maddux. The Cal Poly defense also notched four sacks, two by senior team captain Sullivan Grosz and one each by Nick Dzubnar and Josh Letuligasenoa.

Ramos led the Mustangs in tackles with 13 and Dzubnar added 11. Safety Matt Miller garnered 11 tackles for San Diego.

Kenn James rushed for 102 yards on just seven carries for San Diego, breaking off a 67-yard run in the fourth quarter. Mills completed 29 of 36 passes for 230 yards and a pair of scores. His favorite target was Bell with nine catches for 109 yards and a touchdown.

Ivory (left) gained his career-high 185 yards on just 14 carries for Cal Poly. Umoh added 67 yards on six trips while Moraga netted 38 yards on nine carries.

In addition to Tucker's seven catches, Chris Nicholls had four and Stanford three.

Opening his fifth season as head coach at Cal Poly, Tim Walsh is now 4-1 in season openers.

Cal Poly football, presented by French Hospital Medical Center, plays its next two games on the road against Mountain West Conference foes, visiting Fresno State next Saturday and Colorado State in two weeks. The Mustangs also open Big Sky Conference play at Portland State on Sept. 26 before returning home to host Yale on Oct. 5.