#1 Minnesota State runs over #5 Midwestern State, 63-21

MSU's Layton Rabb taking a snao in the mustnags 63-21 loss to Minnesota State in the playoffs. / Source: KAUZ
MSU's Layton Rabb taking a snao in the mustnags 63-21 loss to Minnesota State in the playoffs. / Source: KAUZ

MANKATO, MN (KAUZ) - It took the Midwestern State Mustangs just three plays to get into the end zone Saturday against top-ranked Minnesota State in an NCAA Second Round playoffs game at Blakeslee Stadium.

Unfortunately for the fifth-ranked Mustangs, they would run three or less plays seven of the next eight times they had the ball.

The Mavericks (13-0) had no such trouble.

They put up 49 straight points after spotting the Mustangs the early lead, running over the Lone Star Conference champions 63-21 with more than 500 yards on the ground.

The loss is the fourth in the NCAA Second Round for the Mustangs as they finish the season with a 10-1 record.

"We couldn't stop them," MSU head coach Bill Maskill said. "They were more physical, they were more powerful and they just did a good job. We missed a lot of tackles. They had 607 yards of offense and 502 yards of that was rushing. That's embarrassing."

The Mustangs were on the board before many of the fans were in their seats. Layton Rabb hit Tyler Milliken for 63 yards on the second play, then came right back to D.J. Myers for a 12-yard TD to make it 7-0 just 48 seconds into the game.

The Mavericks came back to get a 23-yard Casey Bednarski field goal before taking the lead on a 6-yard Nate Gunn run midway through the quarter. The ball continued to bounce their way on the conversion as a bad snap on a "Wildcat" play turned into a complete pass for the conversion.

The lead grew to 18-7 before the quarter ended as Justin Arnold caught a 12-yard pass from J.D. Ekowa.

After their third straight 3-and-out the Mustangs stopped the Mavericks on a fourth-and-seven at the 34.

They moved the ball deep into Maverick territory, but came up short when their fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

The Minnesota State lead grew to 25-7 at the half as the Mavericks ran the ball down the Mustangs' throats. Of their 502 yards rushing they had two 100-yard rushers and 15 runs of more than 10 yards with a long of 46.

"Maybe scoring so soon hurt us," Maskill said. 'We scored too easy. Maybe subconsciously we let up some, but I didn't see it. They just did a good job and were more physical than we were."

The home team opened the third quarter with a 21-yard touchdown pass and after Rabb was intercepted -- for only the fifth time all season -- it took the Mavs just two plays to get Gunn his second TD.

A 38-yard Bednarski field goal and a second TD pass early in the fourth quarter gave the Mavericks the 49-7 lead.

The Mustangs finally got back on track as a 41-yard pass to Myers set up a 9-yard TD to Jerryl Yarbrough.

After another Maverick score, Rabb hit Myers with a 65-yard touchdown pass to make it 56-21.

But the Mavericks ran for their fifth rushing touchdown in the final minutes to finish off the win.

"They played better than we did today," Maskill said. "They're the best that we've played and they probably played their best game of the season. We played our worst game of the season.

"When that happens you get a blowout."

Rabb finished 19-32-1 for 260 yards and three touchdowns with Myers catching 10 for 145 yards and two scores and Milliken grabbing two for 58. MSU rushed for just 25 yards on the day.

Sir'Vell Ford led the defense with 11 tackles, while Steven Rogers had 10, Josh Wydermyer had eight, Alec DiValerio had seven stops and a sack and Drew Bolin had six tackles.

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