SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Blake Jurich threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score to help San Jose State beat North Dakota 42-10 on Thursday night, spoiling Bubba Schweigert’s head coaching debut for the Big Sky Conference school.
Jurich was 22 of 25 for 250 yards and connected with Tyler Winston on 14- and 18-yard touchdown passes in the opener. Winston had 10 receptions for 96 yards, and Thomas Tucker ran for 81 yards on 20 carries.
North Dakota was held to 244 yards of total offense and had two turnovers. Freshman Reid Taubenheim kicked a 42-yard field goal with 1:53 left in the first half and Jer Garman scored on a 7-yard run with 1:17 left in the game.
“At this point in our season we aren’t concerned about the scoreboard, we’re concerned with how we’re playing football,” said Schweigert, a former North Dakota assistant and state native. “I’m a little disappointed in our fourth quarter defense. We lost our spirit a little bit. We want to take pride in ourselves playing an entire 60 minutes.”
Schweigert replaced Chris Mussman, fired after the team went 3-8 last season.
San Jose State led 21-3 at halftime and scored the next 21 points. Jurich was 13 for 16 for 152 yards in the first half and completed all nine of his passes in the second half, including a scoring strike to Winston that made it 42-3 with 8:26 to play.
The Spartans has 406 yards of total offense in their fifth straight victory in a home opener against an Football Championship Subdivision opponent.
Jurich led the Spartans to touchdowns on their first three possessions. He capped the first, an eight-play, 61-yard drive, with the 14-yard pass to Winston with 8:24 left in the quarter. After a North Dakota punt, Jurich guided a 10-play, 53-yard drive, scoring from 2 yards out on a keeper less than 2 minutes later.
Cleveland Wallace intercepted Joe Mollberg’s pass to set up another San Jose State drive. On the 15th play of the 81-yard drive, Jurich connected with Shane Smith from the 3 for a 21-0 lead with 5:29 left in the half.
Mollberg was 14 for 20 for 126 yards. Cedric Simmons led North Dakota in rushing with 54 yards on 13 carries.
Taubenheim broke the shut out with his 42-yard field goal late in the first half.
“We got some momentum at the end of the half,” Schweigert said. “We got a stop and got a big play … and hit a field goal.”
San Jose State’s Brandon Monroe scored on a 2-yard run with 6:38 left in the third to make it 28-3.
The Spartans’ Tyler Ervin returned a punt 41 yards for a score with less than a minute to play in the third quarter.
“We’re going to take a look at the tapes and we’re going to have a lot of mistakes to correct,” Schweigert said. “There were a lot of things under our control.”