GRAND FORKS, N.D. — After every Minnesota State touchdown, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Can’t Stop” boomed through the Alerus Center loudspeakers.

It couldn’t have been more appropriate.

The third-ranked Mavericks had no trouble with Minnesota Crookston on Saturday, finding the end zone 12 times en route to an 81-0 victory.

It’s fair to say no one in attendance or on either sideline really expected anything different. The Golden Eagles (0-8) had never beaten Minnesota State in five tries, and the Mavericks (8-0) came in fresh off a 74-17 win over the University of Mary last weekend.

“They knew that it was kind of a David vs. Goliath thing,” said Minnesota Crookston coach Mark Dufner. “The guys were eager.”

But a bloodbath is still a bloodbath, and that was evident in Minnesota Crookston’s postgame self-diagnosis. The energy? Present. The effort? On display.

The execution?

Not quite.

“Offensively we had a couple penalties, some execution things, we turned the ball over a couple times,” Dufner said. “Just some things that we gotta get squared away. Obviously a tough matchup today.”

Added quarterback Tristan Robbins: “We need to execute better. Missed tackles, missed assignments, mistakes throwing the ball.”

Minnesota Crookston couldn’t afford any mistakes if it even hoped to keep things close. The disparity in sheer talent meant it could do little about Ryan Schlichte completing nine of 12 passes for 134 yards, Shane Zylstra wrecking its defensive backs to the tune of seven catches, 128 yards and two touchdowns, or Kaleb Sleezer, Chase Devitt, Nate Gunn and Justin Taormina all averaging over 10 yards per carry.

But while the Golden Eagles didn’t necessarily self-destruct, they didn’t always help themselves. Throughout the first half, they got fairly consistent penetration past the Minnesota State offensive line, only to whiff on tackles left and right as the Mavericks ripped off chunk after chunk.

While the Mavericks’ 678 yards came in chunks, Minnesota Crookston’s 148 yards piled up inch by inch. For a time, this worked to an extent — the Golden Eagles had as many first downs as Minnesota State mdiway through the second quarter, despite trailing 25-0.

On two straight possessions, Minnesota Crookston drove into Maverick territory. On the first, receiver Andy Groebner dropped a pass thrown slightly behind him by Jalin Scott. On the second, Robbins scrambled out of the pocket from the Maverick 34, but took a sack before he could reverse field for a 16-yard loss on fourth down.

Three plays and 39 seconds later, Minnesota State scored for the sixth and final time of the first half to go up 39-0.

“Just give the fans a reason to stay,” Robbins said. “ … Just give the fans a reason for hope, a reason to be entertained. Just play our best game, show we can do something.”

The Minnesota State fans, however, were the only ones entertained.

Robbins completed five of nine passes for 34 yards and ripped off a number of nice scrambles, including a 31-yard gain down the sideline. Scott executed the Golden Eagles’ triple-option packages well enough to gain a few first downs. Minnesota Crookston won the time-of-possession battle, 35 minutes to 25, and occasionally made the Mavericks break a sweat.

But none of it was to any avail. Minnesota State kept jogging into the end zone, Anthony Kiedis kept singing and the Golden Eagles were left with few words and just three games remaining to prevent their fourth winless season in the last six years.

“Keep working, trying to get better, focus on the process,” Dufner said. “Upcoming opponent, Minnesota-Duluth, they got beat by Upper Iowa. They're down a little bit this year, but we gotta keep working and we gotta get better and we gotta fix the things that we need to improve.”