The defense stopped the next possession, and defensive back Eric Clark made an interception and returned it 58 yards for a 14-0 lead.
"When you make an interception or recover a fumble, that's icing on the cake," defensive back Sam Thompson said. "It's even better when you can house one."
The Mavericks scored 37 points in the second quarter, with Dennis Carter catching touchdown passes of 29 and 21 yards. Thomas had his second touchdown run, and Mitch Brozovich and Austin Rieder each scored touchdowns as the Mavericks went up 51-12 at halftime.
"We felt like we needed to clean some things up from last week," Keen said. "I'm happy with our improvement."
Reserves dominated the final half. Freshman running back Chad Zastrow ended up as the leading rusher with 84 yards, and Anthony Lewis rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown as the Mavericks totalled 327 yards rushing.
Thompson ended up with six tackles, and Nathan Hancock, Evan Koehler, Diontae Jones, Isaac Kolstad, Shonquille Dorsey and Josh Gordon all made five. Gordon had 1.5 sacks.
"You should show improvement from Week 1 to Week 2, and we should show more improvement from Week 2 to Week 3," Thompson said.
Minnesota State (2-0) plays its toughest game to date at Minnesota Duluth at 6 p.m. Saturday. Even though its only Week 3, the winner will have a big advantage in winning a Northern Sun championship and an edge in possible postseason seeding.
"We seem to play our best in the big games," Essman said. "We look forward to the challenge."