San Diego State Recap: Lethargic Aztecs win against NM State Aggies, 28-10
The Aztecs were slow to start, and did not inspire much from the QB.
“Not gonna lie they had us in the first half”
San Diego State opened their 2021 season against the New Mexico State Aggies as 31-point favorites. For one half it looked like the Aztecs were joining the many underdogs in Week 1 on the verge of a historic upset. Going into the half they were blanked 10-0, with one fumble lost by Greg Bell, back-to-back 15-yard penalties, the defense getting torched. Their performance was not inspiring.
This offense is not what the Aztecs were selling a month ago. With the QB shuffling played out as Jordon Brookshire on top, the general public bought into his development as a starting quarterback. What played out in Carson, CA was a resumption of an offense that is struggling to find its identity.
This offense is a month from being ready. What is the real issue of not going with Lucas Johnson as the starter? Jordon Brookshire almost matched his 7/19 completions against Colorado in 2020, going 6/19 for 76 with one interception. The quarterback position has been the key to starting this offense and putting up 0’s isn’t it, especially in the first half against a team that hasn’t played an FBS opponent in 2 years.
— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) September 5, 2021
The bar was set so low for the second half, that losing the game felt familiar and inevitable.
But something happened in the locker room that changed the outcome for the Aztecs. The second half saw the offensive adjustments to run-run-run. Greg Bell ended the day with 21 rushes, 165 yards, and 1 touchdown while Jordan Byrd went for 48yards and 1 touchdown. The simple San Diego State formula found success over the years was necessary for Saturday’s victory. Throwing in Brookshire’s known athleticism to run, brought the energy back onto the Aztecs bench, carrying over into a roving hungry Aztec defense.
Pick-6! That makes it 21 unanswered points for the Aztecs. pic.twitter.com/FExcshC8yj
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 5, 2021
They made turnovers and made the Aggies pay with 3 interceptions in the 3rd quarter alone. The renewed energy went for 21 unanswered points, and a flustered New Mexico State team. San Diego State shut them out the rest of the second half with the tenacity of what was supposed to happen from the opening kickoff onward.
By the time the fourth quarter rolled on, the momentum was all San Diego State and the magic touch that Jonah Johnson of New Mexico State disappeared. The defense was getting pressure on the quarterback, and the Aztecs’ defense kept it coming until the end of the whistle. The Aztecs were determined to keep the Aggies out of the endzone with seconds to play.
Looking ahead to the next game, the Aztecs go head-to-head against their first Pac-12 opponent this year against Arizona in Tucson. The Wildcats lost this week to the BYU Cougars, 24-16, and look forward to chalking up a victory at home.
San Diego State has a special player in Matt Araiza. The punter/kicker had an average punt of 56.8 and a long of 77 yards, and still has the legs to kick field goals.