San Diego State Recap: Aztecs Easily Take Down New Mexico 31-7.
Aztecs face former coaches and dominate in reunion.
What’s a conference game between old friends?
San Diego State opened Mountain West play against the New Mexico Lobos with a victory over former Aztec coaches Rocky Long and Danny Gonzalez. The familiarity between the programs did not matter much as San Diego State continued their head-to-head win streak to 8 straight. The former Aztec coaches are rebuilding the Lobos to match up with San Diego State, but their current roster can’t compete.
Saturday’s game was a textbook Aztec win led by the running game and the defense. Running back Greg Bell continues to pace for a 1,000-yard season ending his night with 21 carries for 111 yards and 1 touchdown.
On the opening drive for San Diego State, Bell burst off the left side for 40 yards that would set up their first touchdown of the game. The bulk of his 111-yard day came on this drive where he accounted for 63 yards of offense.
First offensive play from scrimmage… 40 yards. Good to have you back @GregBell_!
— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) October 10, 2021
The Aztec defense held their opponents to under 193 yards of total offense including 66 rushing yards and were +1 in turnovers. Brady Hoke’s defense suffocated Danny Gonzales and Rocky Long’s offense. In the first half, the Aztecs held the Lobos to 3 punts and 2 turnovers including an interception near the goal line on the final New Mexico drive of the half.
Going into the half it was 17-0 and the team from San Diego was cruising.
The third quarter continues to be a sort of Bermuda Triangle for SDSU. The Aztecs opened up the second half with consecutive possessions of 3-and-outs before Greg Bell was stripped of the ball in a scrum deep in Aztec territory allowing Ray Leutele to scoop and score to get New Mexico on the board.
SCOOP N SCORE FOR THE LOBOS!@UNMLoboFB's defense gets New Mexico on the board
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) October 10, 2021
The lone New Mexico touchdown kept it interesting for a few minutes before Jordon Brookshire put together a touchdown drive aided by multiple defensive penalties. An unsportsmanlike taunting penalty tacked on 15 yards to a 33-yard kickoff return from Jordan Byrd allowing Brookshire to start in Lobo territory. Two plays later, New Mexico was flagged for a blatant defensive pass interference getting the Aztecs in the red zone. Jordon Brookshire ran a run-pass-option to the right side, confusing the defense and the FS1 camera crew, and walked into the end zone.
With a 24-7 lead, the Aztecs kept doing what they do best– play defense and hold the ball. New Mexico Quarterback Terry Wilson only completed 13-of-25 for 127 yards and had 11 rushes for -34 yards. The San Diego State defense recorded 4 sacks, led by Jalil Lecky with 1.5 sacks. Wilson, a graduate transfer and prolific passer from the University of Kentucky looked confused and faced consistent pressure. Late in the 4th quarter, he sustained an arm injury that would take him out of the game.
After the Aztecs scored another touchdown at the 13:05 mark in the 4th quarter it was 31-7. New Mexico’s offense without their starting QB would be too high of a mountain to overcome. San Diego State put Lucas Johnson in at QB with the game out of reach. San Diego State had this game locked away, and there are no style points to tack on especially with friends on the opposite sideline.
San Diego State earned the 25 next to their name through the bye because the defense and the run game define Aztec football.
The Aztecs play at San Jose State next week in what was billed in the preseason as a fight for the West division. But with a 3-3 start for the Spartans and QB Nick Starkel out for, it’s not the prizefight everyone had thought it would be.