Bulldogs Take Down #21 Aztecs 30-20 And Secure The Oil Can
The Aztecs Fall Flat Against The Bulldogs At Home In Carson.
The #21 Aztecs and the Bulldogs play the AP Top 25 shuffle this week after the Fresno State bests SDSU.
Carson, CA- Fresno State handed #21 San Diego State their first loss of the season Saturday, October 30th. The Aztecs have recently fought hard to secure victory against Mountain West opponents, however they were denied by the Bulldogs. Some Aztecs fans would argue they denied themselves.
Jake Haener had a good night, passing for 306 yards and a touchdown, while Jordan Mims rushed for a career-high 186 yards and two scores.
Fresno State is now 7-2 and 4-1 in the Mountain West. The Bulldogs punched the Aztecs squarely in the mouth with a 20-0 second-quarter lead before the Aztecs tightened the screws to score their first points.
The Bulldogs managed 485 yards of total offense. Defensively, they forced three turnovers against the Aztecs, who notably had managed only six prior to this match.
According to Fresno State coach Kalen DeBoer, “We came out strong and played one of our better first quarters. The mindset we have had the last two weeks has been a confident football team.”
Haener completed 25 of 42 passes for his sixth 300-yard game this season. Evan Williams picked off Aztecs quarterback Lucas Johnson and returned it 36 yards to the San Diego State 31 before Haener connected with Keric Wheatfall for a 16-yard touchdown just 43 seconds into the second quarter to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead.
Jordan Mims managed his straight 100-yard game and became the first running back this season to go 100 yards against the Aztecs. The senior had 97 yards in the first half, including a 13-yard score late in the first quarter. Mims also had a 15-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter to extend Fresno State’s lead to 30-13.
San Diego State, now 7-1 and 3-1 in the Mountain West began the game second in the nation in third-down percentage defense, fourth against the run and fifth in total defense. Yet Fresno State converted 9 of 18 third downs and went three-and-out only three times on 13 drives.
Lucas Johnson had 280 yards of total offense, and went just 14 of 31 for 220 yards, a TD and two interceptions along with 60 yards rushing. Greg Bell, who came into the game third in the Mountain West in rushing, was held to 63 yards on 15 carries.
“They came out ready to play and we came out a little flat,” Johnson said. “I’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball and putting our team in better situations.”
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 20-0 on a pair of field goals by Cesar Silva before the Aztecs scored first points in the second quarter on Tyrell Shavers’ 19-yard touchdown reception.
Silva kicked his third field goal with four minutes remaining in the third quarter to put Fresno State up 23-7 before San Diego State responded with Greg Bell’s 3-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion was blown, leaving the Aztecs trailing 23-13 going into the final 15 minutes.
After Mims’ second touchdown, SDSU’s Will Haskell — who replaced Lucas Johnson — had a 7-yard run to get the Aztecs within 10 points with 1:06 remaining.
Lucas Johnson made several high-impact mistakes in this game that, had they been avoided could have kept the Aztecs in contention. Cross-body passes while running; perfectly passed interceptions and clumsy fumbles hurt San Diego State at highly critical moments.
One thing is for certain: San Diego State needs to solve its quarterback problems if it wants to continue to play dominant football.
ASSOCIATED PRESS IMPACT
The Associated Press and Coaches Poll normally punishes Mountain West programs profusely when maintaining Top 25 status and then dropping a game. It’s highly probable the Aztecs will be pushed all the way out of Top 25 status, and it’s also highly probable with this statement win that Fresno State will become a part of the Top 25.
Fresno State hosts Boise State next Saturday, and San Diego State goes to Hawaii next Saturday.