San Diego State Recap: Outlast Hawaii Warriors, 17-10
The Aztecs get their mojo back on the island.
If it was one place that San Diego State would feel good about going to? Hawaii.
San Diego State is a perfect 3-0 away from Carson this season. Ever since Hawaii joined the Mountain West, San Diego State has won 3 out of 4 matchups in Honolulu against the Warriors.
After knowing Fresno State played a letdown game to Boise State, losing 40-14. The Aztecs knew by kickoff Hawaii time that they controlled their destiny for the West division and ultimately their spot in the CFP rankings.
Early on San Diego State seemed to overcome their issues with the running game. The team had a total of 128 rushing yards with Greg Bell carrying the bulk with 24 carries for 77 yards.
San Diego State owned the game time of possession 34:07 to 24:43.
Through the first half, they had 9 first touchdowns compared to Hawaii’s 4 first downs. In the whole game, they were 6-of-14 on 3rd down including a 3rd down conversion of the season with a 17-yard rush by Lucas Johnson.
For the first three quarters and despite a Lucas Johnson fumble which led to a quick Hawaii touchdown, the Aztecs were in control.
San Diego State going into the half goes up 14-7.
— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) November 7, 2021
The defensive line lead by Cameron Thomas and Jonah Tavai had been getting the pressure on Hawaii QB Chevan Cordeiro whereas last week Fresno State Jake Haener had been lighting up the San Diego State defense.
San Diego State had been taking care of the Hawaii offense, turning the ball over 2 times and recording 5 total team sacks. The run defense continued its dominance holding Hawaii to 85 rushing yards.
In this low-scoring contest, San Diego State’s Special Teams continue to stand out. Matt Araiza improving his punting stats, and stock at the next level.
PUNT GOD MATT ARAIZA with a 79-yard punt. From the 12-yard line to the 1 on the fly. Cameraman clearly wasn't expecting it to go that far.
It's his 15th 60-yard punt of the season, which breaks the all-time record (and SDSU still has 4+ games to go) pic.twitter.com/5fojhHniA7
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) November 7, 2021
Despite going 1-for-2 on field goals, Araiza punted his 15th punt over 60 yards, a new NCAA FBS record. Not only is special teams contributed one touchdown in the first half off a fake field goal attempt.
This was a thing of beauty. pic.twitter.com/7dirtGbNFw
— Jon Schaeffer (@jonschaeffer) November 7, 2021
But again, San Diego State took a lead going into the 4th quarter and didn’t put the team away. Hawaii strung together a 15-play drive near the SDSU goal-line that resulted in a field goal and not a touchdown, getting the game to 17-10 at the 3:00 minute mark.
The San Diego State Aztecs continue their questionable playcalling on offense. Putting no trust in their quarterback while the offensive line continues to struggle giving blocks needed to give Bell and company room to run.
San Diego State’s defense continues to be the savior for the season, stalling Hawaii’s last-ditch effort to score a touchdown in the winding seconds. With no timeouts, the San Diego State secondary forced Chevan Cordeiro to make poor decisions and make passes over the middle to close the game.
The Aztecs closed out the game as 7-point favorites and look toward holding on to their lead in the West division as Nevada comes to Carson, November 13th.