Aztecs Barely Prevail Over Toledo Rockets 17-14
San Diego State enters conference play 2-2, after a turbulent, sloppy win over the highly formidable mid-major rival Toledo Rockets.
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Burmeister redeems an underwhelming quarterback performance, activates his legs to help drive a last-minute touchdown.
San Diego, CA – The Aztecs (2-2) found a way to defeat the Toledo Rockets (2-2) 17-14 on Saturday afternoon at Snapdragon Stadium. Most fans believed the Rockets had clinched victory with under three minutes remaining in the game, and started leaving the stadium in disgust.
After leading for 57 minutes, the Aztecs found themselves behind 14-10 very late in the fourth quarter. Fans audibly booed quarterback Braxton Burmeister who might earn the nickname “three-and-out.” Routinely going out for three downs and punting was how much of the game went.
In the end however, Burmeister truly redeemed himself by coming alive and deftly driving the Aztecs to a razor-thin victory, the final touchdown made by Jordan Byrd on a one-yard drive at 41 seconds left.
Early on in the game, San Diego State’s offense was supported heavily by Byrd, who contributed 115 rushing yards including a 43-yard touchdown on the Aztecs’ first possession of the second quarter.
San Diego State’s defense played formidably for most of the game, and forced FOUR turnovers by way of three interceptions and a fumble. The Rockets, meanwhile, remained completely scoreless for 52 minutes.
In the middle of the fourth quarter, Toledo managed a touchdown on an 11-yard pass from backup quarterback Tucker Gleason to Jamal Turner. The Aztecs failed to convert on their next possession.
The Rockets then took their first lead of the game with only 2:56 left on a fast and aggressive drive ending in a one-yard touchdown rush by Deequan Finn. Many Aztecs fans were at their wits’ end.
Burmeister produced nearly ALL of his 44 yards on eight carries on the very final offensive drive. With first and goal, the Aztecs had two back-to-back false starts, and appeared to be edging themselves out of a win. Then, like a man possessed, Burmeister managed one run, and took it within a yard of the goal line. On the next play, he handed it off to Byrd who put the Aztecs back in front 17-14.
After the Rockets regained possession, a timely interception by Caden McDonald sealed the Aztecs’ victory.
It was a dicey, sketchy win, but the Aztec Nation congratulates San Diego State for delivering victory at home against a worthy opponent.
The Aztecs head off to Boise State this coming Friday for 5:00 p.m. kickoff.