San Diego State Starts 3-0 For First Time Since 1981 After Defeating Washington State, 42-21

Final - 9.17.2011 1 2 3 4 Total
Washington St. Cougars 10 7 7 0 24
San Diego St. Aztecs 14 0 7 21 42

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San Diego State used a strong second half and rode to victory on the back of running back Ronnie Hillman. Hillman was a man among boys in this game as he dragged defenders a few extra yards and made moves that made himself trip over while faking out defenders. Hillman ended up with 191 yards and four touchdowns.

The first half Washington State looked to have some control and led 24-14 early in the third quarter, but after that score by Washington State which got them to 24 that was it. From then on the Aztecs seemed to move the ball at will over the Cougars and scored 21 unanswered points to make the game a blowout.

Washington State's offense sputtered in the second half where quarterback Marshall Lobbestael had three second half turnovers. One has a fumble and two interceptions on back-to-back Washington State possessions and both interceptions were by Larry Parker. However, the fumble seemed to be the play that changed the momentum and eventually the outcome of the game.

Washington State was trailing only 28-24 and on a lengthy drive and at the Aztec 25 yard line is when it happened. Lobbestael dropped back to pass, pump faked and then tried to bring the ball back up to throw and that is when the ball just slipped out of his hand and San Diego State recovered. Then on the next play Ronnie Hillman scored on a 59-yard touchdown run, and after that score it seemed that the Aztecs had this game wrapped up.

For Washington State they should have utilized wide receiver Marquis Wilson. He did catch six passes for 236 yards and a score, but the Aztecs did not have an answer for Wilson. His speed is what killed the Aztecs, and the announcers were curious to why Washington State did not run any bubble screen or quick passes to Wilson and let him do his thing. While Lobbestael put up big numbers if you take away his two deep passes to  Wilson for 158 you're left with a subpar 18-of-40 for 210 yards and his four turnovers.

So, while the Washington State offense put up yards, they still had plenty of mistakes and the running game was non-existent for the Cougars. Rickey Galvin only put up 49 yards on 11 carries and and 82 yards overall once sack yardage is removed. It seemed that Washington was going to try to defeat San Diego State, but that only worked for part of the game.

The Aztec defense came up huge, and in addition to four turnovers they created the defense also sacked Lobbestael six times. Also, the offensive line was huge as well they gave Lindley plenty of protection and time to throw the ball. While the receivers for San Diego State are still coming into their own, Lindley threw 21-for-27 and 273 yards with two touchdowns while completing a pass to six different players. 

Overall, this was a good win for San Diego State before they go on the road to take on the Michigan Wolverines and their former head coach in Brady Hoke. 

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