Coming into Saturday’s game between the #19th ranked San Diego State Aztecs and the University of Southern Alabama Jaguars, the Aztecs sought revenge from a devastating 34-27 OT loss a year ago. The Aztecs failed to return the favor and crumbled down the stretch, losing 42-24 in Mobile, AL.
The Aztecs faced something for the first time this season, they trailed. The Jaguars got out to a quick 7-0 lead against the Aztecs on a 12-yard rushing touchdown by Tyreis Thomas. The Aztecs quickly responded with a 15-yard touchdown by Rashaad Penny. The Aztecs failed to convert the extra point, and trailed 7-6 with 6:03 in the first quarter. After one quarter, the Jaguars led 14-6.
The Aztecs answered in the second quarter, as senior running-back Donnel Pumphrey led a 40-yard drive with a 7-yard rushing touchdown to close the gap to 14-13. Pumphrey recorded his 25th 100-yard rushing game and finished the night with 151 yards on 25 carries.
Aztecs’ quarterback Christian Chapman committed a rare turnover when he fumbled the ball with 6:00 in the second quarter. The Jaguars failed to capitalize on this opportunity as Cole Garvin’s pass got intercepted by Derek Babiash with 1:51. SDSU’s John Baron II made a 34-yard field goal and the Aztecs led 16-14 at the half.
The Jaguars looked like a completely different team when they returned from halftime. They came out firing at the beginning of the third quarter when Garvin connected with Gerald Everett for a 79-yard touchdown pass. The Aztecs answered with a 90-yard drive of their own. Christian Chapman threw a touchdown to Kahale Warring and converted a two-point conversion to jump ahead 24-21 with 3:06 left in the third. The Aztecs failed to score for the remainder of the game.
The Jaguars dominated the fourth quarter and outscored the Aztecs 21-0. Early in the fourth, Garvin connected with Josh Magee for a 20-yard touchdown. Following this play, the Aztecs struggled to hold on to the football.
The Aztecs fumbled on 4th and 3 and the Jaguars capitalized with Dami Ayoola’s 1-yard touchdown that extended the lead 35-24. During the next drive, the Aztecs had another crucial fumble which led to an 80-yard touchdown return to seal the game.
Player of the game: Jaguars’ quarterback Cole Garvin, who was 16-for-21 with 242 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one interception.
SDSU: The Aztecs will look to bounce back and face UNLV next Saturday at home.
USA: The Jaguars will enjoy a bye week before facing Arkansas State on Oct. 15th.