SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (2-0) VS ARIZONA WILDCATS (0-2) RECAP
San Diego State looked immensely different in this game compared to last week, absolutely dominating the Arizona Wildcats, 38-14. They were simply unmatched.
21 points were scored in the first quarter alone, 2 on the ground and one from a blocked punt. Last week, it took SDSU an entire half to score. The team that struck momentum first was going to take this one and it’s obvious the Aztecs wanted it and certainly got it.
Within the first two minutes if the game, senior running back and 2020 Second-Team All-Mountain West selection Greg Bell ran for a 55 yard touchdown, quickly quieting the crowd and putting the Aztecs on top early. By the end of the first half, it was 35-7.
Bell rushed for a total of 125 yards on 17 carries, averaging 7.4 yards per carry.
SDSU quarterback Jordon Brookshire was efficient all game. He didn’t pass often, completing 10 passes on just 14 attempts, but he threw 2 touchdowns and rushed for 1. Brookshire didn’t break away for any big gains on the ground, but 183 yards through the air is an improvement from 76 passing yards in Week 1 against New Mexico State.
Brookshire found senior wide receiver Daniel Bellinger 3 times, one of them being for 73 yards. Bellinger also had a 25-yard TD catch to add to his 113 total yards of receiving for the game. This was also an improvement from last week, as Bellinger had just one catch for 10 yards. Brookshire also found senior WR Ethan Deadeaux for a 40-yard TD pass to make the score 35-7 going into halftime.
As for Arizona, redshirt-freshman quarterback Gunner Cruz got the start. He threw a 43-yard touchdown pass, a screen play carried out by WR Stanley Berryhill III to make it 21-7 at the end end of the first quarter. They couldn’t get going on offense all game with their defense allowing SDSU to make big time plays.
“They out-played us, out-coached us, out-schemed us. They played really hard, and they made it very hard on us. They’re a very good football team. They’re big, they’re strong, they’re fast, and it showed up tonight.” Arizona’s first year head coach Jedd Fisch said about the Aztecs during post game interview.
On the bright side (if you can call it that) the defense only allowed 3 second-half points. Freshman Will Plummer got a chance under-center, throwing for 109 yards and his first career TD to senior wideout Tayvian Cunningham. He completed 50% of his passes going 10 for 20, looking less timid than Cruz, but the offense just couldn’t get it going, at all.
Tayvian Cunningham finished with 5 receptions and 81 yards, his longest at 54 yards.
San Diego State is a good football team. The Arizona Wildcats need some improvements. Arizona’s biggest downfall seems to be the quarterback position, but the Aztec run game shined in back-to-back weeks proving it is the key to any victory moving forward.
The Aztecs finished with 454 yards total compared to Arizona’s 228. With SDSU rushing for more than 200 yards on the ground (271 to be exact), they are 49-2 in their last 51 games when rushing for over 200 yards. Arizona rushed for just 49 yards on the game.
The Wildcats also did not convert a third down until early in the 4th quarter, which didn’t help when trying to produce points. Props to the SDSU defense applying pressure, coming away with an interception by Patrick McMorris and 4 sacks. Looking into next week, Arizona will need to tune up on offense and defense, gaining more confidence.
UP NEXT FOR AZTECS
The Aztecs will face the Utah Utes at home next Saturday, September 18th at 4:00pm. The game will be played at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, CA.
The last time the Aztecs faced Utah, the Utes won a close one, 38-34 on November 20th, 2010. SDSU will look to keep the undefeated record and non-conference win streak alive.