San Diego State Aztecs vs Idaho State Game Summary
With the college football world abuzz about upsets, the Aztecs managed to shake off a 15 second meltdown and take care of business against Idaho State by winning 38-7. Snapdragon Stadium witnessed the first Aztec win, but it wasn’t without some serious initial consternation. The Aztecs contemplated games that saw Marshall beat Notre Dame, Appalachian State take down Texas A&M and later, Georgia Southern shuck Nebraska. The game started with a major case of uh oh, could we be next? With ten seconds gone and 2nd and 10, Bengals quarterback Tyler Vander Waal connected with Xavier Guillory with a 75 yard catch and run for a touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead. The Aztecs must have certainly felt they were on the wrong side of the ledger to start the game. San Diego State quickly settled in as the next series saw the Bengals punt and Jordan Byrd quickly put concerns to rest with a fantastic punt return of 66 yards to paydirt. His speed and elusiveness is a serious offensive weapon that one must see to believe.
Aztecs Continue to Roll
Later in the quarter, quarterback Braxton Burmeister would take a keeper and rumble 47 yards for another Aztec touchdown and a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. More fireworks would happen from Jordan Byrd when he took a handoff and bolted for a 53-yard score and a 21-7 Aztec lead. Byrd would end up the day with 59 yards on 4 carries.
The 3rd quarter saw a Jack Browning field goal and an Aztec lead of 24-7 leading into the 4th. The Aztecs weren’t done yet as Burmeister found Tyrell Shavers for a 14-yard score and Cam Davis would finish the scoring with a 3-yard plunge. When all was said and done, the Aztecs had dominated a 38-7 victory. One of the main keys of the game was the establishment of the running game. The Aztecs ended up with 376 yards rushing and 484 total yards. A plethora of backs contributed to the Aztec running effort including Jaylon Armstead with 96 yards and Cam Davis with 38 yards. Burmeister finished with 75 yards as well as 108 yards passing.
The Bengals managed a respectable 258 yards passing but were smothered with only 80 yards by an aggressive swarming Atec defense. Time of possession and plays were nearly equal, but it was the Aztec big play ability that sealed the victory. Quarterback Hunter Hays was 17-29 for 140 yards as well as adding 10 yards rushing. Tyler VanderWall contributed 2-5 passing for 84 yards and the scoring strike. The leading Bengals rusher was Raiden Hunter, carrying 12 times for 53 yards. Pass catching was more productive with Xavier Guillory accounting for 3 catches, 94 yards and one score. Tight end Cyrus Wallace added an additional 44 yards to the receiving effort.
While there is reason for optimism, the Aztecs struggled with turnovers as they lost two fumbles to the Bengals. Fortunately, they were unable to make much of the miscues. The Aztecs will need to clean up several components of their game, as they will take on the Utah Utes next week in Salt Lake City. Utah, fresh off of a 73-7 shellacking of Southern Utah. Aztec fans numbering nearly 28,000 saw wonderful weather and an entertaining game, harkening back to days of trench domination. Idaho State starting quarterback Tyler Vander Waal was sidelined in the second quarter due to an injury, forcing backup running quarterback Hunter Hays to step in. Not to be outdone, starting tailback Chance Bell also left the game with an apparent arm injury. Aztec Kicker/Punter Jack Browning was quite the Swiss Army Knife as he managed to pin Idaho State inside the 10-yard line on 5 occasions as well as rush 26 yards on a fake punt and account for 8 points from the kicking game. The Aztecs were fairly predictable but showed their ability to dominate along both the offensive and defensive lines. They looked much improved but will need to play at the top of their game as they will be taking on a very angry Utes team that totally dominated the Southern Utah squad. Utah has a nasty habit of piling on while delivering a fatal blow, scoring 38 points during the second quarter. Revenge will be on the mind of the Utah players. Can San Diego State avoid a slow start? Can they maintain a dominant rushing performance? Will they be able to contain super-star Cameron Rising and his tandem of legs and arm? Perhaps the Aztecs will be able to wear the upset banner next week and continue to play well against Pac-12 teams? A weekend of practice and self reflection may tell.