Your San Diego State Aztecs logged a commanding win, beating the Arizona Wildcats 38-14, to improve to 2-0 on the season while handing the Wildcats their 14th consecutive loss. The game was much anticipated between the two programs and fanbases.
UofA came in to the contest with much to be excited about. Though the Wildcats had lost to BYU in their season opening game–under new head coach Jedd Fisch, they played inspired football against a quality Cougar program on a neutral site in Las Vegas. Reports of the coach publicly lobbying for a big time college atmosphere at the home opener were spread all through the Tucson campus.
The Aztecs on the other hand came in to Saturday with a lot of question marks, but with just the same level of enthusiasm. A dominating second half of last week’s victory over New Mexico State sent the team and the Aztecs faithful heading into the work week hungry for improvement. Add in all the extra energy and enthusiasm that playing a PAC12 opponent brings.
The stage was set in a hot, and somewhat humid for Tucson, Saturday night showdown. Come game time the streets of the campus were filled with students pre game partying. Tailgaters spread through-out the various lots enjoying their favorite refreshments underneath canopy shades. Jet planes streaked across the Arizona skies preparing for their flyover to honor the fallen in the 911 anniversary festivities. The day brought about a feeling that only college football can provide.
All the Wildcat students filed in their seats behind the Arizona sideline, waving their white towels while fireworks exploded and the team took the field in their usual road white jerseys. Maybe it was the sight of the Aztecs dressed in their traditional all black home uniforms that brought some extra swagger to the stadium. From the opening series the San Diego footballers played as if they were comfortable at home.
The Aztecs struck fast and early when RB Greg Bell took it to the house on a 55 yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the game. Bell broke two tackles and then ran untouched for the last 45 yards.
Greg lit the fuse for the Aztecs exactly how many had hoped he would. Bringing back memories of the last Aztecs victory in the Arizona desert when Rashaad Penny crushed ASU’s team as a whole.
The Aztec defense, then, forced the first of several 3 and outs.
Then on the next drive, on the 3rd and 2 with the ball on their own 12 yard line, QB Jordon Brookshire faked a hand off before connecting with TE Daniel Bellinger at the line of scrimmage, who then ran for 73 yards before being hauled down near the Wildcat 15 yard line.
A few plays later, Brookshire ran it in for the team’s 2nd touchdown.
Up on a PAC12 team, on the road, by two scores in the first opening 10 minutes and you began to sense a rout was within the realm of possibilities. But when the special teams got in on the scoring frenzy, you know it was going to be the Aztecs night.
Senior running back and now Mountain West Special Teams player of the week, Kaegun Williams showed an exceptional burst of speed and power when he launched through the Arizona line formation and blocked the punt. The ball sprayed high up into the air and was up for grabs. That’s when all of 6 foot 6 inch tall Tyrell Shavers out jumped a Wildcat opponent, snatched the ball up mid air and was off to the endzone 27 yards for yet another Aztecs touchdown.
This score put the Aztecs up 21-0 within the first quarter and 7 minutes still on the clock. It was all the points San Diego State would need the rest of the game.
On the ensuing drive, the Wildcats showed some fight and explosiveness from their smaller skill players. Exactly what we at Sons of Montezuma, in our Film Room YouTube series, listed that the Aztecs would need to show respect for. UofA put together a drive that featured a couple of big plays, the last of which led to their first touchdown of the game, putting the score at 21-7.
The Aztecs answered back however, early in the second quarter. Jordon Brookshire found senior tight end Daniel Bellinger once again on a short pass and he broke past a defenders arm tackle on his way to the end zone.
But the Aztecs weren’t done scoring yet. Before half-time, Jordon Brookshire (10/15, 183 yards, 2 TDS) came into the game with much speculation on whether he would be able to lead this Aztecs bunch against a PAC12 opponent. Jordon answered the call when with just over the two minute mark he dropped an absolute dime of a pass down the sideline over the top of the defender in man to man coverage, to the speedy senior wideout Ethan Dedeaux.
Such a pass and catch hadn’t been executed this cleanly in quite some time for the red & black. Definitely a sight that will keep opponents respectful of the passing game moving forward.
In the second half, SDSU added a field goal and Arizona another touchdown as the Aztecs put their run game on full display to end the game at 38-14. Though SDSU raced out to such a fast lead it most certainly could’ve been a much larger victory. For the most part, all of the odds makers for a second straight week have had a hard time pinning down how this Aztecs football team will perform.
Up next weekend is a much tougher PAC12 opponent. The University of Utah are former Mountain West and WAC members that SDSU is very familiar with. Though it has been over ten years since the two teams have played each other since Utah left the Mountain West, there should be no love lost between the two sides when they meet in Carson’s Dignity Health Sports Park.
More to come on this next matchup, so keep an eye out here at sonsofmontezuma.com as well as our film room available at our YouTube channel. Until then enjoy our Sons of Montezuma Road Trip highlights below.