A ruckus crowd of 46, 486 packed the seats at Qualcomm Stadium for the start of a new season of SDSU Football. The Aztecs hosted University of New Hampshire for the teams home-opener.
Post game was pretty interesting as well with KGB hosting it’s 41st annual Light Show at the stadium. A 24 hour recap of a typical day in San Diego was displayed with amazing fire works, classic hits, and beautiful pictures of our city. But before all that, the Aztecs took the field ready to show the nation that they mean business this year.
For the first time since 2010, beating Nicholls State 47-0, the Aztecs have shut out an opponent. The 31-0 victory over New Hampshire marks the eleventh consecutive win for the Aztecs, who haven’t lost since September 26, 2015.
The game started out slow with six straight possessions (three each team) ending in punts. That was until, Mikah Holder broke down field and was found wide open by Christian Chapman on the first play of that particular drive for an 86-yard touchdown. That play unleashed the flood gates for SDSU scoring. In their very next possession, Donnel Pumphrey breaks free for a 20-yard touchdown run to end the quarter.
The second quarter was similar to the first. San Diego played shut down defense throughout the entire half, forcing the Wildcats to punt in all eight of their first half possessions. Holder was found again by Chapman, but this time for a 14-yard pass into the end zone. Giving the Aztecs a 21-0 lead heading into half time.
The rest of the game you could see hard mouth shut down defense displayed by San Diego State. The defense forced three more punts before picking off Trevor Knight, quarterback of the Wildcats.
There was only two more scoring plays for the rest of the game. John Barron, kicker for the Aztecs, knocked down a 33-yard field goal, further extending the lead 24-0. Rashaad Penny punched in a one-yard touchdown run to end the scoring on the day for the home team.
The Aztecs were very effective both on the ground and in the air. Pumphrey finished with 105 yards rushing on 21 attempts and his one touchdown in the second. He also managed to add 41 yards receiving on four catches. Penny finished with 33 rushing yards on nine attempts with his touchdown in the fourth. Christian Chapman killed the Wildcats defense with 283 passing yards and 39 rushing yards, all while completing 16 passes on 25 attempts. Mikah Holder and Eric Judge were the two top receivers in this game. Holder who ended up putting up a total of 160 receiving yards on just four catches, Judge with 54 yards on five catches.
I’d say the most impressive part of the game was the Aztec defense and how they absolutely shut down every New Hampshire attempt to gain any yards. The Wildcats finished with only 141 total offensive yards on 51 total plays averaging out to just 2.8 yards per play. The defense set up the offense nicely, forcing 12 punts with only five of those landing inside of the 20-yard line. They also held their ground on 3rd down forcing the New Hampshire offense to finish with zero out of the 13 third down attempts.
The only disappointing aspect of the game would be the Aztecs penalties. They totaled nine penalties that moved 70 total yards for almost an average of eight yards per penalty. Not allowing any penalties to happen is almost impossible to ask, but in order to beat better teams, like Cal next week for example, State will need to do their best to prevent any yardage to be affected by penalties, especially when its 70 or more yards.
All in all, it was an outstanding home-opener for the Aztecs. They showed how punishable the defense can be this season, and also showed how much of a threat they can be both through the air and on the ground. An exciting season is upon on us San Diego State Aztec fans and it’s only just begun!