A tale of two halves for Aztecs in 35-13 loss to Boise State

Credit: Boise State Athletics

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Credit: SDSU Athletics

The San Diego State Aztecs dominated in the first half of the game on Friday, getting out to a 13-0 lead at the half. But, the tides turned in a 35-13 loss to the Boise State Broncos. 

Albertsons Stadium- Boise, Idaho

The San Diego State Aztecs football team began conference play on Friday as they traveled to Idaho to battle the Boise State Broncos on the blue turf.

A 2-2 overall record coming into the game for the Aztecs was not ideal, as the football team fell flat on their face twice this season against Pac-12 opponents (Utah and Arizona). The offense was the culprit in the losses, as the unit failed to play consistently.

San Diego State University finished 12-2 last season, securing the MW West Conference title over a stout Fresno State team. Meanwhile, Boise State finished 5-3 (7-5 overall) in the conference last year and ended the season third in the East division.

During the 2021 season, the two sides met at the Stub Hub Center, with SDSU winning 27-16.

On Friday night, an early turnover by Boise State in their first possession set the tone for the first half. The Aztecs turned an interception by Dezjhom Malone into three points midway through the first quarter. Jordan Byrd was able to scamper for a first down earlier in the drive on a fourth down play, keeping the momentum going for the Aztecs.

Boise State, with a new offensive coordinator on staff, attempted to open up their playcalling. Quarterback Taylen Green could not handle the Aztecs’ defense early. SDSU constantly swarmed the Broncos’ ball carriers and Green. George Halani was held to 40 yards on eight carries through the first quarter.

Credit: SDSU Athletics

The Aztec offense played well at times early in the game, but five big penalties (one turned into a timeout by coach Hoke as the play clock was about to expire in the first quarter) by SDSU killed any momentum the team earned in their first two possessions of the game. Braxton Burmeister threw a beautiful 10-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Shavers that was wiped off the board on an illegal man downfield call. The Aztecs got off to a 6-0 lead, but an old football adage is you can’t keep kicking field goals on the road and hope to win the game. These early points left off the board are exactly what is troubling the SDSU team so far this season.

As the second quarter began, the offensive penalties continued for SDSU, which infuriated Brady Hoke. Albertsons Stadium and the Boise State crowd were loud, but there is no excuse for this lack of discipline shown by the offensive unit. Braxton Burmeister continued to play the position with no regard to his body as the young quarterback pounded the ball into the teeth of the defense himself, running for 34 yards on seven carries early in the game. You have no admire the way he plays the game. Burmeister shows a lot of heart with little regard for his physical safety.

The Aztecs’ special team unit came up big as Tyrell Shavers scored midway through the second quarter on a block punt. The error put the Aztecs up 13-0, and the Boise State crowd looked and sounded stunned over what they saw.

Boise State rotated quarterbacks in the first half, as Sam Vidlak shared time with Green. Vidlak hit Billy Bowens on a 51-yard bomb over the middle of the field, which brought some life back to the Boise State crowd. The Broncos’ offense struggled after the big play as the unit committed several penalties taking themselves out of field goal range in their only real opportunity to score in the first half.

A total of 16 penalties were committed by both teams in the first half of the game. Mental mistakes were prevalent from both sides during the first half, but a massive turnover on the Aztecs’ first possession of the second half was catastrophic. Burmeister threw an errant ball that was picked by the Broncos. Boise State immediately turned the error into seven points as Taylen Green ran the ball twice, producing seven points and making the score 13-7.

Credit: Boise State Athletics

San Diego State dominated the first 30 minutes of play in this game but now held a six-point lead on the road in front of a crowd that was energized. Braxton Burmeister took a big hit on the second series of the third quarter, and freshman Kyle Crum entered the game. The offense sputtered in his time under center as Crum does not possess the running ability that Burmeister utilizes.

The Broncos began to produce offensively as the Aztecs’ offense could not stay on the field long enough to give the defense a breather. George Holani capped off a drive that put Boise State up 14-13 with four minutes left in the third quarter. San Diego State punished Boise State early in the game but settled for two field goals. The missed opportunities for the Aztecs produced by their inability to play penalty-free football resulted in a deficit on the road.

With their starting quarterback questionable to return, SDSU would need to rally late to win the contest. Kyle Crum would also come up lame, and Liu Aumavae came in the game making his collegiate debut. Down 21-13, as the fourth quarter began, it was apparent that Aumavae and the offense were not up to the task. Losing Burmeister was huge for SDSU as the defense began to crumble.

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Boise State dominated in the end, running wild against the Aztecs’ defense. The Broncos totaled 314 yards on the ground as they ran the clock out in a convincing fashion. George Holani ran for 131 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns. Taylen Green ran for 105 yards and scored two touchdowns as well.

The Aztecs will take on Hawaii next week at Snapdragon Stadium.

1 thought on “A tale of two halves for Aztecs in 35-13 loss to Boise State

  1. I am of the thought this coaching staff became overly enamored with the potential of Burmeister. They did not offer Lucas Johnson another year of scholarship football, leaving the only one experienced QB on the roster. They seemed really quick to show Haskell the door despite the appearance of real potential.

    We expected growing pains with an inexperienced offense line. However, I question having one your regular offense plays starring our often-injured QB as a running back. We have stable of talented running backs. Burmeister has shown flashes of competence, but no consistency in completing passes. The play calling appears uninspired. If we can’t pass, then go back to utilizing a fullback or H-back. Teams have already found that stacking the box and daring us to pass is working for them.

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