Aztecs’ running game steamrolls UNLV 34-6


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Credit: SDSU Football

The San Diego State Aztecs won impressively in their first game of the 2020 season. 

After all the uncertainty about football, SDSU fans finally got a chance to watch some Aztec football.

The offense for the Aztecs looked unphased by the delay to the season. They came into the game and put up 34 points while playing some very clean football. The running game was relentless, and the UNLV defense had no answer. As a group, the running game averaged 6.2 yards over 46 carries.

Greg Bell led the rushing attack with 19 of the carries and totaled 111 yards. One of those rushes going 40 yards. Chance Bell and Kaegun Williams backed him up nicely, earning 40 and 84 yards, respectively. Chance Bell managed to put up two touchdowns on the night.

Despite the great running game, it was the passing that got the first points on the scoreboard. Carson Baker made his second career start and first as the #1 quarterback on the team. In the first quarter, he led the team from the SDSU 15 to the end zone in an 11-play drive. He connected with Ethan Dedeaux for a 4-yard catch to snag the first points of the year.

In the second quarter, the defense had their time to shine. Trenton Thompson got his hands on a punt as it was coming off the kicker’s shoe to deflect the ball. Michael Shawcroft returned the ball to the UNLV 16 to give the offense amazing field position. Greg Ball capitalized by scoring his only touchdown of the game for SDSU.

The defense also made headlines in the fourth quarter. With the Rebels down by 21, UNLV chose to go for it on 4th and 3 on the Aztecs 4-yard line. The defense snuffed out a screenplay for a loss of 11 and turnover on downs.

The great Aztec running game shined for a lot of reasons. Firstly, the position’s depth allows the team to run the ball at any time constantly. Then as the defense gets tired, the passing game becomes a lot easier to execute. It shows in the zero fumbles and zero interceptions given up by the Aztec offense.

Recognition goes to the Aztec defense, which only allowed 12.3 ppg last season, started on a great foot this season. A key part of this was shutting down Charles Williams. In their matchup last year, Williams averaged 5.9 yards per carry. In this game, he only managed 4 yards per carry. This gave the defense a huge boost and the ability to shut down the Rebel’s key offensive asset.

This win marks a great return for Brady Hoke. He brought the Aztecs into the competitive light after his 2009 and 2010 years as the head coach. He seems to be starting right where he started with an energized team that is ready to play.

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