San Diego State, riding high on a 12-game winning streak came into Northern Illinois looking for their 13th straight victory. The Aztecs also look to prove that they are not only killers at home, but on the road as well. They did just that, pounding the Huskies 42-28 in Illinois.
The Huskies punted after their first possession, but then made a strong statement on defense by picking Christian Chapman on the Aztecs first drive. However it wasn’t long until Donell Pumphrey opened up the flood gates for SDSU getting into the endzone early in the first quarter with a monster 46-yard run. Damontae Kazee also had an impressive first quarter with an interception that he ran back for 28-yards.
Like I expected, Christian Chapman had one of the better games in his college career. After throwing an interception in the first quarter, he found the end zone three times in the first half. His first passing touchdown on the night came on a 26-yard pass to Rashaad Penny as time winded down in the first.
He would find the end zone again with less than a minute played in the second quarter on a 5-yard pass to Kahale Warring. Chapman and Mikah Holder would re-establish the connection they had in the Aztecs opener as Holder found his way into the end zone (33-yard TD) with a defender hanging on his back to put the Aztecs up 28-0.
Kenny Golladay of NIU was able to put the Huskies on the board before halftime with a 12-yard touchdown to cut SDSU’s lead to only 21 as they went into halftime with a score of 28-7.
The Huskies came out of halftime motivated and looking to put up a fight for their home crowd. Golladay put his second touchdown up on the board with a 49-yard TD reception from Ryan Graham. Graham struck again, but this time with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Shane Wimann to bring the huskies within seven, 28-21.
The fourth quarter was owned by D.J. Pumphrey. Although NIU found another Graham to Wimann connection for six, this time a seven-yard touchdown pass, Pumphrey put on a show 112 yards, two touchdowns, on just two carries. The touchdown that closed the books on scoring was a 79-yard touchdown run by number 19. That score gave D.J. his 52nd career rushing TD, putting him number one on the Mountain West football all-time list.
Player of the Game
Game ball for this weeks show goes to none other than D.J Pumphrey. Although Christian Chapman (11 for 19, 126-yards, three TD’s) made a strong push for his case, Pumphrey’s show in the second half solidified his case. He finished the game with 226 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns. His three touchdowns came on 46, 33, and 79-yard runs. He moved himself up from the number 39 spot on NCAA’s all-time rushing list to the number 29 spot in just four quarters.
This game also marked his 24th time rushing for over 100-yards pushing him past Marshal Faulk for number one in Aztec history and which now also is the most among active FBS players. He also broke Faulk’s Aztec career all-puporse yards (5, 959) as he finished the game with 5,811 all-purpose yards. He also passed 200-rushing-yards for the fourth time in his career, tying him for second among all Aztecs, only behind Marshall Faulk who has seven.
San Diego State has a bye next week, but will resume action on October 1st in Mobile, Alabama against the South Alabama Jaguars.