Aztecs survive 19-13 in 2OT win at San Jose State

Credit: Quad-City Times

Credit: Quad-City Times

The San Diego State Aztecs survived a defensive battle in double overtime on the road against the San Jose State Spartans, 19-13. With the win, the Aztecs moved to 6-0, keeping their undefeated season.

In the first overtime, each team found the end zone for the first time. San Jose State punched the ball in on the ground, marking the first time that SDSU allowed a rushing touchdown on the season.

To start the second overtime, Trenton Thompson intercepted a wobbly pass to set up the Aztecs in a situation to close out the game. Just like the Aztecs did in the first overtime period, Lucas Johnson completed a jump ball pass to Jesse Matthews into the end zone.

“It was a hard-fought, tough, physical football game,” San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke said. “Winning close games and winning games like that, you have to do that to win a conference.

As the score indicates, it was not a cleanly played football game. However, penalties played an even bigger part in the sloppiness than the struggling offenses and strong defenses. San Jose State really could not get out of their way, committing twelve penalties for 101 yards. SDSU did not do much better, committing six for 71 yards.

Aztecs quarterback Jordon Brookshire struggled passing the ball all night. He completed less than half of his passes for just 132 yards on 27 attempts.

In the fourth quarter, Hoke saw enough and called Johnson’s number to lead the Aztecs for the rest of the game.

“I thought we needed a little change-up,” Hoke said. “[Brookshire] took a couple of shots that were significant to some degree, and we thought we were a little stagnant and we needed to do something different.”

It did not amount to anything in regulation, as San Diego State did not move the ball for the remainder of the game. However, when it mattered most, Johnson found Matthews to score twice in overtime.

There was very little rushing attack to complement or even help the passing game. San Diego State rushed for just 70 yards in the contest on 36 attempts. That is only two yards per attempt, which is much less than their 5.3 yards per attempt entering the contest. They were limited by a motivated Spartans defense that played very physically after losing to Colorado State last week.

“I think they’re a good defensive front,” Hoke said. “I think, scheme-wise, they do some things to shut down the outside with a trap coverage concept.”

With only six points scored in regulation, there weren’t many standout performers on the Aztecs offense. However, SDSU punter Matt Araiza served as an extra offensive player the way he controlled the field position battle for San Diego State. He punted for 370 yards on seven boots for an average of 52.9 yards per punt. Most impressively, one of Araiza’s third-quarter punts went 86 yards and was downed at the three-yard line.

San Diego State will get an extra day of practice this week following the Friday contest before their game next Saturday against the Air Force Falcons. The Aztecs will be playing at altitude in Colorado Springs and face Air Force’s triple-option offense. The kick-off for that contest will be at 4:00 p.m. PT, as the Aztecs will look to continue their undefeated season.

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Dominic Stearn on Twitter
Dominic Stearn
Dominic is currently a Junior at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, studying Sports Journalism. He also hosts the "Devils Talking Padres" podcast and is the producer and co-host of the "Padres EVT Podcast.
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