After scoring 14 points in the first quarter, the San Diego State Aztecs offense disappeared in their 28-14 loss to their rival, the No. 18-ranked BYU Cougars.
The Aztecs are now 4-4, and it remains unclear if there will be another game on the schedule with a limited number of bowl games.
The struggling offense is not a new problem for the Aztecs, as their defense every game needs to be perfect because the offense does not score a lot. In fact, one of the scoring drives for the Aztecs came after a turnover forced by the defense in BYU territory.
The problem for the Aztecs did not come in moving the ball, as SDSU actually outgained BYU 399-385. They also held the ball for 36 minutes and 43 seconds of the 60-minute game. Unfortunately, San Diego State turned the ball over twice and failed to convert on fourth downs three times.
One of the fumbles came in the red zone, and two of the turnover on downs.
San Diego State can get away with these mistakes against some of their Mountain West Conference opponents, but BYU is not a Mountain West team. BYU, undefeated going into last week, is one of the nation’s best teams.
The defense did a great job of limiting the BYU offense and quarterback Zach Wilson to just 28 points. The Cougars averaged 44.5 points per game on the season, so they did a great job by any standard.
Jordon Brookshire ran the offense for the Aztecs Saturday night at quarterback. Brookshire set a career-high in his third career game with 231 passing yards on 31 attempts and 21 completions.
After only getting one carry last game, running back Greg Bell returned healthily to a much bigger role on Saturday against the Cougars. He and Kaegun Williams each notched 17 carries, with Williams totaling 91 rushing yards, while Bell recorded 68 yards on the ground.
Bell also caught two passes for 42 yards as the Aztecs’ second-leading receiver of the game. There is a chance Bell suited up for the Aztecs for the last time Saturday, as he is a senior. However, he can come back next year as the NCAA grants a waiver to all players this year for an extra year of eligibility.
SDSU finished Mountain West Conference play with a 4-2 record, good enough for fourth place. Overall for the season, the Aztecs went 4-4 with two non-conferences losses against the Colorado Buffaloes and BYU.
There are currently five Mountain West bowl ties, with six teams at or above .500 in Mountain West Conference play. It is likely the Aztecs will get another game, but not guaranteed.
Recently, some teams have opted-out of bowl season to spend time with their families for the holidays, as a lot of players were isolated and constantly tested throughout the season to avoid COVID-19.
If a team in the Mountain West opts out of bowl season, the chances will increase that the Aztecs will play in a bowl game. On the flip side, SDSU can also opt-out of bowl season to spend the holidays with family.
In the meantime, Aztec fans will need to wait until bowl announcements are made on December 20.