SDSU/UNLV Recap: SDSU Just Too Much for UNLV in 41-10 Victory

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Credit: Go Aztecs

Every week the San Diego State Aztecs seem to face an opponent that has extra motivation.

They faced a tough Stanford team that was higher ranked, only to follow that up with difficult games against Air Force and NIU, who were coming off losses against highly-ranked opponents. Both NIU and Air Force are not powerhouses by any stretch of the imagination, but they did provide a test for SDSU.

This week, the Aztecs had UNLV on their schedule and sure enough, the Rebels had extra reason to be prepared for their game. The tragic events from earlier this week at the Mandalay Bay have left the city and country in mourning. Ultimately, skill should prevail in a football game, but you can never count out extra factors in a game that requires physicality.

Rashaad Penny would be playing in his 47th straight game for the Aztecs. SDSU’s 2017 Heisman candidate has all the intangibles you look for in a running back. He has great size, excellent speed, and can catch and block. This man will play on Sundays very soon. We are very lucky to witness his growth firsthand, as fans.

On their first possession, the Aztecs drove down the field and looked poised to take a 7-0 lead. Instead, a faulty toss on second and goal resulted in a Penny fumble and UNLV acquiring the first momentum switch of the game. They were unable to do anything with the possession as a quick three and out gave the ball back to the Aztecs.

Mikah Holder came up big for the Aztecs on their next series, as he hauled in two big yardage catches, one of them being a 19-yard grab on 3rd and 18. The Aztec’ drive resulted in a field goal and a 3-0 lead for SDSU.

UNLV’s Armani Rogers versatility showed on the Rebels next drive, as the quarterback rushed 45 yards on a big 2nd and 1 play. The Rebels tied the game as a result of that run, 3-3. The first quarter ended as the teams were knotted at three. SDSU clearly had outplayed the Rebels, but were unable to get out of their own way early in the contest. You could sense it was a matter of time before coach Rocky Long got his troops in order.

Long did in fact get the team to calm down. A 14-yard Christian Chapman TD brought the score to 10-3 and there was a feeling the Aztecs were about to go off offensively.

SDSU’s backup running back Juwan Washington scampered 34-yards on the Aztecs next possession to make the score 17-3. All the attention and focus of opposing teams is presently on Penny, but Washington proves each week that he is a lethal change of pace to the bigger Rashaad Penny. Washington has excellent burst, and utilizes it.

The Rebels drove 80 yards on their next possession, as they benefited from a 54-yard completion to Brandon Presley. This has been a common theme for the Aztecs, as the defensive backfield has been susceptible to big plays on occasion. Rocky Long will surely have these issues tightened up as the season progresses. At this point it was 17-10 and the Rebels were hanging around. A 33-yard field goal from John Baron made the game 20-10 at the half.

As the second half began, the Aztecs immediately started to impose their will in the trenches. SDSU has a stud running back, and at this point the running game was starting to take over. Penny is a monster. He can close out games in the second half with his bruising style of running. And he did just that.

The Aztecs are a legit top-20 program and it is time for San Diego to take notice. Here is touchdown #2 for Penny on the night as SDSU takes a 34-10 lead. The game is out of hand at this point, as UNLV was whipped on the line and playing on their heels.

SDSU red shirt freshman Chase Jasmin scored in the last minutes of the game as the Aztecs won 41-10 on the night. The defensive front for the Aztecs was impressive again on Saturday as they did not allow the Rebels to ever get anything going offensively.

News and Notes

  • Rashaad Penny finished with 170 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns (two catches for eight yards)
  • Juwan Washington ran for 90 yards on 10 carries with one touchdowns
  • Micah Holder ended the night with 144 yards on nine catches
  • Even though SDSU lost the in time of possession (26:34 to 31:46), they dominated the game

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