Fresh off a dominating victory against the University of Hawai’i last week, the San Diego State Aztecs entered Saturday’s homecoming game in search of their second consecutive win. With an overall record of 3-3, the Aztecs welcomed the struggling 1-5 Colorado State Rams for a heated Mountain West Conference battle at Aztec Warrior Stadium. SDSU celebrated its homecoming in yet another offensive outburst, strutting its way to a 38-14 victory.
“It was a total team victory,” head coach Rocky Long said. “I thought that the defense played really well and I thought the defense gave the offense several short fields that the offense capitalized on.”
Led by last week’s WC Player of the Week, senior quarterback Ryan Katz, the Aztecs opened Saturday’s game by scoring very early. On a four play, 75-yard drive, sophomore running back Adam Muema made it look easy as he found the end zone on a 51-yard touchdown run.
Colorado State, led by senior quarterback M.J. McPeek, constructed a solid drive of its own. Stringing together 15 plays and converting on three crucial third downs, the Rams stomped down the field on their first possession and converted on a fourth and goal to tie the game at seven to end the first quarter.
The second quarter commenced with another long drive, this time from the Aztecs. After an 8-minute drive, senior kicker Chance Marden connected on a 34-yard field goal to give the Aztecs a 10-7 lead.
Soon after, the Rams turned the ball over and SDSU sophomore linebacker Derek Largent snagged his first interception of the year. With great field position, Katz found junior fullback Chad Young for a 7-yard touchdown toss to extend the lead to 10 halfway through the second quarter. The Aztecs ended the half leading 17- 7.
On the first play of the second half, the Aztecs forced a fumble and recovered the ball to set up their offense in great field position. Katz took advantage of the field position, scampering into the end zone for an 11- yard touchdown run, his fourth rushing touchdown in the last two weeks. This gave the Aztecs a 17-point lead.
From this point on, the Aztecs proceeded to dominate the Rams. Largent swiped his second interception of the day. The turnover was immediately followed by a 15-yard dart from Katz to senior wide receiver Brice Butler for another Aztec score. The offense continued to rumble behind Katz’ endless scoring. And the defense, led by sophomore linebacker Jake Fely and his 13 total tackles, prevented Colorado State from making any progress whatsoever.
The Aztecs rolled to another blowout victory, as the game came to a close with a 38-14 final score. Next week, the team travels to Nevada for another crucial inner-conference matchup.
“We all need to run to the ball all the time, make sure that when one guy misses the tackle, that someone else is there to make the play and back them up,” Fely said. “Each game is going to be a different scheme, we all need to adjust to it and we all need to improve.”