Aztecs Victorious in Season Opener vs. UC Davis, 38-17
Sept. 2, 2017
SAN DIEGO – San Diego State rolled up 513 yards of total offense in a 38-17 victory over UC Davis Saturday in the 2017 season opener at San Diego Stadium.
Rashaad Penny rushed for 197 yards on a career-high 21 attempts and scored two touchdowns, as the Aztecs outgained the Aggies 258-57 on the ground. With his totals, Penny recorded his sixth 100-yard rushing performance as a collegian and fourth game with multiple TDs.
Christian Chapman threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns on 16 completions in 21 attempts, improving to 11-3 as the Aztecs’ starting quarterback, while tight end Kahale Warring caught a career-high five passes for 74 yards and one TD to help SDSU win its opening game for the fourth year in a row.
UCD took the opening kickoff and drove into SDSU territory, but the Aztec defense thwarted the advance, as freshman defensive back Tariq Thompson recorded his first career interception after picking off Aggie quarterback Jake Maier at the 25-yard line.
The Aztecs promptly marched 57 yards in 12 plays, culminating in a 39-yard field goal by John Baron II for the game’s first points. Chapman twice connected with Quest Truxton on the drive, hitting the senior wide receiver for gains of 12 and 11 yards to put the host school in range.
After holding UCD to a three-and-out, SDSU needed just one play to score the game’s first touchdown, as Penny burst through a seam and raced 61 yards down the left sideline to give the Aztecs a 10-0 advantage with 6:12 remaining in the first quarter.
The Aggies responded on their ensuing possession with a 10-play, 61-yard drive that consumed just under four minutes before Max O’Rourke hit a 23-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 10-3.
SDSU was unable to mount a threat on its next foray down the field, but punter Brandon Hecklein pinned UCD inside its 20 at the 17-yard line. On the very next play, Ron Smith intercepted Maier’s pass and returned it to the Aggie 26.
Overcoming a personal foul penalty, Chapman hit Warring on a crossing pattern for a 7-yard touchdown, as the Aztec sophomore dove for the right pylon on his way out of bounds, giving the host school a 17-3 lead with just over two minutes elapsed in the second quarter.
SDSU advanced into Aggie territory on its next possession, but Trevillion fumbled at the 40-yard line where Ryan Bua picked up the loose ball and returned it to the Aztec 43.
Moments later, UCD threatened after a 30-yard completion from Maier to Keelan Doss, which gave the visitors a first down at the 11. However, the Aztec defense held firm with a three-yard loss, two incompletions and an aborted scrambled by Maier on fourth down that netted only three yards.
Buoyed by its good fortune, SDSU methodically drove downfield, marching 89 yards on six plays in just 2:39, before Penny powered in from nine yards out to extend the Aztec advantage to 24-3 with just over two minutes left before intermission. Earlier in the possession, Penny got SDSU out the hole with a 27-yard scamper, while Chapman found Parker Houston for a 23-yard gain shortly thereafter.
San Diego State scored on its first two drives after the break when Chapman connected with tight end Darryl Richardson for a 21-yard touchdown, while Juwan Washington scored on a four-yard sweep around left end to cap another lengthy 99-yard excursion, which gave the Scarlet and Black an insurmountable 38-3 lead with 3:01 to go in the third quarter.
UCD managed a pair of touchdowns in the final 10 minutes of the game as Maier completed strikes of 32 and 7 yards, respectively to Doss and Logan Montgomery.
With the victory, San Diego State improved to 11-1 in its last 12 home games and 20-3 in the last 23 encounters played at San Diego Stadium. In addition, the Aztecs’ 513 yards of total offense marked the fifth most in a season-opening game in the program’s Division I history.