Aztec Defense Makes Statement in MW Opener
Oct. 04, 2015
SAN DIEGO -- San Diego State limited Fresno State to just 89 yards of total offense in a 21-7 victory Saturday night at Qualcomm Stadium. The Aztecs (2-3, 1-0 MW) reclaimed "The Oil Can" trophy with the win, dominating on both sides of the ball.
SDSU held the Bulldogs (1-4, 0-2 MW) to 12 rushing yards and 77 passing yards in the game, and did not allow a third down conversion (0-for-12) for only the second time since at least 1996. The 89 total yards allowed by San Diego State was the fewest given up in an FBS game (FBS vs. FBS) to date this season and the program's lowest since 1970.
FS had just six first downs in the game as the Aztec defense pressured quarterback Zack Greenlee throughout the game, sacking him three times and forcing him out of the pocket on numerous more occasions. Fresno State averaged just 0.5 yards per rush, carrying 22 times for 12 yards, and only 1.9 yards per play for the game. The Bulldogs' 89 yards were their fewest in a game since at least 1996.
Pumphrey rushed 23 times for 124 yards and a touchdown, before leaving the game with an injury midway through the third quarter, while Price set career highs in both attempts (27) and rushing yards (151). San Diego State is now 18-1 in the Division I era when having multiple 100-yard rushers.
The Aztecs scored on their opening drive as Pumphrey capped a 10-play, 78-yard drive with a 33-yard run down the left side of the field.
FS got to the SDSU 34-yard line on its ensuing drive, but the San Diego State defense stuffed Greenlee on a 4th and 10, keeping the visitors off the scoreboard.
Early in the second quarter, it appeared the Aztecs would get the ball back after forcing a 3 and out, one of SDSU's nine (out of 13 drives) in the game. The Fresno State punt, however, was mishandled and Stratton Brown pounced on it at the San Diego State 28. Three plays later, Greenlee found KeeSean Johnson for a 16-yard touchdown pass, tying the game at 7-7, which would remain the score at halftime.
The Aztecs took the lead back with 8:15 left in the third quarter on Smith's 33-yard pass to Penny, set up by a play-action pass.
After two more 3 and outs, SDSU mounted a 9-play, 72-yard drive, culminating in Smith's 44-yard TD pass to Judge, which would be the final points of the game.
Penny had a good all-around game with two catches for a career-high 48 yards, a 18-yard kick return and a 17-yard rush, while Dakota Gordon rushed for 34 yards on five attempts (6.8 avg.) and added a 6-yard catch.
San Diego State, which missed two field goals in the game (50 and 42 yards), was led by Alex Barrett on the defensive side with seven tackles, including a 5-yard tackle for loss and 0.5 sacks. Jon Sanchez (1.0 sack, 2.0 TFL) and Jake Fely (0.5 sacks, 2.0 TFL) contributed five tackles apiece.
The Aztecs won their seventh consecutive conference home game and 13th straight at home against an unranked conference opponent. They also won their conference opener for the third consecutive season.