San Jose State puts scare in MW-leading Aztecs

SAN DIEGO — Though San Jose State’s gutsy performance
resulted in a 16-13 loss to San Diego State Saturday – it was
tough, old-fashioned, grind-it-out game that surprised the Aztecs
and a robust homecoming crowd of 30,451at SDCCU Stadium.

“We stood toe-to-toe for a full four quarters against the best
team in the conference.” said Spartan head coach Brent Brennan.
“Our team has to feel good about that. They never stop fighting
or battling and I’m proud of this team.”

Like many games with these Spartans, you either get an energized
start or a flat opening. Against the Aztecs, the Spartans were
energetic and ready to play.

A good first quarter found the Spartans up 6-0 on two field
goals. A sharp and methodical Josh Love at quarterback (215 yards
passing on 26-36 & 1 interception) and a lively defense with
linebacker Jesse Osuna’s fumble recovery led to an overall good
first half of play.

But it’s just those few blips that keep the Spartans from
taking it over the top. A wide-open missed TD pass and not able to
punch the ball in at the 1-yard line are indicative of a team not
able to finish. A Spartan roughing-the-passer call gave the Aztecs
life at the goal line, when the Spartans looked to have them
stopped.

By the time the second quarter was underway, the Aztecs’ power
run game started to shake off some of the Spartans’ energy with
San Diego State’s 8 minute, 17-play, 75-yard TD drive put the
Aztecs up 7-6 and up 10-6 at halftime.

The second half was further underscored by the Aztecs’ power
running style, great Spartan defense and Love leading the Spartan
offense on a, time-consuming TD scoring drive which was their first
touchdown since the third quarter against Colorado State two weeks
ago.

“The Aztec defense is the hardest defense we could possibly
face.” said Love. “So much movement. They have some stud
backers. We call it the Aztec when their safety comes in to fill
the box, but our coaches and scout team did a great job preparing
us.”

Surprisingly, by the end of the third quarter, the Spartans and
Aztecs were tied at 13 in a drag-out contest.

Where and how the Spartans loss this one could have easily been
things where they could have won convincingly:

As the Spartan defense played very well, simple Aztec plays like
a well-timed screen pass and a QB going around an edge blitzer was
enough to keep an over-eager defense off balance.

• With 62 official rush yards, we can say the Spartan run game
is broken, where even an average running game could make a world of
difference – especially when it desperately needed it most in the
last two minutes of the game, but failed.

• Love had an efficient  performance, but one bad deep throw
in the fourth quarter led to an interception that helped set up the
Aztecs’ 52-yard winning field goal.

Untimely fourth quarter penalties are also still a sign of a
young team still figuring out how to win.

Though the Spartans’ spirited performance was more than
respectable, they remain a winless team (0-7, 0-3 MW) who’s doing
more with less.

Source: FS – All – Interesting – News 2
San Jose State puts scare in MW-leading Aztecs