Pumphrey, Price propel Aztecs past Lobos

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Pumphrey, Price propel Aztecs past Lobos

Jenna Mackey, Photo Editor

Jenna Mackey, Photo Editor

Jenna Mackey, Photo Editor

by Ryan Posner, Staff Writer

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The San Diego State Aztecs (3-3, 2-1 MW) defeated the University of New Mexico Lobos (2-4, 0-2 MW) 24-14 on Friday night in New Mexico.

Sophomore running back Donnel Pumphrey ran for a career-high 246 yards with two touchdowns, aided by an offensive line that opened up huge holes against a lackluster defense.

“I thought the offensive line played outstanding, and I thought D.J. (Pumphrey) and Chase Price ran the ball pretty well,” head coach Rocky Long said post-game to GoAztecs.com.

One of Pumphrey’s touchdowns was a 93-yard scamper in the third quarter, which tied for the longest run in school history.

“The offensive line gave him a huge hole, so he makes one guy miss near the line of scrimmage and outruns the rest of them,” Long said.

Long, however, was not ecstatic with the overall performance of his running backs, who fumbled the ball twice in opponent’s territory.

“You can’t get ready to score touchdowns, then fumble the ball, and have a great day,” Long said. “If they wouldn’t have fumbled we would have played real good and won by four touchdowns.”

It was that kind of night for the Aztecs; the offense committed four turnovers overall — four in six plays at one point.

True freshman Nick Bawden garnered his second career start, but was replaced in the beginning of the third quarter by senior quarterback Quinn Kaehler, who had been nursing a shoulder injury. Bawden finished the game 4 of 13 with 63 passing yards and seven rushing yards.

Quarterbacks did not play a huge role in this game, as there were just 41 passing attempts between both teams compared to 84 rushing attempts.  Kaehler only attempted three passes in the game for 10 yards, and threw an interception.

SDSU’s defense answered the bell though, and held the eighth-best rushing offense in the nation to 177 yards in the night. Senior linebacker Josh Gavert intercepted his first pass of the season, marking the seventh straight game that the Aztecs have collected an interception.

“I thought (the defense) played outstanding late in the game when we turned the ball over four times in six plays,” Long said. “I’m proud of the way they hung in there and rose to the occasion when things looked bad.”

Make no mistake though — the MVP of the night was Pumphrey and the rest of the SDSU rushing attack. Junior running back Chase Price eclipsed 100 rushing yards for the first time in his career, rushing for 142 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.

“I feel like we controlled the line the whole game,” Pumphrey said. “The offensive line played well the whole game.”

SDSU ran for 397 yards overall against the Lobos which was the eighth most in school history, and the most since Nov. 2012.

New Mexico also experienced a mid-game change at quarterback and was forced to turn to redshirt freshman Lamar Jordan after starting quarterback junior Cole Gautsche exited the game with an injury.  Jordan finished the game 8 of 18 with a touchdown and 52 yards on the ground.

In front of a crowd of 19,497 people, the Aztecs were able to go on the road and pick up their second conference win, exactly a week after losing at Fresno.

“I’d say this is a big win for our program, we’re back on the winning side now,” Pumphrey said. “ (We’re) just ready to prepare for Hawaii and get back home.”

Next on the schedule is the University of Hawaii (2-4, 1-0 MWC). That game will be at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium.

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