San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Aztec Football disappoints in home-opener, falls 38-20 against the Wildcats

The University of Arizona outshines SDSU, resulting in an upsetting home-opener at Snapdragon Stadium
Parker St Germaine
Aztec players (in red and black) running down field to gain yardage versus the Wildcats (in white).

The University of Arizona Wildcats (1-0) downed the San Diego State Aztecs (0-1) 38-20 in the inaugural home opener at Snapdragon Stadium in front of a 34,046 sell out crowd. 

All eyes were on Virginia Tech senior transfer quarterback Braxton Burmeister to give the Aztecs fans some new life in San Diego, but he only completed five passes for 51 yards and one touchdown to go along with 20 yards on the ground.

Burmeister was pressured throughout the game, causing him to either make a bad pass or scramble.

Head Coach Brady Hoke said it was unfortunate Burmeister’s performance did not live up to expectations, with the transfer having to leave the game in the third quarter with a tweaked shoulder.

“Brax tweaked his shoulder a little bit, so we thought we would give him some time,” Hoke said. “I think resting him a little bit was what we needed to do and to finish out the game as well.”

Hoke said Burmeister will be healthy enough to practice this week as his shoulder tweak is minor.

On the Arizona side of the ball, sophomore quarterback Jayden de Laura had a great game completing 22 passes for 299 yards and four touchdowns.

Aztec senior defensive lineman Jonah Tavai said he was impressed with how the Wildcat’s offensive preparation caught the Aztec defense off guard.

“I think they did a good job of getting the ball out real quick,” Tavai said. “Now their O-line did, in my opinion, a lot more preparation compared to last year. They were calling out some of our plays as well.”

Last year, the Aztecs defeated the Wildcats 38-14 in Arizona.

Wildcat junior wide receiver Jacob Cowing was another spectacular player on offense, catching eight passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns.

Aztec senior safety Cedarious Barfield was mostly tasked with covering Cowing, but Hoke thinks he wasn’t the only one to blame for the poor coverage.

“I would not say it was just Barfield,” Hoke said. “I would say everyone [on defense] takes the blame.”

In the middle of the second quarter, Barfield secured a fumble recovery, the first of his career, and gave the Aztec defense and offense life.

Burmeister completed an 11-yard touchdown to senior wide receiver Tyrell Shavers on the ensuing drive, making it the first Aztec touchdown at Snapdragon Stadium.

Despite the Aztec defense’s lackluster performance, they did later cause a blocked punt in the endzone which was recovered by Aztec sophomore running back Jaylon Armstead for a touchdown.

In the end, the Aztecs lost by 18 points and sent Aztec fans home disappointed.

Even with the loss, Tavai enjoyed the atmosphere of the first game at Snapdragon Stadium.

“Coming into the stadium, hearing the roar when we’re walking through the tunnel, running out to the student section as well,” Tavai said. “They’re probably just as hyped as we are, and we loved to see that.”

Similarly, senior wide receiver Jesse Matthews was appreciative of the fans that cheered through the 100 degree heat.

“I enjoyed the atmosphere a lot and really fed off the energy coming out of the tunnel,” Matthews said. “Just being home in San Diego again, seeing my family and friends and just the atmosphere and the fans that showed up in this place, we really appreciate it.

“We have to maintain the energy and the momentum from the crowd to stay in the game,” Matthews said. “The good thing is it’s our first game of the season, it wasn’t a Mountain West Conference game.”

The Aztecs are back at Snapdragon Stadium this week at 5 p.m., on Sept. 10, as they take on the Idaho State Bengals (0-1).

About the Contributor
Adam Correa, Senior Staff Writer
Adam is a senior at San Diego State University studying journalism and media studies. This is his second year with The Daily Aztec. He loves watching sports, reading, and going to the gym in his free time. He mainly writes for the sports section, but also loves doing on-camera reporting and multimedia content. He previously was the assistant sports editor and blog editor for The Telescope newspaper at Palomar College. In the summer of 2022, he did an internship with Thesocialtalks digital newspaper, where he wrote for the latest news, opinion, and sports section. When he graduates from San Diego State University, he wants to be a sports writer for a popular newspaper organization or a sports reporter for a tv station.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Aztec Football disappoints in home-opener, falls 38-20 against the Wildcats