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

Football gets a late stop to start 2023 campaign with a 20-13 win over Ohio

Tight End Mark Redman catches two touchdowns, defense intercepts three passes to seal first season opener win at Snapdragon Stadium
Jesse Gordon
The San Diego State football team readies for their home opener against Ohio on Saturday, Aug. 26 at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, Calif. The Aztecs won 20-13.

A late defensive stand helped San Diego State hold off the Ohio Bobcats for a 20-13 win in the football home opener on Saturday night at Snapdragon Stadium.

Quarterback Jalen Mayden went 17-of-27 for 164 yards and threw two touchdowns to tight end Mark Redman, who led the Aztecs (1-0) with five catches for 62 yards.

SDSU snatched three interceptions on defense, with linebacker Trey White, safety Cedarious Barfield and linebacker New Zealand Williams picking off Ohio (0-1) quarterback CJ Harris. Harris was thrown into the action after Bobcats starter Kurtis Rourke seemed to be shaken up after taking a hit late in the first quarter and did not return.

Both teams scored a field goal on their opening possession, as Jack Browning made a 49 yard field goal for the Aztecs and Gianni Spetic kicked a 19 yard field goal for Ohio. The Bobcats took a 6-3 lead when Spetic made a 40 yard field goal with 4:44 left in the second quarter.

The Aztecs went three-and-out on their next drive. Then Barfield intercepted Harris as Ohio was driving at the Aztec 22-yard line with 44 seconds before the half.

SDSU drove the length of the field, then elected to run a play with six seconds remaining from the Ohio 13-yard line. Mayden then found Redman open in the middle of the endzone as time expired to give the Aztecs a 10-6 lead at halftime.

“It wasn’t actually the designed play,” Redman said. “Jalen started off making his reads then came back across. Jalen being able to step up in the pocket and have the O-Line give him time, everything worked out.”

The next scoring drive began late in the third quarter, jump-started when running back Jaylon Armstead found a gap and took a 48 yard run into Bobcat territory. However, the drive stalled and Browning made a 21 yard field goal right after, to make it 13-6.

Armstead led the team in rushing, carrying eight times for 78 yards as SDSU ran for 145 yards in the game.

The Aztecs would not find the endzone again until midway through the fourth quarter. Mayden then passed the ball over two defenders to reach Redman in the back of the endzone for a 4 yard touchdown pass to make it 20-6 with 5:39 to play.

However, the Bobcats would then march down the field to score their first touchdown of the game, with Harris throwing a 3 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Miles Cross, with 1:59 left.

After a failed onside kick, SDSU tried to run down the clock and decided to go for it on fourth-and-three and seal the game at the Ohio 36-yard-line, which resulted in a turnover on downs.

Ohio took over with 55 seconds left and drove to the Aztecs 33-yard-line, when Wiliams intercepted Harris on the final play of the game.

While SDSU head coach Brady Hoke was happy with the win, he wasn’t excited about how they finished the game.

“Last year there were three games where we got beat because we did not finish,” Hoke said. “We did finish, which is a positive. I don’t know if I liked the way we finished, but we got a big work week ahead of us.”

The Aztecs continue their three-game homestand against Idaho State, who will be playing their first game of the season, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Snapdragon Stadium.

About the Contributor
David Rosas
David Rosas, Staff Writer