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 goes scoreless in a defensive battle against Nevada

The Aztecs lose their fifth game of the season after falling against the Wolf Pack 6-0
Michael Hayes
Aztec linebacker Zyrus Fiaseu (6) points at the offense during a Mountain West conference game against the Nevada Wolf Pack on Oct. 21, 2023 at Snapdragon Stadium.

The San Diego State Aztecs dropped another loss on the season after losing to the Nevada Wolf Pack 6-0 on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Snapdragon Stadium.

Quarterback Jalen Mayden only attempted 14 passes on Saturday and completed just six of them for 47 yards. Mayden led the team in rushing attempts and yards with 14 carries for 60 yards, running back Lucky Sutton also had 12 carries for 48 yards.

Wide receiver Brionne Penny led the team in catches with two for 12 yards. Wide receiver Mekhi Shaw led the team in receiving with 19 on one catch. SDSU offensive lineman Cade Bennett spoke about the team’s poor offensive performance.

“It’s an unacceptable performance tonight,” Bennett said after the game. “We didn’t get the job done, we were not physical tonight, we have to be better, no excuses.”

SDSU (3-5, 1-3 Mountain West Conference) received the ball at the beginning of the game and immediately went three-and-out. On their first drive of the game, Nevada (1-6, 1-2) drove 51 yards down the field on 13 plays to set up a 39-yard field goal by kicker Brandon Talton, giving them an early 3-0 lead.

After converting two first downs on their next drive, including the 19 yard pass to Shaw, the Aztecs drive stalled out at midfield, which forced a punt by Jack Browning. SDSU then downed the ball at the Nevada one-yard line and quickly forced a three-and-out.

At the start of the second quarter, the Aztecs drove from their own 42-yard line to the Wolf Pack 17-yard line, setting up a 34-yard field goal from Browning. The kick missed wide to the left.

After two three-and-outs for each team, SDSU defensive lineman Dominic Oliver recorded a sack on third down and forced Nevada to punt again. The Aztecs received the ball in good field position after a poor punt by Nevada punter Matt Freem with 2:42 left in the half.

The Aztecs failed to convert a first down and ended up turning over the ball on downs. With 50 seconds left, Nevada drove 46 yards on six plays to set another field goal try. Toltan then converted the 37-yarder to end the half and gave the Wolf Pack a 6-0 lead.

Nevada received the ball to begin the second half, but SDSU quickly forced another three-and-out. After getting a first down, the Aztecs turned the ball over on downs once more after an incomplete pass to Penny on fourth-and-three. A sack by cornerback Dez Malone shut down the next Nevada drive, forcing a punt.

The Aztecs quickly punted again after another three and out and set up the Wolf Pack at their own 47-yard line. Nevada quarterback Brendon Lewis quickly rushed for a first down on an 11-yard carry, setting up Talton for a 48-yard field goal attempt that was no good.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Aztecs had the ball and made their way to their own 47-yard line. However, they were forced to punt again after a deep ball pass by Mayden was dropped by Shaw on third down.

On the next drive, Nevada converted a third-and-21 when Lewis completed a 44-yard pass to wide receiver Dalevon Campbell. They were able to move the ball all the way to the 30-yard line before setting up Talton with another 48-yard attempt that missed wide left again.

SDSU received the ball with 8:16 left in the game and started to put a drive together. They converted three first downs: one on a four-yard rush by Mayden, another on a two-yard rush by running back Lucky Sutton and another on a QB sneak by Mayden that went for five yards on fourth down.

After converting the fourth down, Mayden proceeded to fumble the football two plays later which was recovered by Nevada linebacker Jonathan Maldonado with just over one minute left, allowing the Wolf Pack to run out the clock.

The Aztecs ended the game with 204 yards, 38 yards fewer than Nevada, who finished with 242. The team forced zero turnovers while the Wolf Pack only forced one which was the one lost by Mayden that ended the game. Head coach Brady Hoke spoke after the game about the lack of offensive production and the game-ending turnover.

“Offensively, we have to be more productive, and we have to take care of the football,” Hoke told reporters “We can’t fumble the football, and we’ve learned that lesson multiple times.”

SDSU’s next football game will be against Utah State at 4 p.m. at Snapdragon Stadium on Saturday Nov. 4.