Break-Out Performance

by Staff

Running back and wide receiver have careergames

ByJerry LawsonAsst. Sports Editor

San Diego State’s junior running back Larry Ned was unstoppable inSaturday’s game against Utah, and senior wide receiver Lonny Mitchellhad an offensive explosion of his own.

Ned finished with more than 200 yards rushing on 18 carries.Mitchell finished the day with three catches for 101 yards receivingand a 75-yard touchdown catch.

“I credit it all to the O-line,” Ned said. “They’ve been blockingall year.”

With the help of the offensive line, Ned had break-outs of 33 and77 yards. The carry for 77 yards was the ninth-longest in teamhistory.

“I just busted a few,” Ned said.

He sure did.

In fact, Ned accounted for more than 40 percent of SDSU’s totaloffense of nearly 500 yards on the day.

Last season at home against Utah he rushed for 97 yards on 20carries with a long of 17 yards. Not quite comparable to hisperformance on Saturday.

His best statistical game last season came against Arizona when herushed for 146 yards on 33 carries.

Ned is quickly surpassing his numbers from a year ago, when herushed for 762 yards on 153 carries in nine games.

His longest carry last season was 47 yards, and he had fourtouchdowns. He has already had a 77-yard carry and scored eighttouchdowns so far this season.

Ned is well on his way to rushing for more yards on fewer carriesthis season. In eight games so far, Ned has rushed for 732 yards on126 carries with eight touchdowns.

He is also the second leading scorer on the team with 48 pointsthus far. He trails only place-kicker Nate Tandberg who passed up Nedin scoring on Saturday with three field goals against Utah.

Ned currently stands second in all-purpose yards and total offenseon the team. He is first in rushing and fourth in receiving as well.

With Saturday’s performance, Ned has pushed his rushing yards pergame average up to more than 91 yards.

Another stellar effort came from Mitchell, who had clearly hisbest game of the season, as well as his college career.

He accounted for more than 50 percent of Aztec quarterback JackHawley’s 194 passing yards. Mitchell also had one carry for 15rushing yards in the game, which came off a reverse and resulted in afirst down for SDSU.

Last season Mitchell caught 16 passes for 226 yards receiving andzero touchdowns with his longest catch being one of 26 yards. Hisbest single-game performance last season in terms of receiving yardswas against San Jose State where he caught two passes for 44 yardswith a long of 25 yards.

In Mitchell’s first active season with the team (1997), he caughteight passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns over the season.

With Damon Gourdine, the team’s leading receiver, out for theremainder of the season, head coach Ted Tollner will look forMitchell, among others, to step up and take over as thego-to-receiver.