San Diego State football flexed its muscle Saturday night against San Jose State, showing why the media picked it to win the West division in the preseason in a 30-7 win over the Spartans.
The Aztecs (4-3, 3-0 Mountain West) used their suffocating defense to bottle up one of the MW’s premiere rushers, senior Tyler Ervin, to 22 yards on 17 carries.
While Ervin couldn’t get it going, junior running back Donnel Pumphrey continued to be a thorn in San Jose State’s side, leading all players with 152 rushing yards and 55 receiving yards.
In three games against SJSU, Pumphrey has rushed for 491 on 51 carries with five touchdowns.
He added one of those five Saturday, as well as one receiving, which doesn’t count toward the five, but further emphasizes his role as an effective wide receiver.
After a slow start to the season, graduate transfer quarterback Maxwell Smith seems to be settling into his role as game manager, finishing 10-for-14 with 144 yards and a touchdown.
SDSU limped out of the gates after dropping three games in a row early in the season, including one to University of South Alabama.
Since then, the Aztecs have won their first three conference games and now sit comfortably atop the West division.
Pumphrey paves his way through record book
Pumphrey is all too familiar with setting SDSU rushing records, after setting the single-season rushing record last season with 1,867 yards.
He continued to insert his name all over the SDSU record book as he moved into third place in the school’s all-time rushing list in the third quarter, passing Ronnie Hillman, who had 3,243 yards.
His 152-yard performance at San Jose State gives him 3,348 on his career.
Next up on the list is Larry Ned, who ended his Aztec career with 3,562 yards. At No. 1 is none other than Marshall Faulk with 4,589 yards.
Pumphrey wasn’t done, though.
With his 13-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter he recorded his 36th touchdown of his career, putting him into a tie for second most all-time in school history with Ned and Hillman.
It wasn’t just SDSU records that Pumphrey was closing in on.
His 36 rushing touchdowns are fourth most all-time in the MW and his 38 overall touchdowns are the fifth most in conference history.
Also, his 17th 100-yard rushing performance is the second most in MW history.
Munson and Kazee atop the conference in defensive stats
Junior linebacker Calvin Munson and senior cornerback Damontae Kazee are having career years in the interception and sack department and are pacing the MW in those categories, as well.
Kazee hauled in his career-high fifth interception in the second half.
That’s not only the team high, but also the MW high, breaking up a log-jam of two other players who had four entering this week.
He already has four more interceptions than he had last year.
Last season, Munson led the Aztecs in nearly every meaningful defensive category, and he’s picking up right where he left off.
He recorded his three sacks Saturday to give him a career-high seven on the season and puts him atop the MW.
Munson’s 10 tackles Saturday also gave him the team-lead in that category with 50, as he pulled ahead of senior linebacker Jake Fely who missed most of the game with a reported right arm injury.
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Senior long-snapper Jeff Overbaugh, senior defensive back Pierre Romain and senior defensive lineman Jon Sanchez have each appeared in 46 straight games dating back 2013, which is a SDSU record for active players.