Aztecs’ ground and pound punishes San Jose State in 52-7 win


Photo courtesy of Kavin Mistry, The Spear

Senior running back Rashaad Penny makes a cut on his way to a touchdown in the third quarter of SDSU’s 52-7 win over San Jose State.

by Zach Engberg, Sports Editor

What a difference two weeks can make in the wild Mountain West Conference.

After a short hiatus, San Diego State football has officially rediscovered its ground magic, rushing for a program-record 554 yards in a 52-7 win over San Jose State University.

One week removed from a 334-yard rushing performance against the University of Hawaii, eight different Aztecs recorded a rush – and three recorded a score – in their most lopsided victory of the season.

For comparison, SDSU attempted only seven passes for 94 yards and one eight-yard touchdown.

The Aztecs held San Jose State to only 200 total yards, 34 on the ground, and held the ball for 43:19 of the contest.

This was in stark contrast to SDSU’s losses to Fresno State University and Boise State University, in which the two-time defending Mountain West champions were held to a total of 248 yards rushing and were outgained in each contest.

The Aztecs are now 8-2 on the season and 4-2 in MW play, still one game behind Fresno in the West Division.

Senior running back Rashaad Penny had his second straight 200-yard game, rushing for 234 yards on only 20 carries to take back the FBS lead in rushing yards from senior Stanford back Bryce Love.

SDSU offensive coordinator Jeff Horton fed Penny from the onset, giving him eight carries – the last of which was a 13-yard score – on the Aztecs’ 11-play opening drive.

He followed that up with an 82-yard touchdown on the first play of the next drive, his second longest rushing score of the season.

Sophomore back Juwan Washington, who gained a career-high 134 yards, split carries with Penny, taking over on the next series giving SDSU a 21-0 lead on a one-yard touchdown.

Washington scored twice in the game, both times in the first half, helping the Aztecs to a 35-0 halftime lead.

The lone passing score came in the second quarter on an eight-yard play action toss from redshirt junior quarterback Christian Chapman to senior fullback Nick Bawden, who – with his right hand encased in a black club – hurdled into the end zone.

The Aztecs forced two first-quarter turnovers, coming on consecutive drives after not getting a takeaway since their win over Northern Illinois on Sept. 30.

Junior safety Parker Baldwin intercepted a pass from freshman quarterback Aaron Montel, and on the next series junior linebacker Chibu Onyeukwu a fumble to set SDSU up in Spartan territory.

After a third Penny touchdown, a 64-yard scamper early in the third quarter, head coach Rocky Long put in redshirt freshman back Chase Jasmin.

In his first extended action of the season, Jasmin rushed for a career-high 82 yards and one touchdown, a nine-yard rush at the end of the third quarter to put the Aztecs up 49-7.

With the game out of question, the fourth quarter saw sophomore quarterback Ryan Agnew take the reins for the second time in three weeks.

Agnew rushed for for 18 yards and completed two passes, leading SDSU to one scoring drive, a 30-yard field goal by John Baron II.

SDSU will be on a bye next week, and will come back for a Nov. 18 home game against the University of Nevada, Reno before finishing against the University of New Mexico on Nov. 24 at SDCCU Stadium.

The Aztecs will keep a close eye on Fresno State, who will close the season with two road games against Boise State and the University of Wyoming.