Football

Aztecs Pull Off 2-OT Win to Remain Undefeated

Matthews catches two TD passes in overtime to beat SJSU

(Photo by Justin Fine/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For 60 minutes the Aztecs offense was truly horrible. Then they remembered they have Jesse Matthews, and everything changed.

Matthews caught a pair of touchdown passes in overtime, the 2nd one a walkoff job, to lead San Diego State to a 19-13, double overtime win at San Jose State. The 24th-ranked Aztecs go to 6-0 on the season and are already bowl-eligible.

The Aztecs only mustered 191 total yards of offense and couldn't find the end zone in regulation time. Their defense, however, was as stellar as we've come to expect and that kept them in the game.

A terribly uneventful 1st half ended with the Aztecs leading 6-3, and you know you're watching a rough game when the most exciting highlight of regulation time is a punt. Not a punt return. A punt.

Backed up inside his own 15 yard line, punter Matt Araiza ... who is very likely going to run away with the Ray Guy Award as college football's best punter ... uncorked his latest masterpiece. Araiza blasted it over the returner, who watched the ball bounce a couple times and settle down inside the Spartans 10. It was an 86-yard punt, the longest in the nation this year.

Coming into the night Araiza was not just leading the country in punting average, he was a full three yards clear of the single-season record. An 86-yard boot certainly won't do anything to hinder his pursuit of that mark. He followed that up with a 58-yard effort and a 53-yarder that was fair-caught at the 4 yard line to help flip the field.

Starting quarterback Jordon Brookshire completed 13 of 27 pass attempts for 132 yards and missed several open targets. Without a passing attack to worry about the Spartans focused on stopping one of the nation's top rushing teams. The Aztecs ran for a season-low 70 yards on 36 carries.

SDSU's defense came up with a couple of timely 4th down stops to keep the Spartans out of the end zone, as well, so it went to overtime tied 6-6.

Lucas Johnson, who replaced Brookshire in the 4th quarter, looked right to Matthews. The former walk-on made a leaping grab in the back of the end zone to make it a 13-6 game. The Spartans answered with a TD but then made a fatal mistake. Nick Nash drastically underthrew his target and senior safety Trenton Thompson picked him off in the end zone.

The Aztecs only needed a field goal. They got a whole lot more. Johnson lofted another one to the corner and Matthews jumped between two defenders to make the game-winning catch.

The Aztecs have another road game next Saturday, this time making their first trip to altitude to face Air Force.