It took just one night for San Diego State to lose its perfect record, its place in the Top-25, and likely a spot in the Mountain West Conference championship game. The Aztecs lost to Fresno State 30-20 in Carson, ending their quest for an undefeated record and a chance for a spot in a lucrative New Year's Six bowl game.
The difference in the game was at the quarterback position. The Bulldogs have a great one. The Aztecs are still searching for one (unless they have him on the roster already and are simply not starting him).
FSU QB Jake Haener threw for 306 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions against one of the best defenses in the nation. On the other side Lucas Johnson completed just 14 of his 31 throws for 220 yards, one touchdown and two costly interceptions.
Johnson's first misfire was in the 1st quarter when he chucked it straight into the arms of Fresno State safety Evan Williams, who returned it 36 yards to the SDSU 31 yard line. That pick set up Haener's strike to Keric Wheatfall, a 16-yarder that put the Bulldogs on top 14-0.
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When you can't throw effectively it's awfully hard to come back from double digit deficits.
A pair of field goals made it 20-0 FSU before Johnson found Tyrell Shavers for a 19-yard score to make it a 20-7 game at the half. In the 3rd quarter running back Greg Bell scored to make it a 23-13 game.
The Aztecs got it back with a chance to make it interesting but Johnson was picked off by Jalen Williams, who set FSU up on the SDSU 31 yard line again. Running back Jordan Mims covered that ground in two rushes to put the game out of reach.
On the next drive Aztecs head coach Brady Hoke put in true freshman Will Haskell. He might want to think about doing that a lot more often.
The offense clicked almost immediately, going 75 yards on 11 plays and getting back in the end zone on a 7-yard rush by Haskell. The freshman also completed three of six passes for 27 yards.
The Aztecs can still make it to the MWC title game but they need to win out and have FSU lose one of its remaining games. Next weekend SDSU plays at Hawaii, the only conference team to beat Fresno State this year.