Quarterbacks –San Diego State quarterback Ryan Katz was efficient in this one by completing 17-of-27 passes with 213 yards 2 touchdowns. He found himself holding onto the ball too much at times which created a couple sacks but as an offense the Aztecs put 34 on the scoreboard. Katz also came up late by leading multiple drives in the 4th quarter including a go ahead 40-yard TD pass to Colin Lockett with 2:24 left. A-
Running Backs – Once again the running game was dominant. Adam Muema carried the ball 25 times for 202 yards including an 83-yard touchdown. Walter Kazee had his share with 17 for 90 with a 8-yard touchdown but did lose a fumble early in the second quarter. Amazing how both Muema and Kazee kept their legs churning after a defender hits them. This was the eighth time in 12 games that SDSU has gained over 200 yards rushing. A+
Wide Receivers – Lockett stepped up late with the go-ahead 40-yard touchdown as he finished with 3 catches for 73 yards. Tight end Gavin Escobar continued to build off his success from the previous week against North Dakota as he had 5 for 46 plus a touchdown. As for the rest of the receiving core, they only combined for 7 receptions for 65 yards. B
Offensive Line – It sounds like the same old story for the Aztecs offensive line, they were fantastic in their run blocking but had Katz scrambling throughout the game whenever he dropped back to pass. The o-line opened huge holes for both Muema and Kazee resulting in 42 carries for 292 yards. That's 6.95 yards per carry! On the other hand Katz was sacked 5 times and most of the big plays in the passing game came off the play-action. Center Alec Johnson had a critical bad shotgun snap late in the game forcing a promising SDSU drive into a 41-yard field goal attempt. C-
Defensive Line – Before the game SDSU head coach Rocky Long said the key for the Aztecs defense was pressuring SJSU quarterback David Fales with a four-man pass rush. The game plan didn't work. The young defensive line was quiet, as they couldn't get any heat in the backfield. None of the defensive linemen had a sack or a tackle for a loss. D+
Linebackers – The linebacker's were ineffective. Nick Tenhaeff who broke his hand in the game had the lone sack for SDSU and also had another TFL plus a FF. Jake Fely was quiet with only 3 tackles. The core as a whole had to get pressure on the quarterback but they couldn't get it done. It was essential. C-
Secondary – The secondary held up without much pressure being put on SJSU quarterback. It only held up for the first three quarters of play. SJSU QB David Fales had 77 yards passing and a touchdown heading into the final quarter. In the fourth quarter, Fales had 183 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. It was an defensive implosion. For the secondary it's hard to stop the pass without any sort of pass rush. Leon McFadden played his heart out as it showed both on the field and in the post game press conference. He played his best football on this day with 3 pass breakups and an interception. B-
Special Teams – It was before the game that we discovered Seamus McMorrow wasn't going to play due to an undisclosed reason to later find out after the game that he was suspended. He was clearly missed in both the kickoffs and punts. Chance Marden and Wes Feer combined for 7 kickoffs, none went for touchbacks, resulting in 253 kickoff return yards including a 97-yard kickoff return TD. Joel Alesi had 4 punts averaging at 40.8 yards. Walk-on wide receiver Tim Vizzi fumbled the ball twice on punt returns, lost one of them. The lone bright spot was kicker Marden who made both field goal attempts from 25 and 41 yards out. F
Coaching – It felt like San Diego State had full control of the game by running the ball and could have opened it wide open without the miscues from the special teams. Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig had a balanced attack going with Muema and Kazee in the backfield slicing up the SJSU defense while not forgetting to work in the play-action pass for the big plays. Aztecs put 34 points on the board despite two fumbles lost. The defense was fantastic through 3/4 of the game, giving up only 171 yards of total offense and 10 offensive points. In the fourth quarter, the Aztecs gave up 191 yards of total offense and 21 offensive points. The key to the game was to put pressure with a four-man pass rush and the Aztecs simply couldn't get it done when they needed it the most. B-
Grades: San Jose State at San Diego State
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