Oct. 22, 2016
San Diego, Calif.----- San Jose State managed only a Bryce Crawford 27-yard field goal in a 42-3 Mountain West loss to San Diego State, at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Aztecs (6-1, 3-0 Mountain West) used relentless ground attack, a stifling defense that limited the Spartans (2-6, 1-3 Mountain West) to 207 yards and special teams play that forced San Jose State into poor first-half starting field position in the victory.
San Diego State's Donnell Pumphrey, the nation's leading rusher, and back-up Rashaad Penny keyed a 293-yard ground attack. Pumphrey, the nation's leading rusher gained 135 yards on 24 carries and scored on touchdown runs of 27 with 9:41 in the second quarter and 23 with 3:23 in the third. Penny, with 105 yards on just nine carries, was in the end zone on runs of 3, 4 and the game's longest play from scrimmage, a 71-yard burst up the middle that gave the Aztecs a 42-3 lead at the end of the third quarter.
San Diego State chose to open the game with a short passing attack integrating tight end David Wells as the primary target. Wells hauled in four Christian Chapman passes on the first scoring drive of the game. One was an 8-yard gain on a 4th-and-2 for a first down at the Spartans 6-yard line. Two plays later, Wells was by himself in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown reception and the game's first score, 7-0, with 2:10 left in the first quarter.
The Aztec defense controlled the game allowing just six Spartan first downs in the first half and 14 for the game. A Frank Ginda interception at the San Diego State 41-yard line and a 16-yard return set up San Jose State's first score. Bryce Crawford's field goal got the Spartans on the scoreboard with 3:00 left before halftime.
San Jose State had an excellent chance to end San Diego State's three-game streak of not allowing an offensive touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Starting at their 26-yard line, quarterback Kenny Potter connected on passes of 14 and 22 yards to wide receiver Tre Hartley on back-to-back plays and ran for 21 yards to the Aztecs' 7-yard line for a first down. On 4th-and-goal, Potter's pass to Tim Crawley fell incomplete.
The Spartans' signal caller turned out to be the team's leading rusher with 42 yards on nine carries. He completed 13-of-23 passes for 104 yards.
The running back trio of Zamore Zigler, who started for the first time since the New Mexico game on October 1, Malik Roberson and Deontae Cooper was limited to 32 yards on 15 carries.
San Jose State next takes on UNLV, Saturday, October 29, in CEFCU Stadium, at 7:30 p.m.