SDSU Wins Old Oil Can 17-7 Over Bulldogs

Fresno State traveled down California to obtain the “Old Oil Can” trophy, but the Aztecs weren’t having it. 

If you took San Diego State University -1 and the under, congratulations. SDSU won 17-7 on Friday. 

As usual, SDSU was stout defensively. The Aztecs held the Bulldogs to only 70 rushing yards and only allowed them to convert 13 first downs. In fact, the Bulldogs were a porous 3-12 on third down (25%).

“We deserved to win the game,” Head coach Rocky Long said, “It’s a really very good win for our team, program and puts us one step closer to where we want to be.”

SDSU controlled the ball for 12 minutes longer than Fresno State did, and ran 30 more plays. 

“If you keep their offense off the field, they cant score points.” Senior quarterback Ryan Agnew said. “We have to get more points on the board so then the defense isn’t stressing.”

However, the Bulldogs claimed an early lead. Running back Ronnie Rivers was able to find the end zone and give Fresno State a 7-0 lead.

A big interception by SDSU’s Tariq Thompson set up the Aztecs inside the Fresno State 25-yard line. Two plays later, the Aztecs benefitted from a defensive pass interference and Chase Jasmin scored from the two yard line to tie the game. 

The Aztecs’ defense remained the story, as junior Luq Barcoo intercepted the Bulldogs. The junior college product has seven interceptions this season, which is tied for second in the nation. 

“We make it a competition of us getting plays,” Barcoo said, “So it’s kinda cool to see other guys make those plays and we’re just trying to make those plays.”

Meanwhile, SDSU has 85 interceptions since the start of the 2015 campaign, which is most in the entire nation during that span.

Safety Dwayne Johnson Jr. made it known he’s currently in last place for the team’s friendly competition.

“I got to get one, I got to get one.” Johnson Jr said, I’m in last place right now, but we’re always trying to make to plays to help us win.”

The Aztecs ran into some bad luck toward the end of half one. Senior quarterback Ryan Agnew was intercepted by Fresno State, but the Aztecs defense held tight and forced a Bulldogs punt.

Not too much later, Agnew found tight end Parker Houston for what looked like a touchdown, but it was overturned and SDSU settled for three points.

Right before the first half ended, the Aztecs had a field goal blocked, which kept the lead 10-7 at halftime. 

The Aztecs were marching to start the third quarter, but Chance Bell fumbled inside the three-yard line, which gave the Bulldogs possession again. It was the first time the Aztecs lost a fumble this season; the score remained 10-7.

At the very beginning of the fourth quarter, the Aztecs decided to go for it on fourth down from the Bulldogs two-yard line.

Agnew rolled out of the pocket and found Jasmine for an easy touchdown, which pushed their lead to 10. It was the first time Jasmine scored multiple touchdowns in one game.

The senior quarterback finished with a career high in completions (33) and passing yards (323). He finished with a quarterback rating of 130.7.

After the Bulldogs found some momentum halfway through the fourth quarter, they had a touchdown called back, then Barcoo intercepted Jorge Reyna once again to seal the deal.

It was the third turnover the Aztecs caused on Friday, they are 22-0 when forcing three or more turnovers. 

“This year we’re doing a much better job of taking the ball away,” Long said

The Aztecs are now (8-2; 5-2 Mountain West). They travel to Hawaii next week, kickoff will be 3 p.m. PST. 

Written by: Daniel Farr

SDSU PULLS OFF DRAMATIC COMEBACK AGAINST WYOMING 26-22

San Diego State University improved to 5-1 after a stunning come from behind victory over the University of Wyoming 26-22 at SDCCU stadium.

Down three points late in the fourth quarter, SDSU quarterback Ryan Agnew avoided a sack and found tight end Daniel Bellinger for a touchdown that gave the Aztecs a 26-22 lead with just over two minutes remaining.

“Everyday at practice we go out and work as hard as we can,” Bellinger said, “When it comes down to that, we try to get open and that’s exactly what happened.”

The Aztecs defense stood tall and sealed the four point victory with an interception by cornerback Luq Barcoo. 

After a late hit out of bounds penalty was called on the Aztecs’ Dwyane Johnson Jr, the Cowboys took advantage of the mistake and scored a touchdown, which gave them a 22-19 lead after converting a two point conversion. 

“I didn’t agree with the call,” Rocky Long said, “I don’t think Dwyane did anything that would’ve caused a flag, but they threw it.”

Run plays and designed quarterback keepers nearly beat the Aztecs on Saturday night. Sean Chambers, the Cowboys quarterback had two rushing touchdowns and ran in a two-point conversion on 13 rushing attempts.

He had 14 passing attempts and only completed five of them, but threw for 94 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Wyoming tallied 39 rushing attempts and had three rushers combined for 157 yards.

“We missed two tackles that added up to over 100 yards rushing.” Long said, “So you miss tackles, you give up rushing yards. In the second half, we didn’t miss tackles.”

The Aztecs’ offense had a hard time scoring for the first half of the game, even trailing 14-3 at one point and continually settling for field goals. However, in the middle of the third quarter, the Aztecs seemed to establish their run game and rolled the dice twice on fourth down.

On a fourth-and-one, the Aztecs converted and set up a Juwaun Washington touchdown. Then, on a fourth-and-three late in the third, Agnew found Jesse Matthews for a first down, which set up a go-ahead touchdown run by Washington that gave the Aztecs a five-point lead.

“Anytime we have two teams with the same philosophy, you want to pound the rock and be physical.” Washington said, “It’s going to take some time to get going. We just have to keep doing what we’re doing.”

In the fourth quarter down by a score, the University of Wyoming had a chance to retake the lead, but the Cowboys fumbled the ball during a punt return and the Aztecs took over deep in Cowboys territory.

Kicker Matt Araiza had already made two field goals on Saturday, but missed a kick that would’ve pushed the lead to eight. His streak of seven straight made kicks was snapped, Arazia is now 9-for-12 on field goals this season.

The Aztecs will face San Jose State on the road next Saturday.

Written by: Daniel Farr
Photo by: Justin Neeley

Aztecs Come Up Short Against Utah State 23-17

San Diego State was defeated by Utah State 23-17 on Saturday night at SDCCU stadium. For the Aztecs, it was a classic case of too little, too late.

The Aztecs had multiple streaks snapped tonight. They had a 13 game winning streak in the month of September snapped as well as a 10 game winning streak against the Aggies snapped. 

The Aztecs only scored three points in the first half and trailed by 17 at halftime.

However, a late game spark brought the Aztecs within striking distance. After struggling for most of the game, senior quarterback Ryan Agnew threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and cut the Aggies’ lead to six with just over five minutes remaining. He would finish with 281 yards and two touchdowns. 

One of his fourth quarter touchdowns was an across-the-body throw to sophomore Kobe Smith for 25 yards.

Quarterback Ryan Agnew attempting a pass.
(Photo: Justin Neeley)

“That was a miracle at that point.” Agnew said, “[I] Dropped back and they played like a prevent defense so nothing was really open. I tried to buy enough time, try and find the open guy and Kobe [Smith] made a play.”

The Aggies had an opportunity at a 42-yard field goal with 1:18 left in the game, but kicker Dominik Eberle missed the kick, which kept the margin at six points instead of nine. 

On the Aztecs final drive of the game, the offense failed to find the endzone and turned the ball over on downs.

“We had a play drawn up to get one across the middle,” Agnew said, “Wish I stayed in there a little longer [the pocket] and tried to deliver the throw, got to give the receivers a chance.”

SDSU led this one early with a slim 3-0 lead, but a crucial first quarter interception put the Aztecs behind the eight ball. Agnew was picked off by Shaq Bond who returned it for a touchdown.

The turnover was not the only thing that hurt the Aztecs. The team had six penalties for 61 yards, including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. SDSU eclipsed their average penalties and penalty yards in the first half.

SDSU running back Jordan Byrd.
(Photo: Justin Neeley)

“Obviously the special team’s penalties always started us in bad field position,” Rocky Long said, “I haven’t seen them on film to see if they were legit or not, but we’ll find out. I think the only real bad penalty was we got a personal foul penalty and that’s ridiculous.”

The Aggies have racked up 1,330 yards in their first two games but were held to 375 total yards against the Aztecs.

“If you told me before the game we were going to hold them to 16 points on defense I’d tell you we were going to win,” Long said.

However, Long quickly critiqued his defense after the praise. When asked about how his defense played, Long did not hold back.

“Not good enough,” Long said. “It’s never good enough if you lose. We gave up some yards, but we made them kick field goals and I think they scored one touchdown on offense.”

The Aztecs were without contribution from senior running back Juwan Washington, who hasn’t played since week 1. He continues to suit up, but remains on the sidelines during games.

Asked if anything good came out of tonight Long didn’t mince words.

“Well, there’s no real positives because we lost,” he said. “I still believe our team can be a good football team and maybe we were okay tonight too because Utah State is pretty good, they got an NFL quarterback and that’s a hard thing to contend with.”

The Aztecs will look to gather themselves over their upcoming bye week and prepare for an away game against Colorado State.

Written by: Daniel Farr

Men’s Soccer falls to USD Toreros in a 3-2 defeat

Senior Midfielder Pablo Pelaez kicks the ball against a UC Irvine defender

San Diego State men’s soccer team lost 3-2 in their first game of the season to the University of San Diego on Friday night.

A USD goal in the 67th minute by Miguel Berry proved to be the difference on the SDSU sports deck during “Light the Night,” where the first 500 fans were gifted light-up bracelets. Berry finished with two goals on three shots and led his team to a victory.

Aztec goalkeeper and redshirt sophomore Harrison Skinner was tested often tonight.

“On that third goal I saw their number nine [Berry] coming down the field I thought we had a chance to foul him earlier in the midfield. He went through our defense and he was able to tuck it by me.”

Harrison Skinner

Emotions ran high as the cross-town rivals battled for San Diego bragging rights, multiple yellow cards were handed out throughout the match.

A crowd of over 1,600 people was rewarded with a seesaw match. SDSU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, due to a free kick by senior midfielder Pablo Pelaez.

“I feel disappointed [and] out of words. We usually do well against USD. It’s a tough one to swallow in front of all these amazing people that came out, but that’s soccer and we’ve got to move on from this and there is a game in two days we get to look forward to.”

Pablo Pelaez

17 minutes later, the Toreros tied the game 1-1 thanks to a Ross Meldrum goal. But only five minutes later, the Aztecs retook the lead thanks to a Tristan Weber score, making it 2-1 in the 64th minute.

In the end, the Aztecs had numerous missed scoring opportunities all throughout the game.

Aztec midfielder Keegan Kelly attempted to set teammates up throughout the night, but they did not return the favor.

“We could’ve gotten a better result, but the guys worked hard; I think we were prepared for this game. At the end of the day, we need to look in the mirror and look at ourselves and see what we need to improve on because this is back to back. We controlled the game and we can’t get the result we want.”

Pablo Pelaez

Due to missed opportunities, the Aztecs gave up two straight goals, which put them too far out of reach during the latter stages of the game.

Head coach Lev Kirshner, who is in his 20th season, pointed to the two goals made by USD’s Barry.

“We didn’t contain him [Berry], the kid picks up a ball at midfield on a dubious no call and he just runs right down the gut of our team. [He ran] 55 yards right down the middle and the second goal basically the same thing, but he only ran 35 yards so we did not just contain that well and getting ourselves isolated too often we made him look very good tonight.”

Lev Kirshner

SDSU men’s soccer team will play again at UNLV tonight at 8:00 pm.

SDSU cheer team at halftime of the SDSU vs USD game on Aug. 30, 2019.
Photo: Daniel Farr/KCR College Radio
Written by: Daniel Farr