NEVADA UPSETS #24 SDSU 17-13

San Diego State entered Saturday’s Mountain West matchup as a 17.5 point favorite over Nevada and the over/under was 39 total points. The Aztecs (7-2, 4-2 MW)  did not cover the spread or win, as they fell 17-13.

For a very slow-paced, low scoring, and defensive game — the ending did not disappoint. The fourth quarter began with a 10-10 tie.

With 12:53 left in the game, SDSU went for and converted a fourth and one from their own 17-yard line, however, a holding penalty called it back and forced them to punt.

Nevada’s first play after the punt was an end around reverse pass that gained 50 yards and set up the Wolfpack inside the SDSU 10. On second and goal, the Aztecs were called for defensive pass interference and it set up a Wolfpack touchdown run, which pushed their lead to seven.

Down 17-10 with 3:47 left in the fourth quarter, SDSU decided to kick a field goal on a fourth and seven, which made it a 17-13 game. “It’s not an easy call, but it’s not a bad call. “Head coach Rocky Long said.”I would do it again.”  It arguably bailed Nevada out.  

SDSU had nine penalties for 79 yards obviously did not help their case. “Way too many penalties, that’s an undisciplined football team and that’s my fault.” Long said.

A third-quarter passing touchdown by the Wolfpack expanded Nevada’s lead to 10-3, but the Aztecs and Chance Bell responded with a 14 play 71-yard drive. Bell ran in a three-yard touchdown run, which knotted the game at 10 with 1:24 left in the third quarter.

The first two quarters saw seven punts, six points, two red zone interceptions, and one Aztec ejected. Junior safety Trenton Thompson was disqualified for targeting early in the game. 

The Aztecs had an incredible scoring opportunity just before the first half concluded. However, senior quarterback Ryan Agnew threw a red zone interception with 1:06 remaining in the half. Before the interception, SDSU had just converted a fourth and one which set them up inside Nevada’s 15-yard line.

The first half was a defensive slug fest, ending in a 3-3 tie. Both teams had trouble finding yards and points throughout the half. In fact, the Wolfpack were held to negative-three rushing yards and did not convert a single third down in the entire first half. 

The Aztecs moved up to No. 24 in the Associated Press Top 25, which was released Nov. 3. It’s hard to see them still ranked after this week, but the Aztecs have another game at home next Friday against Fresno State,

“They’re probably pretty miserable and we’re miserable,” Long said. “Next week one of us will feel much better and the other will feel just as bad or worse.”

Written by: Daniel Farr
Photo by: Justin Neeley

San Diego State’s March Madness Bid Hopes

On March 6th, the San Diego State men’s basketball team faces off against Fresno State University, hoping to gain a bid into March Madness.

This is the 30th game of the season for SDSU and will feature a senior night farewell to stars such as Jeremy Hemsley, Devin Watson, and Michael Sohikish. The Aztecs have won 9 out of their last 11 games and will battle Fresno for the 3 seed at the Mountain West Championship hosted in Las Vegas. With a win against Fresno, the Aztecs would go undefeated at home in conference play for the second time in 20 years. Although the Aztecs will receive an automatic bid at the conference tournament, the question remains whether they will make the March Madness bid?

SDSU has appeared in 14 NCAA tournaments in school history and they have a chance to make the 68 team bracket in a couple weeks. However, Utah State or the University of Nevada will probably receive the automatic bid to March Madness. Though SDSU is the reigning conference champion, Utah and Nevada have both won at least 6 more games than SDSU in the 2018-19 season.

32 teams receive an automatic bid to March Madness based on their conference championship, 36 receive an at-large bid, and 4 play for the 16th seed in Ohio during the First Four tournament.

It is going to be awfully close in terms of whether or not SDSU will make the bracket. I project them to be “on the bubble” and finish the season with a 20-11 record, beating Fresno at home and losing to #17 Nevada on the road. That kind of a record will float them just around a .650% winning percentage for the season, which is NCAA March Madness material.

First, they have to beat Fresno at home and give Nevada a run for their money. Look for 2-time MW player of the week Jalen McDaniels to help aid them in that journey as he is averaging 16.4 points per game this season. Strength of schedule will play a factor in the NCAA’s evaluation tool for determining the 38 teams. I believe that beating Nevada in a stunning fashion on February 20th at Viejas Arena, and playing them on the road to end the season will boost SDSU’s chances of making the tournament.

Come March 17th, hopefully San Diego State’s name will be called.

Written by: Jacob McCulloh