SDSU falls short in OT vs. No. 15 Fresno St
SAN DIEGO (AP)
San Diego State didn't quit. The Aztecs didn't win, either.
After rallying from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the score against No. 15 Fresno State, the Aztecs had a chance to get the victory in the closing seconds. However, Seamus McMorrow's 37-yard field-goal attempt barely got off the ground and was blocked by Marcel Jensen.
''The kick was low,'' San Diego State coach Rocky Long said. ''It shouldn't have been blocked. If he had gotten the ball up, it wouldn't have been blocked. (But) I don't know if it would have gone through.''
The Bulldogs (7-0, 4-0 Mountain West) then went on to a 35-28 victory in overtime.
The Aztecs looked finished when falling behind 28-14 on Ejiro Ederaine's 78-yard fumble recovery with 10:11 remaining.
''I would bet 95 percent of the teams in the country would fold at that point,'' said Long, who didn't allow his players to comment after the game. ''Not only did we not fold, we came back and had a legitimate chance to win the game.''
Marteze Waller's 1-yard touchdown run on Fresno State's first possession in overtime put the Bulldogs ahead. Fresno State held on for the win when Quinn Kaehler's fourth-down pass to Dylan Denso was knocked away by Derron Smith.
Derek Carr finished 35 of 57 for 298 yards passing and two touchdowns - both in the second half - for the Bulldogs.
Carr said the Aztecs' play had much to do with his subpar night.
''You got to give so much credit to their team and coaches,'' Carr said. ''They came out and were very emotional and physical.''
San Diego State (3-4, 2-1) rallied when Aaron Boesch scored on a 1-yard run with 9:37 to go. Tim Vizzi recovered the ensuing onside kick and Chad Young's 27-yard scoring run tied it at 28-all with 7 minutes remaining.
The Aztecs quickly got the ball back when Fresno State went three-and-out. SDSU converted at the Fresno State 27-yard line on fourth down with 47 seconds left on Adam Muema's three-yard run. The Aztecs advanced the ball to the 20 before McMorrow came on for the potential game-winning kick.
The Bulldogs earlier extended their lead with a key defensive play. With San Diego State trailing 21-14, Kaehler completed a pass to Ezell Ruffin to the Fresno State 21-yard line. However, Jonathan Norton forced a fumble and Ederaine returned it to extend the lead to 14 points.
The call of the field was upheld after a long review.
''I think everybody out there thought it was a dead ball, including them,'' Long said.
Ruffin finished with 10 catches for 181 yards, both are career highs.
Carr got off to a slow start, missing 11 of his first 15 pass attempts. Then, as he lined up split to the left side as wide receiver Isaiah Burse took a direct snap and scored on a 10-yard run to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 8:40 to go in the first quarter.
Muema scored twice to put the Aztecs ahead. His 10-yard TD run tied the score with 8:43 remaining in the second quarter, and the go-ahead score came on a 1-yard run with 6 1/2 minutes to go in the third.
Davante Adams tied the score on an 11-yard scoring reception about 4 minutes later. His 16-yard reception put the Bulldogs ahead 21-14 with 12 1/2 minutes left in the fourth.
Carr struggled in the first half, completing 15 of 30 passes for 98 yards and no touchdowns. Thanks to his rough half, San Diego State outgained Fresno State over the first 30 minutes, 233-111. The Aztecs had more yards rushing (50-13), yards passing (183-98) and first downs (11-8).
''I thought until the fourth quarter the defense played them pretty good,'' Long said.
Kaehler finished 21 for 39 for 337 yards and no TDs.