Washington State falls to San Diego State 42-14
SAN DIEGO (AP)
After winning its first two games impressively, Washington State wanted to prove those wins weren't flukes.
''We have to play hard for four quarters, throughout the whole game,'' said wide receiver Marquees Wilson. ''We didn't do that.''
The Cougars (2-1) took a 17-14 halftime lead and increased it to 24-14 six minutes into the second half on the second of two long touchdown passes from Marshall Lobbestael to Wilson.
But with Ronnie Hillman running wild and the San Diego State defense playing with increased intensity in the final 30 minutes, the Aztecs scored the game's final 28 points.
''In the third quarter, we kind of let that slip away and we never got our composure back after that,'' said Washington State head coach Paul Wulff.
Hillman ran for 191 yards and four touchdowns as San Diego State ran its record to 3-0 for the first time in 30 years.
Hillman scored on runs of 13 and 12 yards in the first half before scoring on a 1-yard dash to give San Diego State a 28-24 lead nearly five minutes into the fourth quarter. Hillman then added a 59-yard TD run at the 7:26 mark.
The last Hillman touchdown came one play after linebacker Rob Andrews recovered a fumble by Lobbestael at the 36-yard line with 7:36 left.
Lobbestael threw touchdown passes of 80 and 78 yards to Wilson. Lobbestael, who took over for injured starter Jeff Tuel in the first game of the season, completed 20 of 42 passes for 368 yards with three TDs and two interceptions.
All of Loebbestael's turnovers came in the final 7 1/2 minutes of the game.
''We didn't execute at as high a level in the second half as we did in the first half,'' Lobbestael said. ''There were times in the second half we had opportunities to make plays but we made too many mistakes.''
Washington State, the nation's highest-scoring team at 61.5 points per game, was trying to go 3-0 to start the season for the first time since 2005. The Cougars are coming off a 2-10 season.
San Diego State broke its 22-game losing streak against BCS schools and snapped a 19-game losing streak to teams in the Pac-12.
''It's a great win, probably the best win since I've been here,'' said Aztecs quarterback Ryan Lindley, a four-year starter.
Hillman, a sophomore, ran 32 times as he scored four rushing touchdowns for the second time in his career. Hillman, who came into the game as the second-leading rusher at a clip of 153 yards per game, has scored 14 touchdowns in his last six games, contributing to 500 yards of total offense for the Aztecs on the day.
Lindley threw for 273 yards, but also committed the first two San Diego State turnovers this season with an interception and later fumbling a snap out of the shotgun formation at the Cougars 16-yard line.
The Cougars scored on its first play from scrimmage, an 80-yard pass to Wilson. Lobbestael later hit Wilson on a 78-yard scoring pass to give Washington State a 24-14 lead early in the third quarter.
Lindley passed the 10,000-yard career passing mark with a second-quarter completion. Lindley is second in school history to Todd Santos, who threw for 11,425 yards.
Lindley has thrown touchdown passes in 13 straight games, but his lone interception broke a string of 112 pass attempts without one.
After the Cougars scored on their first play from scrimmage, San Diego State responded with a score on a 13-yard run by Hillman. Washington State took a 10-7 lead on Andrew Furney's 48-yard field goal.
The Aztecs then went 76 yards in 13 plays with Hillman scoring on a 12-yard run at the end of the first quarter.
It was the seventh straight game that San Diego State scored at least 14 points in the first quarter.
Lobbestael gave Washington State a 17-14 halftime lead after a 23-yard TD pass to Isiah Barton.