Fresno State was bullied on both sides of the ball by San Diego State in Saturday’s 21-7 loss at Qualcomm Stadium.
Fresno State (1-4, 0-1) lost its fourth-straight game along with the Old Oil Can, the rivalry’s trophy.
For the second-consecutive week, the ‘Dogs faced a run-heavy offense in San Diego State (2-3, 1-0). The Aztecs’ opening drive started with 10 straight running plays for 78 yards that lasted 4:37. The 10th play got the Aztecs on the board with a 33-yard rushing touchdown from running back Donnel Pumphrey, who would leave the game early due to an ankle injury.
Fresno State’s offense was off to a slow start and constantly sent Garrett Swanson and the punting unit on to the field.
The ‘Dogs needed a break, a ball to bounce their way and got it early in the second quarter when San Diego State punt returner Lloyd Mills muffed a punt, and Fresno State’s Stratton Brown recovered the ball at the San Diego State 28-yard line.
Three plays later, quarterback Zack Greenlee would connect with wideout KeeSean Johnson for a 16-yard touchdown to tie the game, 7-7.
But that would be the only high point for ‘Dogs all night.
San Diego State would take the lead once again in the early third quarter when Aztecs’ quarterback Maxwell Smith found running back Rashaad Penny on a 33-yard touchdown, capping off a quick, four-play, 43-yard drive.
The Aztecs added another touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Smith went deep to Eric Judge for the 44-yard score, giving San Diego State a two touchdown lead.
“Coming out in the second half, we were backed up, giving them a short field,” head coach Tim DeRuyter said. “When you keep giving them short fields, they score it. We got a little worn down at the end, and they ended up throwing the ball downfield on a double move.”
The ‘Dogs were dormant offensively and defensively the whole night. Fresno State couldn’t run, pass, or stop the run on defense.
Greenlee finished 12-of-25 for 77 yards and running back Marteze Waller was bottled up all night, rushing for 20 yards on 11 carries before leaving with an apparent concussion.
Fresno State was beaten in just about all categories.
The ‘Dogs had a total of 89 yards and gave up 409 yards on defense to the Aztecs. The ‘Dogs had a total of six first downs, while the Aztecs had 19.
Fresno State was also beaten in time of possession, 22:39 to the Aztecs’ 37:21.
“We came ready to play but as you could see just a couple plays will make the difference in a game,” inside linebacker Jeff Camilli said. “We just have to be mature and limit that in preparing for Utah State next week. We have to block all of those plays out, short memory, just keep going, keep being physical.”