SAN DIEGO, CA – In a Mountain West Conference game at Snapdragon Stadium, the Air Force Falcons (9-3, 5-3) beat the San Diego State Aztecs (7-5, 5-3) 13-2. It was a cold night, and there were a lot of people there.
The Aztecs had a lot of chances to score, but their quarterback, Jalen Mayden, threw two picks and completed only 16 of 31 passes for 188 yards.
We’d like to get more points and yards on the ground “said Brady Hoke, the head coach of San Diego State. We’d like to go for the first drive they took. When you play a triple option team, the first drive is always a little bit of a problem because the speed you’ve tried to practice is never there. I thought our guys were up to the task. When they got off the field, we talked about it. They played until they were worn out. We are, of course, upset. We would love for every senior to win their last game, but that doesn’t always happen.”
In the first quarter, the Falcons got the ball first. On the second play of their offense, Brad Roberts broke free and ran 63 yards to the 6-yard line of San Diego State. Soon after, Roberts ran 3 yards for a touchdown, giving the Falcons a 7-0 lead.
The Aztecs’ first offensive drive stalled at the 28-yard line of the Falcons, and Jack Browning’s 45-yard field goal attempt was wide left.
On fourth-and-two at the 2-yard line of San Diego State, Air Force had a chance to score again, but they couldn’t get the first down. At the half, the Falcons had a 7-0 lead.
Roberts carried the ball 21 times for 127 yards and one touchdown for Air Force.
Matthew Dapore kicked a 30-yard field goal in the third quarter, giving Air Force a 10-0 lead. After Jordyn Byrd returned the kickoff 37 yards, the Aztecs got a big boost from their special teams.
Browning kicked a field goal from 26 yards out, making the score 10-3 with 9:12 left in the quarter.
The Aztecs stayed in the game because their defense stopped the Falcons on third down, forcing them to punt the ball.
At the end of the third quarter, the Falcons had a chance to go up 13-3, but Dapore missed a 44-yard field goal.
Dapore kicked a 30-yard field goal with 9:03 left in the game to give Air Force a 13-3 lead in the fourth quarter.
San Diego State had a chance to score at the 11-yard line of Air Force, but two false starts pushed their offense back, and on fourth down, Jalen Mayden threw a pass that Jayden Goodwin picked off in the end zone to stop the drive.
The Aztecs would get the ball back one more time on offense, but the Falcons would stop them again on defense when Trey Taylor picked off another pass by Mayden in the end zone for a touch-back, which would end the game.
Now that San Diego State is bowl eligible, and the coaching staff and players will have to wait to see what bowl game they will play in.