No. 22 San Diego State beats Boise State 27-16

No. 22 San Diego State beats Boise State 27-16

Carson, Calif. Gordon Brookshire’s last competitive pass was thrown in mid-October, when he lost the San Diego State quarterback’s job and was named a third player. He wasn’t a likely candidate to save the Aztec championship hopes at Mountain West in the regular season finale.

With their choppy attack and even vaunted defense struggling to slow Boise State’s performance late in the first half, the Aztecs turned to Brookshire out of desperation and necessity.

Four innings and four degrees later, San Diego State was headed toward a historic victory.

San Diego State’s 22nd-place Brookshire led to 24 unanswered points after replacing Lucas Johnson late in the first half, and the Aztecs claimed the Western Conference title with a 27-16 victory over the Broncos on Friday.

Brookshire passed for 192 yards and touched down for the Aztecs (11-1, 7-1), who celebrated in their makeshift home in suburban Los Angeles after completing their first regular season 11 wins in 99 years of football.


It’s a great feeling, it’s been a while since something like this has happened,” said Brookshire, who capped the scoring with 16 yards from TD through the Boise state center back. “It’s a real confidence booster, and I’m so grateful to be around such a group of seniors and to be able to make this for them in their day.”

The Aztecs, who have never had 12 wins, will host their Mountain West title game next Saturday, December 4th, against the Division I champion Utah (9-3, 6-2).

San Diego State wiped out an early 13-point deficit with a rebounding effort from its vaunted defense, which shut out the Broncos (7-5, 5-3) during the final 38 minutes.

Jesse Matthews had nine passes for 133 yards, and Greg Bell rushed for the touchdown—but Brookshire changed the struggling San Diego State attack when he took charge in the penultimate round of the first half. In their next four leaders, the Aztecs turned a 13-point deficit into an 11-point lead.


Aztec coach Brady Hawk said he entered Brookshire in the first place because Johnson was “agitated”, but Brookshire immediately showed it was the right decision.

“There’s no doubt about that,” Hawke said. “Coming out after the break there was energy that probably wasn’t there before, and you can really feel it. I also think we bounced on our heels a little bit in the first half defensively, and then that faded.”

Kurt Rafdal and Khalil Shakir got early TD passes from Hank Bachmeyer for the Broncos, whose winning streak in four games ended. Boise State has its first five-loss season since 2013 under head coach Andy Avalos, a native of neighboring Corona, California.

“For some reason, we could not carry out and finish the match, but everyone fought with their hearts,” Shaker said. “We did everything we could to face one of the best defenses in the country.”

Patrick McMorris made two of three Aztec interceptions, Jonah Taffey picked up three of their four sacks while the defense teased and hit Bachmeier throughout the second half, forcing reserve Jack Sears to play the last two series.


Brookshire started the season as the starting quarterback for the Aztecs, but Johnson took over after two games when Brookshire hit his foot. Brookshire came back and struggled through two more games before Johnson resumed the starting stint for the next six games, with Brookshire hitting the third series behind newman Will Haskell, who was not in uniform on Friday for reasons Hawk didn’t disclose.

“A lot of my coaches say I’m a fighter, and I think that was present,” Brookshire said. “In life, things don’t always go the way you want them to, but what matters is how you respond to these things.”

Johnson was 9 of 20 for 98 yards when Brookshire relieved him and immediately drove the Aztecs 78 yards for the first TD in Matthews’ 29-yard catch and run. Brookshire put together another quick campaign that ended with Matt Ariza’s 37-yard field goal 3 seconds before halftime.

The Aztecs advanced 20-16 to open the second half at 75 yards that included 3rd turn and 11 4th turnovers, including Bell’s 2-yard TD run. McMorris’ second interception then ended the drive in the TD race in Brookshire.


“We’re going to take this in, think about it and look at the things we need to fix,” said Broncos midfielder Kikkola Kaneo. “But we know we’ll have another chance to finish this season, and we’re excited to do so.”

take away

Boise State: A team that has scored 128 points in its last four games made a strong start against the best defense in the conference, but couldn’t keep it. The Broncos aren’t the only ones battling against heavy hitters in the Aztecs, but they are a regular season-ending disappointment after an encouraging stretch under the Avalos.

San Diego State: The Aztecs won another game with their unexpected native land advantage at Dignity Health Sports Park. San Diego State has spent the last two seasons playing 116 miles northwest of campus at Los Angeles Galaxy Stadium, while the $310 million Aztec Stadium is being constructed for its 2022 opening on the site of the demolished Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego’s Mission Valley. The Aztecs 9-2 at Carson, including 6-1 this year.


the following

Boise State: Possible Bowl Game.

San Diego State: Mountain West’s title game against Aegis on December 4th.


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