San Diego State became bowl eligible with its sixth win of the season on Friday night, after the Aztecs defeated Air Force, 30-14, at Qualcomm Stadium.
Coach Rocky Long is not convinced, though, that six wins will be enough to get his team into a bowl game.
“I think to make sure we’re in a bowl game we have to win next week and I hope our players come ready to play. You’re not automatically in a bowl just because you’re bowl eligible, I’ve been left a few times,” Long said in the post-game press conference.
SDSU’s defense held a high powered Air Force rushing attack scoreless in the second half as the Aztecs offense rattled of 17 unanswered points to comeback from a 13-14 halftime deficit.
Air Force, who came into the game as the No. 7 rushing offense in Division-I, were kept to 140 yards on the ground, more than 100 yards less than their season average.
Sophomore linebacker Calvin Munson led the Aztecs with 10 tackles, and also had an interception that he returned 56 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, to put the game on ice.
For the first time this season, SDSU had 300-yard passing, 100-yard rushing and 100-yard receiving — all in the same game.
Senior quarterback Quinn Kaehler had his finest game of the season throwing for 326 yards and a touchdown. He connected with senior wide receiver Ezell Ruffin seven times for 126 of those yards.
Both the seven receptions and 126 yards were season-high’s for Ruffin, who had missed six week this season due to a broken collarbone.
“I’m getting back in the rhythm of things, being out six weeks. You know, just working hard. Coming out, practicing hard, and, you know, when an opportunity is given, just go out there and make plays,” Ruffin said in the post-game press conference.
Sophomore running back Donnel Pumphrey was also in a rhythm on Friday, and, for the eighth time this season, he ran for more than 100 yards, as he totaled 132 yards on 27 carries and added a key touchdown in the third quarter.
Now, SDSU (6-5, 4-3) will face off against San Jose State (3-8, 2-5) Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium and will need a win to assure a bowl game berth. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
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