And just like that, San Diego State football team‘s dream of winning its 22nd conference championship went out the window.
After a 6-0 start to the season, the team’s best start since the 1977 season, San Diego State stumbled the past two weeks. Saturday’s game was almost an exact repeat of what happened last week in the loss to Boise State.
The Bulldogs (5-2, 4-0 MW) were in control for the entire game, stifling the Aztecs offense and confounding the defense. SDSU was pinned deep in its territory after the opening kickoff but drove back from its 4-yard-line to the Fresno State’s 8-yard line.
Two plays after a holding penalty, the Bulldogs forced running back Rashaad Penny to fumble inside the 10-yard line, ending the Aztecs’ only scoring threat of the entire game.
“I thought tonight was going to be OK, because we did what we normally do, we drove the ball right down the field and then we messed it up with a fumbling the ball down there, so we came away with no points and after that everything kind of looked like last week,” SDSU coach Rocky Long said.
San Diego State’s social media marketing campaign this season is #win22, referring to the 22nd conference championship for the school, but losing to Fresno State means that dream is all but out of the window.
Fresno State is leading the Mountain West and in order for San Diego State to earn a berth in the championship game, the Bulldogs need to lose three of their four remaining conference games and the Aztecs have to win all of them.
Even though the Bulldogs are leading the Aztecs by two games, it is essentially a three-game lead. Fresno State has the tie-breaker advantage over San Diego State.
With the loss, San Diego State had its 12-game winning streak against West Division teams in the MW snapped.
“Obviously we didn’t play very well and we haven’t played very well for the last two weeks,” Long said. “If I knew why, obviously we would have fixed it. Since we didn’t fix it, it’s obviously a coaching error.”
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