Aztec Kobe Smith catches a Ryan Agnew pass for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Utah State. Photo credit: @SDSUFootball, via Twitter.

San Diego State, facing Utah State’s vaunted offense, mounted a furious late comeback Saturday, but it fell short as the Aztecs dropped their first game of the season, 23-17.

The Aztecs enjoyed a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, but the tide quickly shifted as quarterback Ryan Agnew threw a pass that deflected off Kobe Smith into the hands of Aggie Shaq Bond.

The safety returned it 48 yards for a touchdown and by the half the Aggies had set the pace, leading 20-3.

The Aztecs held Utah State to three points in the third quarter though, and scored their first touchdown  in the fourth. Agnew scrambled to lob a long pass to Smith, who stood alone at the goal line waiting for it.

The Aztecs added another touchdown to draw close, and Utah State missed a field goal, leaving the door open. San Diego State got the ball with just over a minute to play, but could not convert, as Agnew was sacked for a 37-yard loss.

The loss came before 27,367 at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium.

Coach Rocky Long knew what the Aztecs were up against going into the game, particularly due to Utah State’s touted quarterback Jordan Love and the Aggies’ passing attack.

“Their statistics are eye-popping,” he said. “They’re gaining over 600 yards a game and scoring over 48 points a game. They’re an awful good football team coming in here. We have our work cut out for us.”

Defensive lineman Miles Cheatum said the goal was to contain Love.

“Up front we are trying to apply as much pressure as we can on the quarterback and make his day a little bit longer than it usually is,” the senior said.

The Aztecs, now 3-1, have a bye next Saturday. They play Colorado State on the road Oct. 5.

– Staff reports

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