Aztec linebacker Caden McDonald. Photo credit: goaztecs.com

As San Diego State (1-0) hits the road to face Utah State (0-1) Saturday, head coach Brady Hoke wants  more of what he saw in the Aztecs’ commanding first half in last week’s 34-6 victory over UNLV.

“Our physicalness and the speed we played with in the first half was really good,” Hoke said. “I think the third quarter we didn’t play with that kind of intent. And so we’ve got to make sure we’re doing that for 60 minutes.”

The game begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Logan, UT, and will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.

The Aztecs dominated the UNLV game, scoring on four consecutive early possessions, while limiting the Rebels to six points, 25 yards of total offense and one first down in the first half.

On offense, they displayed their run game, rushing for 287 yards. On defense, the team held UNLV to 186 yards and 11 first downs, while recording 14 tackles for losses, and five sacks.

A big contributor to the defensive effort, Aztec Caden McDonald, was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week. It is the first such honor for the junior linebacker.

McDonald recorded career highs – eight tackles, three tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He entered the game with 36 career tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks in the first 26 games of his career.

In limiting the Rebels to six points, San Diego State allowed the fewest points in a conference game since shutting out Hawai’i, 55-0 in 2016.

Utah State lost at Boise State 42-13 last week. The Aggies, though, have won nine of their last 12 games under head coach Gary Andersen after a loss.

– Staff reports

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