Aztec quarterback Carson Baker after he scored in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead. Photo credit: Screen shot, @AztecFB, via Twitter

San Diego State, hit hard by mistakes in the fourth quarter, suffered their first loss of the season Friday, falling to San Jose State, 28-17.

With the win, the Spartans join Nevada as the remaining undefeated teams in the Mountain West conference.

Boise State also lost Friday, 51-17, to No. 9 ranked BYU.

Meanwhile, San Jose State, at 3-0, is off to its best start since 1982, and enjoyed their first conference road win since 2016.

“This is such a big win for us,” coach Brent Brennan said in a post-game interview. “Three years ago against San Diego State, this game was over at halftime.”

The Aztecs (2-1), known for their defense, had the tables turned as San Jose State held them to 101 yards rushing and an average of 2.2 yards per run.

Nonetheless, the team got out to an early 10-0 lead. Matt Araiza kicked a 34-yard field goal in the first quarter and quarterback Carson Baker added a one-yard touchdown run in the second.

An injury to starting quarterback Nick Starkel on the fourth play of the Spartans’ first drive put the ball in sophomore Nick Nash’s hands.

It took until just before halftime, but San Jose State got on the board with a four-yard pass from Nash to make the score 10-7.

Both offenses stalled until late in the third quarter, when San Jose State took their first lead of the game, 14-7. Nash capped a 62-yard drive with a 3-yard pass to Bailey Gaither for the score.

But the Aztecs answered with a 69-yard drive of their own. Greg Bell scored on a 5-yard run to regain the lead, 17-14.

Then San Diego State played their sloppiest ball of the season, and the Spartans took advantage.

Baker, under pressure from San Jose State’s Tre Jenkins, threw the ball behind him. The officials ruled it a backwards pass, and Spartan Viliami Fehoko recovered.

Two plays later San Jose State’s Tyler Nevens carried the ball for three yards, to put his team ahead for good, 21-17.

On the Aztecs’ next drive, Baker marched the Aztecs down field, only to throw an interception in the end zone.

The defense forced the Spartans to punt after their next series. Jordan Byrd though appeared to forget to signal a fair catch, then fumbled. San Jose State recovered and Nash scored, putting the game out of reach.

SDSU’s Baker threw for 261 yards, and wide receiver Jesse Matthews had 139 yards in the losing effort.

– Staff reports

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