San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke called his team’s improvement in its first two games “good, not great,” but particularly wants to focus on what he calls “smart football.”
And for Hoke that means eight penalties are too many penalties.
“I told the team on Monday that we need to have some composure about us, we have got to have some discipline about us, still play on the edge, but do not hurt the football team,” he said this week.
SDSU (2-0) and Utah (1-1), a one-time Mountain West team, meet for the 31st time at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Aztecs’ temporary home, Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson.
The Utes own a 17-12-1 advantage in the series and have won five straight. San Diego State last defeated Utah on Oct. 15, 2005.
“They are very physical. They want to get after you,” said junior safety Cedarious Barfield. “Charlie Brewer, we have a ton of respect for him coming from Baylor. He’s a great quarterback.”
SDSU cruised to a 38-14 victory at Arizona last week, in which the Aztecs rushed for 271 yards on 55 carries and two touchdowns. The Aztecs are 49-2 the last 51 times when they have rushed for at least 200 yards.
Senior Greg Bell posted his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game and is seventh nationally at 143 rushing yards per game and tied for the national lead with 10 carries of at least 10 yards.
After a rough first week against New Mexico State, senior quarterback Jordon Brookshire has a passer rating of 228.4, is the highest by an Aztec since 2012.
Senior tight end Daniel Bellinger said Brookshire showed “great poise, great leadership throughout the whole game.”
Other Aztec notables:
- Senior left tackle Zachary Thomas. Pro Football Focus currently ranks him as the fifth-best offensive lineman in the nation. He has allowed no sacks, no quarterback hits and has not committed a penalty through 133 snaps.
- Senior running back/special teams player Kaegun Williams, who plays on four special teams units, received the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week award. He blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown and has 55 yards rushing on 12 carries this season.