The Aztecs celebrate during their victory over Towson Saturday. Photo credit: goaztecs.com

San Diego State, despite battling injuries, improved to 4-0 Saturday as they surged ahead after the half to dominate Towson 48-21.

The Aztecs posted 24 points in the 3rd quarter, capitalizing on mistakes by the Tigers while continuing their best start since 2017.

SDSU started off the quarter with a blocked punt that safety Trenton Thompson recovered and returned for a touchdown. During Towson’s next drive, defensive back Noah Avinger intercepted a pass from quarterback Chris Ferguson. Three plays later, Jordan Byrd set off on a 55-yard run for the score.

After a Matt Araiza field goal and a 61-yard run by running back Chance Bell – setting up his 1-yard burst for another touchdown – the Aztecs led 45-14.

The game had turned into something of a nail biter at the half, as Towson, with a touchdown in the waning moments of the 2nd quarter, drew closer to SDSU, 21-14.

Head coach Brady Hoke wants his team to take advantage of miscues and he said “I thought we did that today.”

San Diego State spread the wealth while running the ball, as Bell finished with 79 yards on the day, while Byrd had 75 and Kaegun Williams added 76.

Quarterback Lucas Johnson, who continues to fill in for the injured Jordon Brookshire, had 16 completions for 149 yards. Freshman Will Haskell also had a look at the game in the 4th quarter, completing a 20-yard pass.

In addition to Brookshire, three players, Andrew Aleki, Kobe Smith and Tayler Hawkins, didn’t start due to injury. Adding to the aches and pains, Greg Bell left in the 1st quarter after an apparent shoulder injury.

With a bye next week, it’s unsurprising that Hoke’s main goal for the team is “to get healthy.”

The Aztecs face New Mexico to begin Mountain West play on Oct. 9. The coach appeared confident Bell will be back.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt he’ll be healthy for New Mexico,” he said.

The teams played before 7,619 fans at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, SDSU’s temporary home. When the Aztecs return to action against New Mexico, they’ll be in Carson again.

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