Car­di­nal in the dark with stunnng loss to the Aztecs

San Diego State ral­lies for win­ning touch­down af­ter lights mal­func­tion late

The Mercury News - - College Football Replay - By Ivan Carter Cor­re­spon­dent

SAN DIEGO >> Stan­ford Coach David Shaw was cu­ri­ous to see how his football team would re­act af­ter be­ing “punched in the gut” with a rough loss at USC last week.

On Satur­day night, he got an an­swer but this time, it prob­a­bly felt more like a kick. Af­ter a bizarre 15-minute de­lay caused by a bank of lights go­ing out at ag­ing San Diego Sta­dium, the Stan­ford de­fense lost a four­point lead by giv­ing up a late touch­down.

San Diego State 20. Stan­ford 17.

The loss tainted a spec­tac­u­lar ef­fort from Stan­ford running back Bryce Love, who scored on runs of 51 and 53 yards and fin­ished with 184 yards rush­ing over­all. The game ended when Stan­ford QB Keller Chryst was in­ter­cepted on a long heave up the left side­line with 48 sec­onds re­main­ing.

Chryst had a rough night all the way around. He com­pleted nine of 20 passes for 72 yards, fum­bled once, was sacked four times and threw the two in­ter­cep­tions. Stan­ford (1-2) en­tered the night ranked 19th na­tion­ally.

Love also helped set up a third quarter Stan­ford field goal with a 47-yard burst dur­ing which he ran around the right end and then an­gled back across the field in a thrilling dis­play of his cut­ting abil­ity and speed.

One week af­ter al­low­ing 623 to­tal yards in the 4224 loss to USC, the Car­di­nal were bet­ter at the line of scrim­mage but none­the­less still gashed by San Diego State’s own stud running back, Rashaad Penny, who had with 164 yards and a TD on 28 car­ries with just un­der four min­utes to play.

Late in the fourth quarter, as the Aztecs worked to come back from 17-13 down, Stan­ford stuffed the box with de­fend­ers, as if dar­ing San Diego State QB Chris­tian Chap­man to beat them.

Af­ter pro­duc­ing no first downs and only three yards on three first quarter pos­ses­sions, Stan­ford fi­nally go­ing on the first pos­ses­sion of the sec­ond. Af­ter QB Keller Chryst con­nected with Tren­ton Ir­win on an 11yard pass, Love took a hand­off from Chryst on a sweep, tucked in be­hind some nice block­ing and jet­ted around left end en route to a 51-yard touch­down.

A mis­take by Chryst helped set the Aztecs up for their first touch­down. Fac­ing a third-and-12 at the Stan­ford, Chryst threw a long pass into dou­ble cov­er­age and was in­ter­cepted by Ron Smith. Three plays later, Penny scored on a four­yarder.

While the Car­di­nal fo­cused on bounc­ing back from the USC loss, Satur­day night’s game pre­sented a ma­jor op­por­tu­nity for San Diego State, a mem­ber of the Moun­tain West con­fer­ence starv­ing for a chance to take down one of the game’s big boys.

The Aztecs last beat a ranked team from a Power Five con­fer­ence in 1981 (Iowa State). That 0-30 mark against ranked teams from col­lege football’s ma­jor con­fer­ences has hung over Long’s pro­gram even as his team put to­gether con­sec­u­tive 11-win sea­sons.

The Aztecs did snap a 28game los­ing streak to Pac-12 op­po­nents with a 30-20 vic­tory at Ari­zona State last week and came into Satur­day night hop­ing to build on that achieve­ment with an even big­ger one.

The game was de­layed for 15 min­utes late in the fourth quarter af­ter a bank of lights atop the ag­ing sta­dium went out. The teams re­mained on their re­spec­tive side­lines dur­ing the de­lay with play­ers strid­ing up and down the field to stay loose and warm. When play re­sumed with 3:58 on the clock, the Aztecs em­barked on the game win­ning drive.


Stan­ford re­ceiver JJ Arcega-White­side, right, and San Diego State safety Trey Lo­max go for a long pass in Satur­day’s game.

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