Cardinal in the dark with stunnng loss to the Aztecs
San Diego State rallies for winning touchdown after lights malfunction late
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.