November 20, 1998


Aztecs Hosts UTEP in Regular-Season Finale

Aztecs look to complete best WAC season since 1986

The San Diego State University football team returns home for the final regular season game of the 1998 campaign when it hosts Western Athletic Conference foe Texas-El Paso on Saturday, November 21. Kickoff is set for 6:05 p.m. (PST). The Aztecs are playing for at least a share of the Pacific Division crown and a chance for post-season play.

The Aztecs (6-4 overall, 6-1 WAC) went two games above .500 for the first time since 1996 this past weekend defeating San Jose State 34-6. The Miners (3-7 overall, 3-4 WAC) fell to BYU 31-14 in El Paso.

San Diego State is currently tied for first in the WAC Pacific Division with BYU at 6-1. The Aztecs are still alive in the race to play in the WAC Championship on December 5 in Las Vegas, but need to win their last game and hope BYU stumbles in its season finale in Salt Lake City against Utah.

The win against San Jose State this past weekend guarenteed San Diego State its third winning season in the last four years. The win also gave the Aztecs six conference wins for the fourth time since joining the WAC in 1978. If they can win the last game against UTEP, it would tie the program's best conference win mark of seven set in 1986.

SERIES RECORD

This game will mark the 19th meeting between San Diego State and Texas-El Paso. The Aztecs lead the all-time series 16-3, and have won the last five contests.

The last time the two teams met was on October 28, 1995 in El Paso with the Aztecs winning 45-16.

San Diego State won the first meeting between the two schools, 26-12 in El Paso on September 28, 1974.

The Aztecs are 8-1 at Qualcomm Stadium versus the Miners.

LAST TIME OUT

San Diego State cruised to its sixth straight win over San Jose State with a 34-6 victory at Spartan Stadium last Saturday.

Sophomore quarterback Brian Russell put the Aztecs on the board first with a two-yard touchdown plunge early in the opening period to give SDSU a 7-0 lead.

Junior runningback Jonas Lewis gave the Aztecs a 14-0 lead at the 10 minute mark of the second quarter after a two-yard touchdown jaunt. On the next drive, Russell hit junior wide receiver Damon Gourdine on a 65-yard pass play that took SDSU all the way down to the one yard line. The sophomore qb got his second touchdown of the game on a one-yard sneak, giving the Aztecs a 21-0 lead heading into the half.

In the third quarter, Russell dove one-yard for his third touchdown of the game putting SDSU up 28-0. Sophomore kicker Nate Tandberg added the next six Aztecs points connecting from 34 yards and 32 yards to extend the lead to 34-0.

San Jose finally reached the endzone with 13 seconds remaining in the game when quarterback Brian Vye hit wide receiver Gabe Payne on a four-yard pass play, stopping the Aztec shutout bid, 34-6.

SENIOR SALUTE

The SDSU-UTEP game will mark the final home game for 13 Aztecs. On the offense, Rick Austin (OL), Ben Mecham (TE) and Jesus Reyes (WR). On defense, Scott Auerbach (SS), Joe Jackson (LB), Darryl Jones (DL), Eric Lewis (CB), Damien Murphy (DB), M.J. Rzeznik (DB), Edwon Simmons (DB), James Stewart (FS), Joseph Tuipala (LB) and James Wu (DE).

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