October 22, 1999

Aztecs Face MWC-Leading Utah

Aztecs seek second straight road win

San Diego State (3-4/1-2) at Utah (5-1/2-0)
Oct. 23, 1999 — 1:00 p.m. (Mountain)
Rice-Eccles Stadium


Saturday's game will be televised on ESPN Plus (Cox Channel 4, starting at noon Pacific). Chris Marlowe calls the play-by-play with Mike Hold providing analysis. The sideline reporter is Beth Mowin.


The contest may be heard live on KFMB (760 AM). The pregame show begins at 11 a.m. Ted Leitner and Mark Halda call the action.


The San Diego State Aztecs, 3-4 overall and 1-2 in Mountain West Conference action, play their second straight league road game this week as they travel to Salt Lake City to face Utah. The Aztecs are coming off their first conference win of the season, 17-10, at Colorado State.

The Utes are back at home after a 21-15 win at No. 25 Air Force. Utah shares the league lead with Brigham Young with a 2-0 record. San Diego State took a first step back into the league race with a 17-10 win at Colorado State last week. Saturday's game will feature the top two defensive units in the Mountain West Conference. San Diego State tops the league and is 12th nationally, allowing 282.3 yards per game. Utah is second in the league and 20th nationally, allowing 300 yards per contest.

Larry Ned and the Aztecs head to Utah Saturday.

San Diego State's unique 1999 season continued its trend last week in Fort Collins. Four of the Aztecs' last five games have been decided in the final minute of play. San Diego State has suffered three losses by a total of seven points, including two MWC setbacks by a combined four points.

Utah is 5-1 overall and a perfect 2-0 in the Mountain West Conference. The Utes are coming off a 21-15 win over No. 25 Air Force in Colorado Springs. Utah rallied from a 3-0 halftime deficit with two touchdowns by wide receiver Stevonne Smith just 1:45 apart in the third quarter.

The Utes are led by All-America candidate and the preseason Mountain West Conference offensive player-of-the-year Mike Anderson, who is second in the league with an average of 87.6 rushing yards per game.

The last week San Diego State overcame Colorado State and the weather to pick up its first-ever Mountain West Conference victory with a 17-10 win over the Rams in Fort Collins. It was the Aztecs' first win over CSU on the road since 1992 and broke a four-game winless streak against the Rams.

With game-time temperatures hovering in the low 30s and snow blanketing the field, SDSU relied on its ground game, churning out 135 rushing yards. Junior Larry Ned led the way with a game-high 81 yards and a score on 19 carries. Senior Jonas Lewis pitched in with 57 yards on 11 attempts for the bulk of SDSU's production.

After a Colorado State field goal, junior signal caller Jack Hawley led the Aztecs on a 14-play, 67-yard drive that consumed 6:33 late in the second quarter that allowed SDSU to take a 7-3 lead. Ned capped the drive with a five-yard run.

CSU fumbled on its ensuing possession, giving the Aztecs the ball at the Ram 25 five seconds before intermission. Nate Tandberg came on to kick a 42-yard field goal as time expired and SDSU headed to the locker room with a 10-3 advantage.

The Rams would knot things up at 10 midway through the third quarter, but the Aztecs regained the lead with 11:05 to play when senior Damon Gourdine got behind the Colorado State secondary and hauled in his fourth touchdown of the year on a 40-yard scoring strike from Hawley.

CSU did drive to the SDSU 18 in the final minute, but the Aztecs turned the Rams away, ending the comeback bid by forcing four straight incompletions.

The Aztec defense, which for the second consecutive week and fifth time this season held an opponent under 300 net yards, force three CSU turnovers on the afternoon, including a fourth-quarter interception by senior Rico Curtis. Despite the conditions, San Diego State had no turnovers.

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