San Diego State faced a challenge the team didn’t expect last week – vaunted Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener. For safety Patrick McMorris, Haener’s early return from injury meant being aware of his quick throws and great vision.
“We had to be able to lock in and really focus on how to win that game,” the senior said.
And for most of it, they were. But, oh, that ending – giving up 15 points in 13 seconds with a minute left in the game to lose 32-28. Brady Hoke said simply, “Look, there was a lot of heartbreak for everybody.”
The good? SDSU outgained Fresno State, 449-391, holding the team to its first negative-yard rushing game at home since at least 1996, while recording a season-high seven sacks and a season-high 36 quarterback pressures. The bad? The Aztecs turned the ball over four times in the second half and five times overall for the first time since 2013 against Hawaii.
So one goal for the Aztecs this week was to shake it off and ready themselves to welcome UNLV to Snapdragon Stadium at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“We need to do some things a little better. But this is the most complete game, to some degree, that we’ve had,” Hoke said. “No tears in our locker room I can guarantee that. (In) 24 hours it’s over with …”
The teams share identical 4-4 records, along with 2-2 tallies in conference play. UNLV is coming off a bye week.
Meanwhile, San Diego State will enjoy another first at Snapdragon – the first homecoming game at the Aztecs’ new home.