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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: San Diego State
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  A change in San Diego State's defensive scheme helped the Aztecs slow down Air Force's run-heavy offense. Matt Araiza kicked two field goals, Kaegun Williams and Chance Bell ran for touchdowns and No. 22 San Diego State withstood Air Force's comeback bid to win 20-14 on Saturday night. The Aztecs kept Air Force's top-ranked running attack in check by frequently using a fourth linebacker instead of a defensive back. "Everybody knows what they do," Aztecs linebacker Michael Shawfroft said. "They run the ball really well. They're a really tough team to play. It was just something that we game-planned really well this week. Our coaches made it simple for us and just let us play our game. It was just see ball, get ball." San Diego State (7-0, 3-0 Mountain West) beat Air Force for a ninth straight time. Air Force (6-2, 3-2) had its four-game winning streak snapped. "Instead of having another DB in there, we really felt our linebackers - and that's a really good group, they're well-coached - it put some bigger bodies out there on the field that are really athletic also," San Diego State coach Brady Hoke said. The Aztecs led 13-0 at half, with Williams' 1-yard TD run between Araiza's field goals of 22 and 51 yards following Air Force turnovers. - San Diego State/AP College Football

(DS#70 RB) Sr/2022 RB Kaegun WilliamsSan Diego State
News Source: San Diego State/AP College Football
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  San Diego State needed a spark on offense and Lucas Johnson delivered. Johnson threw TD passes to Jesse Matthews in both overtime periods for his only completions of the game as No. 24 San Diego State finally got going offensively after a rough regulation and beat San Jose State 19-13 Friday night. Johnson relieved an ineffective and banged-up Jordon Brookshire in the fourth quarter and came through in overtime after a few shaky moments in regulation. "We just thought we were a little stagnant and we needed to do something different," coach Brady Hoke said. Neither team scored a touchdown in regulation before Johnson delivered a 14-yard pass on the opening possession of overtime for the Aztecs (6-0, 2-0 Mountain West).

Tyler Nevens answered with a 1-yard run for the Spartans (3-4, 1-2). But Trenton Thompson intercepted Nick Nash to start the second overtime to set the stage for Johnson and Matthews. "We’ve never been in a game like that before," Thompson said. "It was a crazy one for us." That set the stage for Johnson and Matthews to end it with a 24-yard pass on third down against man coverage to help San Diego State improve to 6-0 for the second time in 46 years. "I love that matchup all day," Johnson said. "He went up and made a spectacular play two times. I give a lot of props to him." The game was an offensive slog with the teams combining for 14 punts, four field goals, one fumble, one missed field goal and a turnover on downs without scoring a touchdown in regulation. - San Diego State/AP College Football


(DS#77 QB) rSr/2022 QB Lucas JohnsonSan Diego State
News Source: San Diego State/AP College Football
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  10/10/21 - Greg BellrSr/2022, San Diego State, 5-11, 200 (DS#19 RB) + More +

  Greg Bell rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown, quarterback Jordon Brookshire added two scoring runs and No. 25 San Diego State beat New Mexico 31-7 on Saturday night in its first game as a ranked team in two seasons. Bell had a 40-yard carry on the Aztecs' first play from scrimmage and finished with his fourth 100-yard game of the season, hitting the mark before halftime of San Diego State's Mountain West Conference opener.

San Diego State is off to its second 5-0 start in 46 years, also doing it in 2017, and won a game as a ranked team for the first time since Oct. 7, 2017, against UNLV. The Aztecs are one of 13 remaining undefeated teams in the nation. "These guys have worked hard and you can't say enough about our coaches and our players," Aztecs head coach Brady Hoke said. " As much as anything, the leadership of our seniors, they have really done a nice job." On defense, the San Diego State gave up 66 yards rushing and 193 yards in total offense in its eighth consecutive victory over the Lobos (2-4, 0-2). San Diego State entered second in the nation with 46.0 rushing yards allowed per game. - San Diego State/AP College Football


(DS#19 RB) rSr/2022 RB Greg BellSan Diego State
News Source: San Diego State/AP College Football
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  SEPT 27 MOUNTAIN WEST FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: NOAH AVINGER, SAN DIEGO STATE,...Freshman, Cornerback, Cerritos, California/Servite HS,...In San Diego State's 48-21 win over Towson, recorded three tackles, including 0.5 tackle for loss, one interception and a pass breakup in just his second start as a true freshman. - Mountain West Football

(DS#999 RB) rJr/2023 RB Lucky AvingerSan Diego State
News Source: Mountain West Football
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  09/27/21 - Matt AraizarJr/2023, San Diego State, 6-1, 200 (DS#1 P) + More +

  SEPT 27 MOUNTAIN WEST SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: MATT ARAIZA, SAN DIEGO STATE, Junior, Place-Kicker/Punter, San Diego, California/Rancho Bernardo HS,...Helped San Diego State improve to 4-0 with a 48-21 victory over Towson...Was a perfect 2-for-2 on field goal attempts and punted three times for an average of 65.7 per boot...Connected on field goals from 36 and 48 yards out...Landed two of three punts inside the 20 and added a long of 72...The 65.7 punt average is the highest in an FBS game since at least 1996 (min. 3 punts)...Also kicked off eight times with six touchbacks and made all six PATs. - Mountain West Football

(DS#1 P) rJr/2023 P Matt AraizaSan Diego State
News Source: Mountain West Football
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  09/26/21 - Jordan ByrdSr/2022, San Diego State, 5-09, 170 (DS#49 RB) + More +

  Jordan Byrd ran for two touchdowns and San Diego State scored 24 points in the third quarter to pull away from Towson 48-21 on Saturday. The Aztecs now have outscored the opposition 62-0 in the third. Chris Ferguson threw a 19-yard scoring pass to Jerry Howard Jr. to give the feisty Tigers a 7-0 lead with 5:36 left in the first. San Diego State (4-0), which entered with wins over Pac-12 Conference squads Arizona and Utah, responded with scores in the form of 8- and 12-yard runs from Kaegun Williams and Byrd respectively. Lucas Johnson then threw a 16-yard scoring toss to Elijah Kothe with 4:03 before halftime. But Ferguson led the Tigers 80 yards in just four plays and his 4-yard TD to Caleb Smith made it a one score game. The Aztecs regrouped to shut the door on Towson by scoring two touchdowns within the first five minutes after the break. Trenton Thompson returned a blocked punt 11 yards 58 seconds in and Byrd's 55-yard jaunt ended Towson's (1-2) upset hopes. Ferguson finished with three TD passes for the visitors. - San Diego State/AP College Football

(DS#49 RB) Sr/2022 RB Jordan ByrdSan Diego State
News Source: San Diego State/AP College Football
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  09/20/21 - Greg BellrSr/2022, San Diego State, 5-11, 200 (DS#19 RB) + More +

  San Diego State's 33-31 win over Utah in three overtimes gave the Aztecs a 7-2 record against the Pac-12 since 2016. The Aztecs' 3-0 start includes two wins over Power Five opponents (Arizona last week). They also had two wins against the Power Five (Arizona State, Stanford) in 2017. - AP College Football

(DS#19 RB) rSr/2022 RB Greg BellSan Diego State
News Source: AP College Football
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  By the time San Diego State dialed up a successful Philly Special on its final 2-point conversion attempt, it wasn't even the craziest part of the Aztecs' triple-overtime thriller with Utah. And after one last video review went their way, the Aztecs could celebrate another win over a Pac-12 foe. Quarterback Lucas Johnson caught a 2-point conversion pass from Jesse Matthews in triple overtime, and San Diego State blew a 14-point lead in the final minutes of regulation before hanging on for a 33-31 victory over the Utes on Saturday night. "It was exciting," Aztecs coach Brady Hoke said. "I'm not going to deny that." Johnson scored easily on a picture-perfect Philly Special after both teams' kickers missed field goal attempts in double overtime.

Moments later, the Aztecs (3-0) collectively ran across the field in a frenzy when officials reversed their call of a 2-point conversion catch by Utah's Connor O'Toole, ruling the ball hit the turf. "I still can't believe it," Aztecs defensive lineman Cameron Thomas said. "When it was official, I was so excited. I don't even know what was going through my mind. I'm excited to keep this season rolling." Greg Bell rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns and Jordan Byrd returned a kickoff 100 yards for a TD, but the Aztecs passed for only 44 yards and nearly gave away their second straight victory over a Pac-12 opponent after beating Arizona last week. - San Diego State/AP College Football


(DS#77 QB) rSr/2022 QB Lucas JohnsonSan Diego State
News Source: San Diego State/AP College Football
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  SEPT 13 MOUNTAIN WEST SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: KAEGUN WILLIAMS, SAN DIEGO STATE, Senior, Running Back, Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS,...Blocked a punt in the first quarter of a road victory over Arizona, which was scooped up by Tyrell Shavers and returned 27 yards for a touchdown...The score put the Aztecs up, 21-0, in the first quarter. - Mountain West Football

(DS#70 RB) Sr/2022 RB Kaegun WilliamsSan Diego State
News Source: Mountain West Football
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  Senior Jordan Brookshire threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, Greg Bell broke a 55-yard scoring run on the fourth play from scrimmage and San Diego State beat Arizona 38-14 on Saturday night to extend the Wildcats' losing streak to 14 games. Brookshire, who won the starting job late in fall camp, completed 9 of 11 passes for two scores in the first half as the Aztecs took a 35-7 lead. "I think this (offense) can be very dangerous," Brookshire said. "We have so many playmakers. First of all, we have a great line. We have so many guys we can go to." Brookshire finished 10 of 14 for 183 yards and Bell had 125 yards rushing in 17 carries as the Aztecs opened 2-0 for the third straight season.

San Diego State had 454 total yards, 271 rushing. Bell's 55-yard touchdown burst over the right side was an early indicator. After Arizona (0-2) went three-and-out, Brookshire completed a 73-yard pass to Daniel Bellinger to set up a 3-yard scoring run. Bellinger had three catches for 113 yards. "Some of the plays getting Bellinger off was something that was a little different that they haven't seen," San Diego State coach Brady Hoke said. San Diego State's Tyrell Shavers returned a blocked punt 27 yards for a score after Arizona's second three-and-out, and it was 21-0 less than eight minutes into the game. "We just never could get in the game," Arizona coach Jedd Fisch said. "We couldn't do anything on offense, and when you can't do anything on offense, it is really hard on the defense." - San Diego State/AP College Football


(DS#83 QB) rSr/2022 QB Jordon BrookshireSan Diego State
News Source: San Diego State/AP College Football
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  09/05/21 - Greg BellrSr/2022, San Diego State, 5-11, 200 (DS#19 RB) + More +

  Greg Bell ran for a touchdown and a career-high 165 yards, Jordon Brookshire scrambled for a score, and San Diego State pulled away in the third quarter to beat New Mexico State 28-10 on Saturday night in the Aztecs' season opener. Bell's 23-yard touchdown run pulled San Diego State to 10-7 early in the third quarter. Brookshire made it 14-7 when he took off from the 19-yard left hash mark, ran to the right sideline, was tripped up around the 9 and dove into the end zone to give the Aztecs a 14-10 lead. Andrew Aleki's 25-yard pick-6 made it 21-10 with 2:45 remaining in the third.

Jordan Byrd broke loose for a 43-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring with 14:19 remaining. New Mexico State's (0-2) Jonah Johnson was 34-of-56 passing for 326 yards with one touchdown pass, but he threw three interceptions. The Aztecs will play its seven home games at Dignity Health Sports Park, located 113 miles from the their previous home stadium. The university is building its future stadium in Mission Valley in the footprint of SDCCU Stadium. SDSU will open its news stadium in Mission Valley on Sept. 3, 2022 against Arizona. - San Diego State/AP College Football


(DS#19 RB) rSr/2022 RB Greg BellSan Diego State
News Source: San Diego State/AP College Football
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  When Jordon Brookshire was named starting quarterback this week at San Diego State, it was the reward for five years of patience and perseverance. Brookshire was advised to change positions out of high school. He didn't make a very good first impression at his local JC. And he needed nearly two years to get in a game for the Aztecs, where at the start of the 2020 season he was fourth on the depth chart and running the scout team. "Where he's come from to get to this point is remarkable," said SDSU offensive coordinator Jeff Hecklinski, adding, "There's not enough credit that you can give to Jordon to say, 'Hey, you did something that was completely out of the norm." "Which was, when it didn't go your way, you didn't panic, you didn't bail, you fought...He fights."

That's how Brookshire emerged from a three-man competition in fall camp as the one to lead SDSU's offense, beginning with Saturday's season opener against New Mexico State. "There's always things that aren't going to happen the way you want them to go," Brookshire said. "You're not going to hear things that you want to hear. That shouldn't change your attitude in any way. That shouldn't change your work ethic." - San Diego Union Tribune


(DS#83 QB) rSr/2022 QB Jordon BrookshireSan Diego State
News Source: San Diego Union Tribune
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  A week before the 2020 season began, San Diego State offensive coordinator Jeff Hecklinski sat down with Jordon Brookshire and told the quarterback he was No. 4 on SDSU's depth chart at the position. "That was one of the toughest conversations that I've ever had to have with a player," Hecklinski said. Much easier, then, was the conversation the two shared Tuesday when Brookshire was informed he was SDSU's No. 1 quarterback. "Where he's come from to get to this point is remarkable," Hecklinski said. "You talk about toughness, you talk about energy, you talk about belief, you talk about positivity. He encapsulates all of that."

SDSU head coach Brady Hoke made the decision official at midday Wednesday when he said Brookshire outperformed Lucas Johnson and Jalen Mayden in a competition that began in the spring and continued through fall camp. The announcement came 10 days before the Aztecs kick off the 2021 season against New Mexico State. "We tried to put as much pressure as we could (on them)," Hoke said, "and evaluate the pressure that we put on them and how they responded...He went out and won the job." - San Diego Union Tribune


(DS#83 QB) rSr/2022 QB Jordon BrookshireSan Diego State
News Source: San Diego Union Tribune
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  08/17/21 - Greg BellrSr/2022, San Diego State, 5-11, 200 (DS#19 RB) + More +

  San Diego State running back Greg Bell is changing his jersey from No. 34 to No. 22 this season with the Aztecs. Maybe that will change Bell's luck as well. A freak eye injury two years ago prevented Bell from playing during the 2019 season and a foot injury last year kept him off the field for almost half of the 2020 season. Bell proved to be a difference maker when healthy, combining the speed and elusiveness that makes him one of the top running backs in the Mountain West conference, if not the country. Bell's healthy return this season is crucial for the Aztecs' success.

He was off to one of the best starts in SDSU history last season, setting a school record with at least 100 yards rushing in each of his first four games - against UNLV (111), Utah State (157), San Jose State (109) and Hawaii (160) - as an Aztec. "It was big for me because I'm from San Diego and there's a lot of great running backs that have come through this program," said Bell, a Bonita Vista High graduate. The career-high 160-yard rushing performance in a 34-10 win over Hawaii gave Bell 537 yards rushing through four games, positioning him for a 1,000-yard season despite the truncated eight-game schedule. At that point, Bell was averaging 21 carries and 134.3 yards, which trailed only Minnesota's Mohamed Ibrahim (178.8 ypg) and Iowa State's Breece Hall (147.7) among the nation's leading rushers. - San Diego Union Tribune


(DS#19 RB) rSr/2022 RB Greg BellSan Diego State
News Source: San Diego Union Tribune
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  Hoke said senior safety Rashad Scott's is almost ready to return from a torn ACL suffered last season at Nevada. Hoke said he expects Scott back the second week of fall camp. The Helix High graduate has been sidelined much of the past two years because of injuries. He missed the first five games of the 2019 season because of blood clots in his lungs. "I'm excited to get him back," Hoke said. "We've got to keep him healthy. He's kind of been stung a couple times. "I like what Rashad can give us. I'm probably one of the bigger fans of his." Scott is a potential starter who is listed as the backup to boundary warrior Cedarious Barfield coming into camp. - San Diego Union Tribune

(DS#999 FS) Sr/2022 FS Rashad ScottSan Diego State
News Source: San Diego Union Tribune
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