The 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational presented by STAT BOX STORIES continues today with the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, which matches up the BYU Cougars (7-5) and the San Diego State Aztecs (9-3, 7-1 MWC). STAT BOX STORIES owner Brian Parker suits up with the Aztecs as they fight to defend their home field in this postseason showdown.
Cougars Gift 5 Turnovers to San Diego State in Poinsettia Bowl Loss
San Diego, C.A. – On a rainy Thursday night in San Diego, the Aztecs of San Diego State reveled in the renewal of a long-standing rivalry with the Brigham Young University Cougars thanks to a 38-24 victory in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. The Cougars were their own worst enemy, turning the ball over five times in a game closer than the final score would indicate.
The tone was set early on after the Aztecs scored on their opening possession with a 4-yard run by HB #4. BYU’s opening possession got to midfield before QB #13 threw the first of his four interceptions on the game deep within SDSU territory. Though BYU’s defense held their ground and allowed the offense to put points on the board with a 29-yard pass late in the first quarter, the next two scoring plays came in favor of the Aztecs as HB #4 earned three touchdowns on the ground in the first half.
Facing a 24-10 deficit at the half, BYU capped off a lengthy drive with the second scoring connection between QB #13 and TE #82 from a yard out to narrow the lead to a single possession.
BYU’s best opportunity to get back into the game was spoiled with 5:16 remaining in the fourth quarter, as QB #13 fumbled the ball and San Diego State scored on a 24-yard pass from QB #5 to WR #10. The true nail in the coffin came just seconds later as BYU QB #13 was picked off by CB #35 for a 23-yard interception return for touchdown, establishing the Aztecs’ largest lead of the game. Though the Cougars got another touchdown back on a 20-yard pass with over a minute and a half remaining, a failed onside kick allowed SDSU to run out the win on a sloppy evening.
Though San Diego State QB #5 threw for 137 yards less than his opposite number, his ability to keep the ball away from BYU defenders helped him to a better quarterback rating than QB #13, whose two touchdowns were offset by four interceptions. On a night where the weather conspired to undo each teams’ best efforts, the Aztecs’ ability to avoid turning the ball over proved instrumental to their victory.
Player of the Game: San Diego State HB #4, who rushed for 137 yards total and scored three touchdowns in the first half to help the Aztecs establish an early lead they were able to maintain through the end of the game.
It was over when… With 5:16 left to play in the game, BYU QB #13 fumbled the ball and San Diego State turned the turnover into seven points. Thirteen seconds later, a pick-six for SDSU extended the lead to 21 points.
Game Ball goes to… BYU TE #82, who led all receivers in catches, yards, and touchdowns but could not overcome his team’s 5 turnovers in a losing effort.
Stat of the Game: 24. That’s the number of points put on the board off turnovers by San Diego State, which took advantage of four interceptions and one fumble by BYU QB #13 to seal away a close game.
Statistical Tidbits: SDSU HB #4’s 28 rushing attempts tied the record for most rushes in the Poinsettia Bowl’s history, previously established in the 2010 game. His three rushing touchdowns also tied a Poinsettia Bowl record. … BYU QB #13 set a different kind of record for the Poinsettia Bowl with his four interceptions, doubling the previous high total set in 2009. … Each team converted on 100% of their Red Zone Attempts; San Diego State scored touchdowns on 4 of their 5 trips inside the 20-yard-line. … The play-calling of the two offenses trended in equal yet distant directions; BYU passed on 68% of their offensive plays, while SDSU rushed on 69% of their plays.