September 7, 2019 / 11:57 PM / a month ago

San Diego State posts first-ever win over UCLA

San Diego State used a smothering defense and a methodical offensive approach to record its first-ever victory over UCLA, 23-14 on Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

September 7, 2019; Pasadena, CA, USA; San Diego State Aztecs running back Jordan Byrd (15) runs the ball as offensive lineman Daishawn Dixon (79) provides coverage against UCLA Bruins linebacker Krys Barnes (14) during the first half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Aztecs had been 0-21-1 against the Bruins in a series that dates to 1922.

San Diego State (2-0) scored 10 points on two takeaways, capitalizing on short fields. A Mike Martinez fumble near midfield late in the first quarter became an Aztecs field goal, giving San Diego State a 10-7 lead it never relinquished.

The visitors extended their edge in the third quarter, converting another fumble — this one by quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson on a Kyahva Tezino sack — into a touchdown. Quarterback Ryan Agnew found Kobe Smith on a 34-yard strike for the score two plays into the ensuing drive that began at the UCLA 36-yard line.

Smith caught seven passes for 131 yards, surpassing San Diego State’s total passing output in an ugly, 6-0 win over Weber State in Week 1. Agnew bounced back from his 108-yard showing in the opener, finishing with 293 yards on 23-of-31 passing .

Smith’s outstanding work in the passing game balanced a grinding rushing game that totaled only 80 yards but proved effective enough to give the Aztecs 38 minutes, 16 seconds in time of possession. Running back Chase Jasmin added a touchdown run of 2 yards in the first quarter.

Aztecs coach Rocky Long spent four seasons as UCLA’s defensive coordinator in the 1990s, crafting the 3-3-5 odd stack scheme that has become his calling card. The aggressive style limited UCLA (0-2) to 261 yards and ended 9-of-11 Bruins possessions in one stretch on either punts, turnovers or turnovers-on-downs.

UCLA scored on its opening drive when Joshua Kelley went five yards to cap a 41-yard drive. A 30-yard Kyle Philips punt return set up the Bruins with a short field.

UCLA scored again in the third quarter when Thompson-Robinson found Greg Dulcich on a 20-yard pass that cut the gap to 17-14. The Bruins never got any closer.

The San Diego State defense snuffed any hope of a UCLA rally when it stopped the Bruins on fourth down on consecutive possessions. In both cases, UCLA failed after it faced third-and-1.

—Field Level Media

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