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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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Aztecs Open Snapdragon Stadium with Preseason Scrimmage

Saturday marks the first time the Aztecs have played in Snapdragon Stadium.
By GoAztecs

Playing for the first time at Snapdragon Stadium, San Diego State conducted its annual preseason scrimmage on Saturday, opening its state-of-the-art venue in Mission Valley to season ticket holders and special guests.

"It was good to get out here and get acclimated to where you are at and the different things," said Aztec head coach Brady Hoke. "It's a great venue, obviously. It was good to be here, nice to have families in attendance. I know our guys really enjoyed that part of it. I thought we had some really good energy out there. In the first half we brought the energy. Go to the second half, and you get not quite the same energy that we did in the first half."

Phillippe Wesley II led a productive SDSU receiving corps with five catches for 79 yards, while Brionne Penny finished with three receptions for 36 yards, highlighted by a pair of touchdowns. In addition, Jesse Matthews totaled four catches for 64 yards, while Darius De Los Reyes hauled in another scoring strike, as the Aztec offense accounted for 24 points on the day.

After three unsuccessful drives to open the festivities, SDSU finally dented the scoreboard on a 26-yard field goal by David Delgado with 1:18 remaining in the first quarter, which capped an eight-play, 64-yard march. The offense netted a huge chunk of that real estate on consecutive plays, with Will Haskell scrambling 18-yards down the left sideline on 3rd and 5, while Cam Davis followed with a 32-yard burst on the ensuing play down to the opposition 11.

Later in the second quarter, Kyle Crum connected with Penny on a 25-yard touchdown pass at the 6:43 mark before intermission, culminating a 5-play, 63-yard drive that consumed just 2:07 on the clock. Crum keyed the forey with a 19-yard completion to Wesley, while Martin Blake soon followed with tough 14-yard run up the middle.

With the Aztecs fine-tuning their offense with red zone work in the fourth quarter, the Crum-Penny duo hit pay dirt once again, this time from six yards out at the 8:20 mark, while Liu Aumavae tossed an 18-yard touchdown pass to De Los Reyes moments later.

Braxton Burmeister directed the Aztecs' opening march of the afternoon, completing two passes to Matthews, including a 39-yarder down the right sideline that put the offense in prime position at the opposition 22. However, the drive stalled following two incompletions, as Jack Browning's subsequent 32-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.

Four SDSU quarterbacks combined for 253 yards and three touchdowns on 25-of-39 passing, with Aumauve (97 yards) completing a game-high 11 tosses, while Crum (87 yards) notched seven completions of his own.

Davis led the Aztecs with 45 yards rushing on six carries, while Blake gained 25 yards on four attempts.

Defensively, the Aztecs were paced by safety Max Garrison's six tackles, while Dominic Oliver and New Zealand Williams finished with five stops each, followed by Vai Kaho and Josh Hunter, who totaled four apiece. Williams also recovered a fumble in the third quarter, while Wyatt DraegerRyan HendersonDJ HermanKeion Mitchell and Michael Shawcroft were each credited with a sack.

San Diego State opens its 2022 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 3, when it plays host to Arizona in the inaugural regular-season game at Snapdragon Stadium, starting at 12:30 p.m. PT. The Aztecs-Wildcats clash will be aired nationally on CBS Sports.
SDSU's home schedule at Snapdragon Stadium also includes games against Idaho State (Sept. 10), Toledo (Sept. 24), Hawai'i (Oct. 8), UNLV (Nov. 5 – Homecoming), San José State (Nov. 12) and Air Force (Nov. 26).