San Diego State struggles in second half in loss to San Jose State, 24-13

Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports
The struggles continue for the Aztecs as they lose the second half 14-3 and drop yet another game.

In the final stages of what has been a lost season, San Diego State took the field in a battle against the 5-5 San Jose State Spartans. Things started off promisingly, as the Aztecs would take the first lead of the game in the opening quarter on a rushing touchdown from Jaylon Armstead. They would head into the second quarter with the 7-0 lead. However, the Spartans would respond in the second with a score of their own to even things at back up. The two teams would trade field goals late in the first half, and heading to the locker room the game was even at 10. The second half would not fare as well for San Diego State, who surrendered touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters while adding on just a field goal of their own. San Jose State strolled to a 24-13 victory, improving their record to 6-5 and bringing their conference record to an impressive 5-2.

Here are three takeaways from the loss:

Jalen Mayden has a rough performance

The lack of offense during the Aztec’s 4-game skid has definitely been something to take note of. During the stretch, they have scored over 20 points just once, and have even been the victim of a shutout loss in the process. Saturday night’s game was no different, as the offense seemed to lack any momentum once again. Quarterback Jalen Mayden struggled all night long, as he completed 15 of 24 passes for just 117 yards and a pair of interceptions. Without any positive movement in the passing game, the offense looked quite one-dimensional and failed to make strides of improvement.

Mayden’s second interception of the night.

The senior quarterback has 1,725 passing yards on the season so far, with 9 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. With one final game left in his college career next week, he will look to have a major rebound and lift the Aztecs to one last victory as the leader of the offense.

San Jose State rushing game is the latest to torch the Aztecs

In what was the newest edition of effective running against the San Diego State defense, junior running back Quali Conley led the way for the Spartans. He made the most of his 13 carries, taking off for 155 yards and a touchdown. His longest run was a 57-yard burst that went a long way toward his 11.7 yards per carry average. Senior running back Kairee Robinson also chipped in with 11 carries of his own that resulted in 40 yards and a touchdown.

It was a fitting performance for the senior, as he broke the single-season rushing touchdown record on senior night in front of the home crowd. His contributions have helped the Spartans in their dramatic season turnaround. As for the Aztecs, the story remains the same. Their opponents continue to make the most of the ground game, this time totaling 181 yards and 2 out of the 3 San Jose State touchdowns in the contest. With one game left to play, it will be interesting to see how they respond, and if the run defense is able to come out with any more intensity than the past few games has shown.

Jaylon Armstead dials in a nice game

While there were a few negatives in the game surrounding the San Diego State offense, running back Jaylon Armstead put up his best effort to try and keep the squad in the game. The junior tallied 134 rushing yards across 21 carries and added a touchdown on the team’s opening drive of the night.

So far this season, he has just 67 carries for 273 yards and 6 touchdowns. After a solid performance against the Spartans, it will be interesting to see how his role changes in the final week of the season, and perhaps beyond into his senior year.

The Aztec’s final stop on their 2023 journey will be right back in front of the home crowd at Snapdragon Stadium next week when they face off against Fresno State. The Bulldogs are going to present a tough challenge as their 8-3 overall record has them in 5th place in the Mountain West, which is tied for the second-most wins of any team in the conference. It will be the final chance for the squad to try and put an end to their losing streak, and finish off what has been a disappointing season on a little bit brighter of a note.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. PST.