San Diego State running back Paul Hewitt went over the 100-yard mark rushing for the second time this season with 105 yards against Hawaii Saturday. But the play that stood out was a pass thrown by Hewitt.
With SDSU at the Hawaii 32 and trailing, 17-0, in the first quarter, Hewitt took a pitch from quarterback Brad Platt and let fly. Patrick Rowe hauled in the pass for a touchdown.
Hewitt said the Aztecs had installed the play in practice about a week ago but hadn’t worked much on it. Apparently, Hewitt, who was a quarterback at Monrovia High School, didn’t need much practice.
“It was exciting,” Hewitt said. “It was one of the better passes I’ve ever thrown.”
Still, he said, “I’d rather run.”
So rest easy, Brad Platt. Hewitt has no aspirations of becoming a quarterback.
“No way,” Hewitt said.
With 4:48 left in the third quarter, the Aztecs trailed, 29-14. SDSU had fourth and 2 at the Hawaii 19, but Coach Denny Stolz elected to go for a field goal.
“You count forward, not backward,” Stolz said after the game. “We had to have one field goal to win the game. It doesn’t matter when you get the field goal.”
Tyler Ackerson kicked the field goal, a 36-yarder. The Aztecs lost, 32-30.
The Aztecs used an unusual defense against Hawaii, but don’t expect to see it again for a while.
The Aztecs used 2 down linement, 2 stand-up ends, 2 linebackers and 5 defensive backs. To an extent, it worked. The 32 points scored by Hawaii are the second-fewest allowed this season by the Aztecs. Stanford scored 31 in a 31-10 victory over SDSU on Sept. 17.
“It’s a defense against the option,” Stolz explained. “Hawaii uses a one-back, triple-option offense.”
Stolz said the Aztecs will not use the defense again unless they run into an option attack.
Said linebacker Morey Paul: “The coaches came up with a great scheme.”
Still, the Aztecs fell behind, 17-0, thanks in large part to 2 Hawaii interceptions, which resulted in 2 7-yard touchdown drives.
“Everybody has a job to do regardless of where we are (on the field),” Paul said. “Our job is to stop them. Maybe they have momentum, but if we stopped them, we’d change the momentum in our favor.”
The Aztecs travel to Colorado State Saturday to face a team with almost as many injuries as the Aztecs. Three starters are injured, the worst being nose tackle Greg Baker, who is out with a dislocated left ankle. Center Mike Padilla (broken right thumb) and strong safety Sean Jackson (ankle sprain) are both probable. Six reserves are also injured. And cornerback Dennis Erk has been indefinitely suspended from the team.
The Aztecs came out of Saturday’s game relatively injury free, compared to their last couple of games. Linebackers Kevin Maultsby (right shoulder) and Tracy Mao (left and right ankle sprains) are both questionable. Cornerbacks Mario Mitchell and Clark Moses, who both missed Saturday with sprained ankles, are probable.
Receiver Alfred Jackson (two dislocated fingers) is still out indefinitely.
Television replays indicate that on Kerry Reed-Martin’s touchdown catch in the fourth quarter Saturday, the Aztecs had only 10 men on the field. The play was run after a timeout and when the huddle broke, the Aztecs had 12 men on the field. Tight end Ray Rowe and wide receiver Patrick Rowe ran off the field, leaving SDSU a player short. This is the third week in a row SDSU has played at least a down with the incorrect number of players on the field.
Patrick Rowe broke the school record for most individual kickoff returns in a game with 7. And for the second week in a row, Rowe broke the school record for kickoff return yardage with 157. . . .The Aztecs have lost 3 consecutive games at home for the first time since they lost 5 in a row over the 1983 and 1984 seasons--the final 4 games of 1983 and the first home game in 1984.
SDSU started last season 1-6 and this season 1-5. Those are the worst back-to-back starts since they went 1-5 to start the 1959 season and 0-6 in 1960. . . . Junior wide receiver Monty Gilbreath extended his reception streak to 20 consecutive games. . . . Senior tight end Reed-Martin caught a season-high 8 passes against Hawaii for 51 yards. Reed-Martin, who was SDSU’s leading receiver last season, had caught only 11 passes until Saturday. Last year, Reed-Martin led or was tied for the SDSU reception lead in 5 games. . . . Quarterback Brad Platt’s 4 sacks Saturday matched a season high.