Lowery Puts Spark in Aztecs' Offense : Football: He passes for 273 yards, and Faulk gets five touchdowns in SDSU rout.


David Lowery woke up at 5 a.m., then 6 a.m., then . . .

As the hours before his first start at quarterback for San Diego State lumbered by, Lowery said, "I kept asking my coaches, 'Hey, when is this thing gonna start?' "

The Aztecs might have wondered the same thing about their offense, waiting through four games for a quarterback to emerge before Lowery, a redshirt sophomore from Trabuco Hills High, stepped in Saturday night.

The result was a 47-21 Western Athletic Conference victory over Hawaii.

Lowery completed seven of his first eight passes and 14 of 25 overall for 273 yards to ignite the Aztecs' most lopsided first-half lead (33-0) on the road in 22 years.

The Aztecs (3-2, 1-1 in the WAC), led 47-0 through three quarters in christening a new $4 million scoreboard at Aloha Stadium.

"I said all along that when we did (put it all together), somebody was going to pay," SDSU Coach Al Luginbill said. "It just happened to be Hawaii tonight."

The Rainbows (3-3), who suffered their most lopsided home loss in 11 years, paid:

- On the ground, where freshman running back Marshall Faulk ran for five touchdowns (on carries of 9, 12, 5, 63 and 1 yards) and 212 yards on 22 attempts.

- Through the air, where Darnay Scott and Patrick Rowe debuted as bookend wide receivers and had a combined 10 catches and 182 yards.

- On defense, where the Aztecs surpassed their season total of five by getting six sacks.

So dominating were the Aztecs that the Rainbows punted 11 times and crossed midfield just once in the first half. And it could have been worse. SDSU's lone turnover came at Hawaii five-yard line, and the Aztecs had 12 penalties for 138 yards.

After two losses in a a six-day span, "our team was possessed," Luginbill said.

What Lowery's coming-out party in front of a crowd of 38,259 demonstrated was what the Aztecs had found lacking in their offense: A passing game.

"We did not get any production whatsoever from the passing game in our first four ballgames," Luginbill said of the squad under the previous starter, Cree Morris, who managed to complete jsut 42.5% of his passes. "We needed to get somebody that could click in the passing game. We knew if we got that we could be a good football team.

"We've been able to run the ball on everybody throughout the year, regardless of who it has been," Luginbill said. "We've just been inept in the passing game and, basically, we felt we had to make a change."

Said running back T.C. Wright: "The Aztecs are b-a-c-k."

Luginbill said, "When I look out and see our offense functioning like that, that's our offense. That's the way it should be. What we had been doing for the last four games was abnormal."

Lowery said, "I just wanted to get the chance and, when I got it, I wanted to go out and do it quickly. I wanted to hit that first (pass) and get something going. I got hot."

Added Rowe: "We thought he could do the job, and the way he got started reassured us. He was cool, calm and collected. He looked like a pro."

At least, the Rainbows thought so.

"He has a real good arm and a nice touch on the ball," Hawaii cornerback Kenny Harper said. "And, with those receivers he's got, with those backs and the line, they had too many big-play capabilities for us. They're scary."

Particularly, it would seem, if you are New Mexico, which must play the Aztecs Saturday night at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, after getting bombed 94-17 by Fresno State.

That could be a game for which all the Aztecs start counting down the hours.

Aztec Notes

Middle linebacker Lou Foster, the Aztecs' leading tackler this year, left the game with 11:36 in the first quarter with what was announced as a bruised left knee and his condition will be re-evaluated. His replacement, freshman Mark Roberts, was in on five tackles and had two sacks. . . . The Aztecs lead the series, 8-7-2. . . . Marshall Faulk's rushing touchdown total is 16, three short of breaking the NCAA record for a freshman set by Hawaii's Jamal Farmer in 1989. Faulk is No. 3 on the NCAA leading rushers list with 830 yards on 110 carries, which is good for an average of 166 yards per game. He also is fifth in all-purpose running, which combines yardage for rushing, receiving, punt returns and kick returns.

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