Wide receiver Az Hakim caught six passes for a career-high 174 yards and one touchdown, and backup running back Justin Watson ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns as San Diego State beat Idaho, 40-21, Saturday night.
The Aztecs (1-0) had four interceptions against Division I-A total offense leader Ryan Fien, leading to 16 points. Idaho (0-2), which moved up to the Big West Conference this year, has committed eight turnovers in its first two games.
Hakim, from Fairfax High, scored on a 67-yard touchdown pass play in the first quarter.
The Aztecs more than made up for the loss of their three top players. Running back George Jones, wide receiver Will Blackwell and defensive back Ricky Parker all served one-game NCAA suspensions for violating rules regarding extra benefits. All were first-team All-WAC last year, and Jones was third nationally in rushing and second in scoring.
All of their replacements came up with big plays.
San Diego State intercepted Fien twice in the first 3:40 of the third quarter, setting up 10 points to jump to a 20-3 lead.
Watson, a junior from Marshall High in Pasadena making his first start, scored on a 10-yard run 1:42 into the second half. The three-play, 24-yard scoring drive was set up when Eric Lewis intercepted a Fien pass. The Vandals had been pinned on the three-yard line on the second-half kickoff.
Two plays into the next Idaho drive, James Heggins--starting in place of Parker--intercepted a Fien pass at the Vandals’ 40 to set up a 34-yard field goal by Peter Holt.
Watson, who had 16 carries, also scored on a one-yard run for a 27-6 lead with 3:31 left in the third quarter.