Backup quarterback Lucas Johnson found Jesse Matthews for a 24-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime Friday night, lifting #24 San Diego State to a 19-13 win over host San Jose State.
The Aztecs (6-0, 2-0 Mountain West) earlier stopped the Spartans in the second OT when Trenton Thompson intercepted Nick Nash’s pass for Derrick Deese Jr. in the end zone. On third down, Johnson and Matthews teamed up for the game-winner.
Johnson entered the game late in the fourth quarter for Jordon Brookshire, who completed 13 of 27 passes for 132 yards. Nash was 16 of 34 for 228 yards.
San Diego State was outgained 354 yards to 240 and got a great game from punter/kicker Matt Araiza. He averaged 52.9 yards on seven punts, including an 86-yarder in the third quarter, and downed five kicks inside the Spartans’ 20 while also booting two field goals.
Each team scored a touchdown in the first overtime. San Diego State got a 14-yard TD pass from Johnson to Matthews, but Tyler Nevens’ 1-yard plunge forced another overtime. It also made the Aztecs the last FBS team this year to allow a rushing touchdown.
San Jose State (3-4, 1-2) could have won the game on its last drive of regulation, but Matt Mercurio came up short on a 52-yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining.
Araiza initiated the scoring with 11:16 left in the first half, booming a 53-yard field goal one play after San Jose State was flagged for being offside. That was one of seven first-half penalties on the Spartans for 60 yards.
Mercurio converted a 32-yard field goal less than three minutes later to tie the game. Nash hit Jermaine Braddock and Deese for 29- and 37-yard gains, respectively, to set up the score.
San Diego State responded with its best sustained drive of the half, running 11 plays and reaching the Spartans’ 9. However, a third-down pass fell incomplete, and Araiza kicked a 26-yard field goal with 54 seconds remaining, giving the Aztecs a 6-3 lead at intermission.
Mercurio kicked a 48-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to tie the score.