Weber State football went on the road and held an FBS team without a touchdown Saturday night in San Diego.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, their offense only crossed midfield once against a strong San Diego State defense and the Aztecs prevailed 6-0 in both teams’ season opener at SDCCU Stadium.
A particularly painful moment for Weber State in the close battle came when San Diego State broke the deadlock in the second quarter.
A sack from McKade Mitton stunted a promising SDSU drive and the Aztecs settled for a Matt Araiza 34-yard field goal, giving them a 3-0 lead with 4:41 left in the second quarter.
SDSU kicked the ensuing kickoff short as to take away a return attempt from WSU returner phenom Rashid Shaheed, who was playing in his hometown on his 21st birthday.
Shaheed fielded the kick on the bounce anyway, picked up a block from Auston Tesch and was off to the races for a 99-yard touchdown return.
But it was called back. Officials flagged George Tarlas for a holding penalty; video replay showed Tarlas’ man falling down but a potential holding penalty was unclear.
Weber State held San Diego State to 0 for 8 on third down in the first half and, for the game, kept Aztecs star running back Juwan Washington to 55 yards on 22 attempts, an average of 2.5 yards per carry. The senior averaged 5 yards per carry last season.
The lone time WSU crossed midfield came with about seven minutes left in the third quarter. Jake Constantine threw a pass 8 yards to the SDSU 43, where David Ames caught it but was short of the first down.
On the ensuing fourth-and-1, and for a team that struggled to run the ball all night, WSU dialed up a trick play. Ames took a receiver sweep in the backfield, then pulled up and fired downfield.
Both Shaheed and Devon Cooley were open near the SDSU 10 for a sure touchdown, running about 5 yards apart. The pass landed squarely between them and incomplete.
Trailing 6-0 and having turned the Aztecs away from a few series with good field position, Weber’s final chance came with 3 minutes left in the contest, taking the ball at its own 35.
Constantine pump-faked and threw down the sideline to a streaking Cooley, who was behind his defender. The ball didn’t lead Cooley and hung just long enough for SDSU’s Tariq Thompson to come over from the safety spot to intercept the ball.
That was the game’s only turnover.
Weber State punted the ball 10 times, SDSU nine. The Aztecs outgained WSU 238-154.
Kris Jackson was Weber’s leading rusher, running three times for 14 yards. Cooley grabbed two passes for 39 receiving yards. Constantine finished 21 of 31 for 119 yards.
Weber held SDSU senior quarterback Ryan Agnew to 16 of 30 for 108 yards.
Conner Mortensen and Preston Smith led WSU with seven tackles, with Mortensen picking up 1.5 tackles for loss. Jared Schiess totaled two tackles for loss and Eddie Heckard recorded two pass breakups.
WSU next prepares for its home opener, a Sept. 7 battle against the triple option of Cal Poly, which beat San Diego 52-34 on Saturday.