Defensive heroics help the Aztecs tame the Huskies, 34-28

SAN DIEGO (The Daily Aztec) - No. 19 San Diego State football reached 5-0 for the first time since 1975, scoring on offense, defense and special teams in its 34-28 win over Northern Illinois University on Saturday night.

Playing at the newly-named SDCCU Stadium, the Huskies would stay hot on the Aztecs’ tail all night long, and entered the fourth quarter down 31-28. NIU had an opportunity to win the game late, but had its drive stall after SDSU senior cornerback Kameron Kelly intercepted sophomore quarterback Daniel Santacaterina near the end zone with 2:23 left in the contest. 

“At the end of the game we told ourselves that we can’t let it slip away,” Kelly said, “and we’ve got to stay together and pull it out.”

A three-and-out by SDSU gave the Huskies one last chance, starting at their own 15-yard line with 1:58 to play, but the Aztecs sealed the victory after freshman safety Tariq Thompson’s second interception of the night. 

SDSU has now won seven straight games dating back to last season, and 13 of its last 14 home games. 

“I feel like we’re starting to have an obsession with winning and we’ve got to keep that going,” Kelly said. “We can’t lose at all. We can’t. Can’t even get this close to losing again.”

Long said that despite the win, he felt his team was not the most consistent on Saturday night.

“I thought Northern Illinois outplayed us,” Long said. “The difference was we made big plays, we made big turnovers – that’s the only thing that saved the game.” 

The Aztecs ability to win tough games while overcoming adversity tells Long that there is something different about his team.


Published in partnership with San Diego State University's student-run publication, The Daily Aztec

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