Penny, pass rush punish ASU in 30-20 SDSU win

It was the Rashaad Penny show in the desert on Saturday night, as San Diego State’s senior running back logged a career-high 353 all-purpose yards and three total touchdowns in a 30-20 victory over Arizona State University.

This was the 12th matchup all time between the two schools, and the Aztecs' first win over the Sun Devils in the series.

The Aztecs (2-0) rode Penny to start the game, getting him the ball on each of the team’s first four plays. SDSU’s first drive came to an abrupt end after redshirt junior quarterback Christian Chapman was twice taken to the ground, but it wouldn’t be long before Penny took over.

After ASU junior punter Michael Sleep-Dalton pinned SDSU on their own one yard line with 9:44 to go in the first quarter, Penny broke through on a 3rd-and-6 for a 95-yard touchdown run to give the Aztecs an early 7-0 lead.

Penny wasn’t finished.

After the Sun Devils equalized on the last play of the first quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run from senior running back Kalen Ballage, Penny returned the ensuing second quarter kickoff 99 yards to put the Aztecs back on top 14-7.

For as much success as Penny had on the ground, Chapman had as much trouble getting anything started through the air. Bullied early by Sun Devils senior linebacker Koron Crump, who recorded two sacks, Chapman was only able to complete nine of 18 passes for a total of 73 yards to go along with one touchdown, a 33-yard toss to Penny.

A 30-yard field goal by junior kicker John Baron II extended the Aztecs lead to 17-7 with 7:39 to go in the half, but ASU senior quarterback Manny Wilkins responded by orchestrating a 76-yard drive that ended with a five yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver K’Neal Harry.

Wilkins would go on to have a solid game despite the losing effort, finishing with 298 yards passing on 22 completions to go along with two touchdowns.

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