SAN DIEGO — San Diego State University RB Greg Bell single handedly carried the Aztecs to a 34-10 victory over the University of Hawai’i football team Saturday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium.
Bell, a University of Nebraska transfer, showcased his dynamic playmaking ability that proved to be too much for the overwhelmed Rainbow Warriors’ defense.
Bell finished the contest with a total of 160 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns on the afternoon.
The Rainbow Warriors’ defense surrendered a total of 326 yards rushing, and the Aztecs scored three touchdowns running the ball.
Bell had a 62-yard touchdown run with 1:08 seconds left in the first quarter and a 3-yard scamper with 10:25 left in the second quarter to give the Aztecs a commanding 21-0 lead.
Bell wasn’t the only Aztecs’ back with playmaking ability.
In the first quarter, Jordan Byrd scored on a 51-yard touchdown run to open the scoring up for both teams with 16 seconds left to go in the first quarter.
Rainbow Warriors’ offense woes
During a pregame interview, Rainbow Warriors’ coach Todd Graham said he emphasized to his team that they must get off to a faster start against the Aztecs than they did against New Mexico last Saturday.
Last Saturday, Hawai’i orchestrated a come-from-behind 39-33 victory over the Lobos after trailing 20-0, but against the stingy Aztecs’ defense, Graham was aware his team couldn’t afford to get behind.
The Rainbow Warriors’ offense was never able to establish a rhythm against the Aztecs’ defense that applied constant pressure to the Warriors’ versatile QB Chevan Cordeiro.
Hawai’i, a team that amassed over 500 yards of total offense last weekend in their victory over the Lobos, generated only 275 total yards against the Aztecs.
Late in the second quarter, with the Rainbow Warriors struggling to find an offensive rhythm, Cordeiro began to move the ball deep into the Aztec’s territory, and then threw a pick-six to San Diego State University LB Segun Olubi, who ran back 71 yards to give the Aztecs a commanding 28-0 halftime lead.
Rainbow Warriors’ kicker Matthew Shipley gave Hawai’i it’s first points of the day, kicking a 27-yard field goal with 5:13 left in the third quarter.
This was answered by the Aztecs with a 27-yard field goal by Matt Araiza with 12:51 left in the fourth quarter.
Hawai’i RB Calvin Turner provided the Warriors with some bright spots on offense.
Turner led all Rainbow Warriors with 39 yards on six carries, and scored on a receiving touchdown run of 75 yards with 12 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Turner led the Rainbow Warriors in receiving out of the backfield with 116 yards on four receptions, including the 75-yard touchdown run attempting to put the Rainbows back into the game, but his effort wasn’t enough.
Running by committee
Bell wasn’t the only Aztecs running back, or the only Bell on the Aztecs team that impacted the game.
The Aztecs were able to control the flow of the game by using their top weapon sparingly which allowed them to rotate fresh runners throughout the game.
Chance Bell and Lucas Bell combined for 94 yards, and Byrd finished with 61 yards with the highlight being his 51-yard touchdown run.
During the pregame presser, Rainbow Warriors’ Coach Todd Graham knew quarterback Chevan Cordeiro would have to get rid of the ball quicker than three seconds under the duress of the Aztec’s rush.
The Aztec’s defense sacked Cordeiro a total of seven times throughout the game, which didn’t allow him to find receivers that were wide open on several occasions throughout the contest.
Jason Blasco, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org