BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Adam Muema rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown and San Diego State’s special teams had a hand in two other scores in a 21-19 upset at No. 19 Boise State Saturday night.
Colin Lockett returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, then in the third quarter Dwayne Garrett reached over a blocker and deflected Trevor Harman’s punt to set up another score. Garrett scooped up the bouncing ball and was pushed out of bounds at the Boise State 8. Two plays later, Muema scored on a 3-yard run that put the Aztecs (7-3, 5-1 Mountain West) up 14-13.
Boise State (7-2, 4-1) and quarterback Joe Southwick, who struggled throughout the second half, rallied in the fourth quarter. Down 21-13 with 12:20 remaining, Southwick led the Broncos on a 16-play, 75-yard drive capped by his 1-yard touchdown toss to fullback Dan Paul that pulled Boise State within 21-19. The Broncos went for 2, but Southwick was pressured and his fluttering pass was picked off near the goal line by Rene Siluano.
The Aztecs took over with 5:35 minutes remaining, got a couple of first downs and ran out the clock to win their fifth straight and move into a tie for first place in the conference. It was also San Diego State’s first victory over a ranked foe since a 1996 win over Wyoming.
For the Broncos, it was another rare loss on the blue turf. Last season, TCU came in and won at Bronco Stadium, spoiling hopes for a conference title and playing in a BCS bowl. Boise State came into the game with a 71-1 record in regular season home games, dating back to 2001.
The Broncos were led by D.J. Harper, who scored twice and rushed for 81 yards. Southwick was 20 of 31 passing for 164 yards on one touchdown. He was sharp in the first half and helped the Broncos take a 13-6 lead at the half. But he opened the second half by throwing an interception on the first play of the third quarter.
Boise State managed just one first down on the next three possessions in the third quarter. Boise State had 276 total yards on offense and was penalized just once.
But the Aztecs clearly outplayed the Broncos on special teams, an area Boise State has dominated opponents in recent years.
On the opening kick, Lockett caught the ball 4-yards deep, raced up the middle through the Boise State coverage, eluded the kicker and raced down the right sideline untouched for the score. It’s the second kickoff return of the season for Lockett, who returned one in the Aztecs Sept. 8 victory over Army.
Redshirt quarterback Adam Dingwell, who took over three weeks ago after starter Ryan Katz went down with an injury, was 12 of 18 passing for 105 yards. Walter Kazee scored the Aztecs’ final touchdown on a 1-yard dive with 12:20 left in the game.