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September 17, 2011
The Washington State University football team stayed with San Diego State for three quarters but the Aztecs scored three times in the fourth quarter and San Diego State running back Ronnie Hillman ran for 180 yards and four touchdowns as the Aztecs walloped the Cougars, 42-24 in San Diego. With the loss, the Cougars drop to 2-1 overall on the year.
Wazzu got the game off on the right foot as first the defense halted San Diego Srtate's initial possession and then - on the first offensive play of the game - redshirt senior quarterback Marshall Lobbestael launched an 80-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Marquess Wilson for a quick 7-0 lead.
The Aztecs, however, took only two and a half minutes to tie the game as San Diego State running back Ronnie Hillman ran it in from 13 yards out for the 7-7 tie and with only six minutes gone in the game, there were already two touchdowns on the scoreboard.
Wazzu responded with another scoring drive, this time culminating in a 48-yard field goal from Andrew Furney to make it 10-7 in favor of the Cougars. But Hillman struck again with an 11-yard touchdown run to take a 14-10 lead going into the second quarter.
On the Cougars' next possession though, Lobbestael fumbled - only the second turnover of the season for Wazzu - and San Diego State recovered. But the Wazzu defense returned the favor when Deone Bucannon intercepted Aztec quarterback Ryan Lindley at the 12-yard line to thwart a San Diego scoring threat.
That turnover was the impetus of an 88-yard scoring drive that ended with Lobbestael tossing his second touchdown pass of the game - a 23-yarder to Isiah Barton - to give Wazzu a 17-14 lead with nine minutes remaining in the first half. Wazzu held off yet another Aztec scoring threat late in the half as Lindley fumbled deep in Cougar territory with less than three minutes left in the half.
Wazzu started the second half just like they did the first half with a long touchdown pass from Lobbestael to Wilson - this one covering 78 yards - and took a 24-14 lead over the Aztecs.
But once again, San Diego State came back with an answer as, after the Wazzu defense had appeared to stuff San Diego State on a three-and-out on the next possession, a roughing the punter penalty on the ensuing punt gave SDSU the ball and the Aztecs took three plays before Lindley hit Gavin Escobar with a 25-yard touchdown pass to close the gap to 24-21 in the third quarter. The Cougars dodged a bullet and kept the lead after the Aztecs' field goal kicker Abelardo Perez missed a potential game-tying 39-yard field goal late in the quarter.
But the Cougars could not dodge another bullet as the fourth quarter began when San Diego State put together an eight-play 63-yard drive and capped it off with a one-yard touchdown run from Hillman that gave the Aztecs a 28-24 lead with 10:24 left in the game.
After completing a 37-yard pass to Wilson that put Wazzu on the Aztecs' doorstep and ready to score, Lobbestael fumbled and San Diego State promptly put the game away on their very next play as Hillman took the ball 59 yards for the touchdown to make it 35-24 with 7:25 remaining in the game.
After Lobbestael was intercepted late in the fourth quarter, San Diego State added another touchdown pass from Lindley to Escobar to make it 42-24.
- Hillman ran for 180 yards and four touchdowns in the game.
- Lobbestael threw for 363 yards but was sacked four times, fumbled twice and was picked off twice in the game.
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