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BYU Closes Out Regular Season With 13-3 Loss At San Diego State

BYU football players, including quarterback Zach Wilson (1) and tight end Kyle Griffitts (42), leave the field after losing to the San Diego State Aztecs at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (Laura Seitz, Desert News)

SAN DIEGO – Riding high from a five-game winning streak, BYU came into San Diego with a lot of momentum. That momentum comes to an abrupt halt after a 13-3 loss at San Diego State.

The former WAC and Mountain West Conference rival Aztecs kept BYU out of the endzone all night. BYU’s offense produced 416 yards yet couldn’t produce a touchdown. It was the first time a BYU team had 400-plus yards, but couldn’t score a touchdown since a 24-3 loss to UNLV in 2002.

San Diego State’s 3-3-5 defensive scheme gave up yards, but they prevented BYU from putting up points and they were opportunistic. The Aztec defense forced three takeaways from BYU’s offense that never felt in sync the entire night.

Two of those three turnovers were from quarterback Zach Wilson. Wilson ended the night throwing 316 yards on 31-53 passing with a 101 quarterback rating. But it was probably one of the more hollow 300-yard passing performances you’ll find over the years.

San Diego State broke in a new quarterback in true freshman Carson Baker. In his first-ever collegiate game played, Baker was comfortable throwing for 172 yards and completing 19 of his 24 pass attempts. BYU’s defense dropped back eight guys for a majority of the evening and the limited pressure allowed Baker to play composed and he gave the Aztecs their ninth win of the season.

The lack of touchdowns forced BYU to settle for a lot of field goal attempts and the Cougars’ recent struggles with field goal kicks continued. The season-long starter Jake Oldroyd was beaten out in practice this week by Skyler Southam giving last year’s starter his first start in 2019. Southam gave BYU their only points of the game with a 24-yard field goal in the first quarter, but then Southam missed his next two attempts within 30 yards and both were attempted in the fourth quarter.

With the loss, BYU falls to 7-5 on the season and its next game will come in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve. BYU’s opponent in the Hawaii Bowl won’t be announced December 8th but it will be a team from either the Mountain West Conference or American Athletic Conference.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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