Red and Black on the attack as Aztecs clinch berth in MW championship game

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San Diego State University’s football team thumped the University of Hawaii, 55-0, in the Aztecs'; annual homecoming game Nov. 5 in front of 41,644 fans at Qualcomm Stadium to officially clinch a berth in the Mountain West conference’s upcoming championship game. It marks the second consecutive year the Aztecs will make an appearance in the conference championship game after defeating Air Force to win last year’s MW title game.

San Diego State University’s football team thumped the University of Hawaii, 55-0, in the Aztecs'; annual homecoming game Nov. 5 in front of 41,644 fans at Qualcomm Stadium to officially clinch a berth in the Mountain West conference’s upcoming championship game. It marks the second consecutive year the Aztecs will make an appearance in the conference championship game after defeating Air Force to win last year’s MW title game.

SDSU improved to 5-0 in Mountain West conference play, 8-1 overall, while the Rainbow Warriors dropped to 3-3 in conference, 4-6 overall. The Aztecs clinched the conference’s West Division title by owning a three-game advantage in the loss column with one more division game remaining on the team’s regular season schedule.

Wyoming (7-2 overall) leads the MW Mountain Division with a 5-0 conference record and holds a one-game lead over Boise State (4-1 in conference play).

The MW West winner will play the MW Mountain winner in the conference championship game Dec. 3. The higher ranked team will host the game.

Boise State (8-1) is currently ranked 24th in the AP top 25 poll.

Christian Chapman threw three touchdown passes, Ron Smith and Damontae Kazee each returned intercepted passes for touchdowns, Rashaad Penny and Juwan Washington each scored rushing touchdowns and John Baron also kicked field goals of 30 and 45 yards to boost SDSU to its runaway victory.

David Wells, Quest Truxton and Washington each caught scoring passes. Penny’s TD run measured 73 yards while Kazee’s pick six went for 54 yards. Baron converted extra-point attempts on all seven touchdowns.

Donnel Pumphrey, SDSU’s Heisman Trophy candidate, rushed for 112 yards in the victory though he did not score a touchdown.

Pumphrey has rushed for 1,581 net yards with 13 rushing touchdowns this season. He’s also caught a team-high 20 passes for 145 yards.

Chapman has thrown for 1,241 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions while Mikah Holder leads the team with 381 receiving yards and three TDs.

Linebacker Calvin Munson leads SDSU with 74 tackles while Kazee tops the Aztecs with five interceptions. Alex Barrett leads the team with 6.5 sacks.

The win over Hawaii was the Aztecs’ 16th consecutive conference victory – the longest active win streak in the nation. The 55-0 win also marked the largest margin for a shutout victory in SDSU’s Division I history since 1969.

Kazee, Munson, Pumphrey, left guard Nico Siragusa and Malik Smith each started for the 36th consecutive game, the longest streaks on the team (besides specialists).

Right tackle Daniel Brunskill, Pumphrey and Siragusa each played in their 49th consecutive game, the longest streak on the team.

The Mountain West Conference has tie-ins to six postseason bowl games: New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 17), Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 17), Poinsettia Bowl (Dec. 21), Potato Bowl (Dec. 22), Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 24) and Arizona Bowl (Dec. 30).

SDSU, Boise State, Wyoming, New Mexico (6-3) and Air Force (6-3) are all bowl eligible from the Mountain West while Colorado State (5-4) needs one more win to become bowl eligible.

JC football

Grossmont College (5-4) is ranked eighth among Southern California’s National Division teams. The Griffins close out regular season play with a home game Saturday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m. against Palomar College (3-6).

Quarterback Brad Cagle is averaging 228 yards per game and has thrown 18 touchdown passes this season for Grossmont while Keith Fulton leads the Griffins with five rushing touchdowns.

Adrian Tolbert leads the team with 13 touchdown catches and is averaging 99 yards per game.

San Diego bowl games

The San Diego Bowl Game Association's two college bowl games will take place next month at Qualcomm Stadium.

The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, scheduled Dec. 21, will pit a bowl-eligible BYU against an opponent from the Mountain West conference.

Kick-off is 6 p.m.

BYU defeated Cincinnati, 20-3, on Nov. 5 to improve to 5-4. The Cougars need six wins to become bowl eligible. 

The National Funding Holiday Bowl, scheduled Dec. 27, pits teams from the Pac-12 and Bug Ten Conferences.

Kick-off is 4 p.m.

NFL notepad

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, the 2014 Heisman Trophy award-winner, had a rough day against the host Chargers on Nov. 6. Mariota scored on a 14-yard run to put the Titans up 21-19 to early in the third quarter, but committed two costly turnovers that led to a 43-35 loss in front of 52,281 fans at Qualcomm Stadium.

Dwight Lowery returned a Mariota fumble for a touchdown and teammate Brandon Flowers later returned an intercepted pass 33 yards for a touchdown. Mariota threw two picks in the game, including one to Casey Hayward, to finish the AFC non-division contest with an 88.6 quarterback rating.

On the season, Mariota has thrown for 2,187 yards with 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions to go with an overall 92.6 rating.

Mariota recorded a 148.1 rating in an Oct. 27 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars when he passed for 270 yards and two touchdowns in a 36-22 win.

Melvin Gordon rushed for 196 yards and scored one touchdown for San Diego (4-5) in the win over Tennessee (4-5).

Helix High grad Alex Smith, the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs but currently out with a concussion, has thrown for 1,638 with eight touchdowns and two interceptions this season to earn a 94.3 quarterback rating.

Smith is in his fourth season with Kansas City. He passed for 3,486 yards and 20 touchdowns last season as the Chiefs advanced to the second round of the AFC playoffs.

The NFL no longer boasts any undefeated teams, though Dallas and New England are both currently tied at 7-1 for the league’s best record.

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