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Opening nightmare for Wildcats in home defeat to San Diego State

JACK MAGRUDER
Associated Press

TUSCON, Ariz. (AP) - Senior Jordan Brookshire threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, Greg Bell broke a 55-yard scoring run on the fourth play from scrimmage and San Diego State beat Arizona 38-14 on Saturday night to extend the Wildcats' losing streak to 14 games.

Brookshire, who won the starting job late in fall camp, completed 9 of 11 passes for two scores in the first half as the Aztecs took a 35-7 lead.

Brookshire finished 10 of 14 for 183 yards and Bell had 125 yards rushing in 17 carries as the Aztecs opened 2-0 for the third straight season.

San Diego State had 454 total yards, 271 rushing.

Bell's 55-yard touchdown burst over the right side was an early indicator.

After Arizona (0-2) went three-and-out, Brookshire completed a 73-yard pass to Daniel Bellinger to set up a 3-yard scoring run. Bellinger had three catches for 113 yards.

San Diego State's Tyrell Shavers returned a blocked punt 27 yards for a score after Arizona's second three-and-out, and it was 21-0 less than eight minutes into the game.

Arizona's Gunner Cruz, who threw for 336 yards in a season-opening 24-16 loss to BYU last week, was 10 of 19 for 70 yards with a 43-yard scoring pass to Stanley Berryhill III and an interception.

Will Plummer was 8 of 17 for 109 yards and a 7-yard touchdown pass to Tayvian Cunningham after replacing Cruz late in the third quarter.

THE TAKEAWAY

San Diego State: With quarterback play like this, the Aztecs will contend in the Mountain West West. The Aztecs play good defense in their 3-3-5 scheme and with Bell can run the ball; the emergence of Brookshire could give them an arm to compete with the likes of Nevada's Carson Strong, Fresno State's Jake Haener and San Jose State's Nick Starkel.

Arizona: the Wildcats took a step backward after showing well in a 24-16 loss to BYU in Las Vegas last weekend, giving up chunk plays of the sort that hurt them in 2020, when they allowed 473 yards a game, ranking 116th of the 128 FBS teams.

UP NEXT

San Diego State: will play No. 21 Utah in Carson, Calif., on Saturday. The Aztecs are playing their home games this season in Carson while the new Aztec Stadium is being built.

Arizona: the Wildcats play host to FCS Northern Arizona on Saturday in their final nonconference game before beginning the Pac-12 schedule at No. 12 Oregon on Sept. 25.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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