The SDSU Aztecs traveled east to play the North Carolina Tar Heels. Tar Heels have a fast defense and it would take minimal mistakes by the Aztecs to get a victory. Unfortunately, a few key mistakes would send the Aztecs home empty handed.
The game started as a defense fans dream with no teams scoring in the first quarter. Ironically, it would be a defense that scored first. SDSU quarterback Quinn Kaehler rolled out in the red zone throwing to score but he was intercepted by UNC’s cornerback Brian Walker. Walker would go 100 yards to the end zone and put UNC on the board with a 7-0 lead.
Kaehler would come out on the next possession and respond with a 56 yard touchdown pass to Eric Judge. The next UNC possession would be intercepted by SDSU junior Jon Sanchez. That turnover would turn into a 12 yard touchdown run for Donnel Pumphrey. SDSU’s defense would shut down the UNC offense to head into the locker room with a 7-14 lead.
North Carolina would miss a field goal on their possession to start the 3rd quarter. SDSU would use this to drive down the field and Pumphrey headed right into the end zone. This shot SDSU up to a 7-21 lead. UNC would end the 3rd quarter with a 65 yard scoring drive that would cut the Aztec lead to 14-21.
SDSU would start the 4th quarter with a field goal and push their lead to 14-24. It took one play for UNC to respond with a 91 yard touchdown pass and their deficit would be 21-24. SDSU would only get a field goal on their next possession and lead at 21-27.
UNC would drive 80 yards to score a touchdown and take the lead at 28-27. On the next Aztec possession, Kaehler would throw another interception on another roll out play to Brian Walker again. UNC would flip that turnover into a field goal and push their lead to 31-27. Aztecs would get the ball with 4:00 in the game left and drove 72 yards. On the doorstep of winning the game, Kaehler would be intercepted by cornerback Tim Scott and Scott would seal the deal for the Tar Heels. Final score of 31-27.
This was a hard loss for the Aztecs and the season could get harder as Ezell Ruffin left the game with a broken collarbone. He could be out for the season and that forced Kaehler to throw to 9 different receivers. This will force the Aztecs to re adjust their passing strategy as they look forward to Oregon State next week.