2019 NEW MEXICO BOWL (DECEMBER 21, 2019)
SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS (MOUNTAIN WEST) VS. CENTRAL MICHIGAN CHIPPEWAS (MAC)
Saturday’s attendance: 18,823
Saturday’s game marked the first meeting between San Diego State and Central Michigan.
In addition, Saturday marked the first appearance for Central Michigan in the New Mexico Bowl and in Albuquerque.
After SDSU’s 48-11 win, the Mountain West is now 9-5 in the New Mexico Bowl while the Mid-American Conference (MAC) is now 1-1.
For the seventh time in eight years, both teams scored in the first quarter (exception was 2017).
SDSU led 20-3 at the half. Teams leading at the half are now 9-3 in bowl outcomes.
The 37-point margin is the second-largest behind the 39-point differential last season (Utah State).
CMU’s 11 points were the third-fewest in bowl history, while SDSU’s 48 points ties the third-most points scored in New Mexico Bowl history (Colorado State in 2013 and Nevada in 2012).
The eight first downs by Central Michigan ties the fewest number of first downs in New Mexico Bowl history (San José State, 2006).
The five takeaways by San Diego State were the most in New Mexico Bowl history.
It is the fourth time that a team has thrown three interceptions in the New Mexico Bowl, joining New Mexico (2015), Temple (2011) and UTEP (2010).
SAN DIEGO STATE (10-3 overall)
San Diego State is now 9-9 in bowl games following Saturday’s win.
The Aztecs have now made a bowl game in the last 10 seasons. This streak is the 11th-longest streak nationally and SDSU serves as the only team in the state of California – college or pro – to play in the postseason each of the last 10 years.
SDSU finished the season going 30-straight quarters without allowing more than one score, which is the longest active streak in the country.
San Diego State scored a season-high 48 points and its most points since scoring 42 against Nevada on Nov 18, 2017.
The 37-point difference also marked the latest margin of victory in a bowl game in SDSU history.
Five different Aztecs scored in the game: Jesse Matthews (twice), Jordan Byrd, TJ Sullivan, Chase Jasmin and Darren Hall each scored once.
SDSU has held every opponent this season below their point-average (Chippewa’s average: 31.9, scored 11).
Jesse Matthews’ 74-yard touchdown catch was the longest reception of the redshirt freshman’s career. Matthews also recorded his first collegiate touchdown to open the game’s scoring.
The fumble return by Darren Hall in the fourth quarter is the first defensive score in New Mexico Bowl history since 2006 when New Mexico recorded a safety.
Matt Araiza kicked a career-long 48-yard field goal in the second quarter, which tied John Baron II for the most field goals in a single-season in program history. He then broke the record (22) with 6:22 left in the second quarter to make it 13-3 Aztecs.
Luc Barcoo’s interception in the second quarter was the 10th career interception for the senior, the ninth this season. His nine interceptions in 2019 are the most in a single-season since 1969 when SDSU moved to Division I, tied for first in the FBS and second in SDSU’s program history.
The interception by Tariq Thompson in the second quarter was his 11th career interception and fourth of the season.
Jordan Bryd’s 139 yards on the ground marked a career high for the Albuquerque native.
Punter Brandon Heicklen punted seven times in Saturday’s game, three of which were downed inside the 20-yard line. The three punts inside the 20 ties Marshall (2017) for the second-most recorded in bowl history.
Redshirt-freshman TJ Sullivan made his first career catch and first career touchdown in the third quarter.
Darren Hall’s sack in the third quarter marks his first solo sack this season and put him at 1.5 sacks this season, a career-high.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN (8-6 overall)
The Chippewas are now 3-9 in bowl games following the game. The Chippewas are now 0-2 against a Mountain West school in a bowl game.
The 61-yard pass play to Kalil Pimpleton in the first quarter was the longest play allowed by the San Diego State defense this season.
CMU finished the season scoring 426 points, which is the fourth-most in program history.
CMU had 10 penalties in the game, tying Washington State (2013) for the second-most in bowl history.
Sophomore running back Kobe Lewis surpassed 1,000 yards this season with 1,074 yards, giving the Chippewas two,1,000-yard rushers in the same season for the first time in program history.
The eight punts by Brady Buell tied for the second-most punts in the New Mexico Bowl, tying with San José State (2006) and Colorado State (2017).
Jordan Byrd and Jesse Matthews were both named Offensive MVPs. Byrd finished with 149 yards on 17 carries, with a long of 56 yards. Matthews finished with two touchdowns on three receptions and 111 yards, the longest going for 74 yards.
The Defensive MVP junior middle linebacker was Kyahva Tezino. He finished with three tackles, one solo and two assisted, recorded an interception and had half a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. Tezino’s interception on the first possession of the game was his second of the season and of his career. His other interception came at New Mexico State on Sept. 14. He also added a quarterback hurry in the game.