(Saturday, September 17th)
Final Score: San Diego State 42, Washington State 24
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Ronnie Hillman ran for 191 yards and four touchdowns as the San Diego State Aztecs battled back to defeat the Washington State Cougars, 42-24, in non-conference action at Qualcomm Stadium.
Hillman, who became just the third player in SDSU history to record five straight 100-yard rushing games, carried the ball a total of 32 times for the Aztecs (3-0) as they moved to 3-0 to start a season for the first time since 1981. Quarterback Ryan Lindley converted 21-of-37 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns of his own for the hosts as they won their fifth straight game overall.
The Cougars (2-1) were paced by quarterback Marshall Lobbestael who connected on 20-of-42 passes for 368 yards and three TDs, but he was also intercepted twice and sacked a total of six times in the team's first loss of 2011. Receiver Marquess Wilson reeled in five passes for a staggering 199 yards and two TDs. WSU managed to generate a mere 51 rushing yards on 28 attempts.
Washington State opened the game's scoring with an 80-yard TD strike from Lobbestael to Wilson on the team's first offensive play of the day.
Less than three minutes later the Aztecs responded with a 13-yard rushing touchdown by Hillman, capping a six-play, 53-yard drive to knot the score at 7-7.
With 5:18 remaining in the first frame the Cougars struck again, this time with a 48-yard field goal by Andrew Furney to make the score 10-7.
As the opening period came to a close it was Hillman again who took the lead for the home team as he found the end zone on a 12-yard run to give the Aztecs a 14-10 advantage.
The only points of the second quarter came courtesy of a 23-yard pass from Lobbestael to Isiah Barton, giving the Cougars a 17-14 edge at the break.
Washington State added to its advantage early in the third when Lobbestael and Wilson again hooked up, this time on a 78-yard TD pass play to make the score 24-14.
From there the game belonged to SDSU as Lindley hit Gavin Escobar with scoring passes of 25 and 21 yards in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. In between Hillman asserted himself with rushing TDs of one and 59 yards as the Aztecs ran away with the 18-point triumph.
Washington State, which entered the weekend ranked first in the nation in scoring with 61.5 ppg, had held its first two opponents (Idaho State and UNLV) to a combined 121 yards on the ground. Against the Aztecs the Cougars allowed 227 rushing yards and an average of more than five yards per attempt.
09/17 23:06:10 ET