San Jose, Calif.----- For the second week in a row in CEFCU Stadium, the team that scored first and led after the first quarter was unable to sustain their proficiency for an entire game.
Redshirt freshman Montel Aaron took over at quarterback in the second quarter and threw for 183 yards and three touchdown passes as San Jose State University defeated Cal Poly, 34-13, in a non-conference football game.
Playing in a dry 108-degree heat at kickoff, the hottest day ever for a Spartan football game, San Jose State (1-1) gave up two 35-yard field goals by Cal Poly's Casey Sublette in the first 18 minutes of the game and trailed 6-0 before Aaron replaced starter Josh Love after four first-quarter possessions did not net a point. Twice, the Spartans failed to keep a drive alive when going for a first down on fourth down..
Coming in as the number-two quarterback for the second consecutive week, Aaron methodically drove the Spartans down the field on an 11-play, 66-yard drive and connected with JaQuan Blackwell on an 18-yard scoring pass. With Bryce Crawford's extra point, San Jose State took a 7-6 lead that it would not relinquish the rest of the game.
In the first win under first-year head coach Brent Brennan, the Spartans limited Cal Poly (0-2) to 233 yards of total offense. The Mustangs hoped to rely on its option run game, but were limited to 196 yards on 61 carries.
The San Jose State defense did its share in the win coming up with three fumble recoveries that led to a pair of Spartan touchdowns. At the start of the third quarter, safety Maurice McKnight hit Cal Poly slotback Kyle Lewis at the Mustangs' 15-yard line and linebacker William Ossai was on top of the loose ball. Three plays later, Aaron connected on his second touchdown pass of the game on a 13-yard toss to wide receiver Tre Hartley who made a leaping grab in the back right corner of the end zone for a 14-6 lead with 10:55 to go in third quarter.
Aaron became the first San Jose State freshman quarterback to throw touchdown passes in the opening two games of a season. He finished 11-of-17 for 183 yards and three touchdowns. The last one was the longest play of the game -- a 49-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Bailey Gaither, who outfoxes a Mustang defensive back and sped into the end zone.
The Spartans put up 482 yards of total offense, 271 on the ground. Starting running back Zamore Zigler rushed 12 times for a career-high 121 yards and gave San Jose State a 27-13 lead with 7:50 to go in the game on a 17-yard sprint to the end zone.
Two plays later, the Spartans closed out the scoring when linebacker Jesse Osuna nailed fullback Jared Mohamed causing Cal Poly's fifth fumble of the game. Linebacker Jamal Scott stumbled as he picked up the loose ball and ran 22 yards to close out the game's scoring.
With its record evened, San Jose State takes its first road trip of the season next week to the University of Texas (0-1) for a September 9 game at 2:30 p.m. (CT). The Longhorn Network will televise the non-conference contest.