Friday, December 13, 2002
San Diego State 34, Wyoming 0
LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Lon Sheriff threw his first two career touchdown passes and Larry Ned had two scoring runs as San Diego State beat Wyoming 34-0 on Saturday.
San Diego State (1-4, 1-0 Mountain West) avoided its first 0-5 start in 78 years of football. Only once did Wyoming (1-5, 0-2) penetrate the Aztecs' 48, after a third-quarter fumble recovery, but muffed its only field-goal attempt.
Sheriff, who completed 19 of 27 passes for 317 yards, threw a 40-yarder to Derrick Lewis to put the Aztecs up 31-0 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
His first career TD pass, a 9-yarder to Sean Pierce, boosted the lead to 24-0 with 3:09 left in the first half.
San Diego State kept Wyoming's offense bottled up throughout. The Cowboys did not pick up a first down rushing until the third quarter, and the Aztecs outgained the Cowboys 434-184.
San Diego State's J.R. Tolver had seven catches for 129 yards, both career bests.
Ned, who led all rushers with 59 yards, dived in from a yard out to make it 17-0 midway through the second quarter.
Two first-quarter Wyoming turnovers helped San Diego State to a 10-0 lead.
Donte Gamble's interception and Will Demp's recovery of Nate Scott's fumble led to Nate Tandberg's 46-yard field goal and Ned's 2-yard TD run.
Early in the third quarter, the Cowboys had their best chance to score after Tyler Gottschalk and Lamar James stripped the ball from Ned, and Gottschalk recovered at the Aztecs' 18.
A field goal try, however, was thwarted by a bad snap.
San Diego State entered the game 112th nationally in scoring offense, 6.5 points per game, and 107th in total offense, 248 yards per game, but compiled 117 on the ground and 317 through the air.
The Cowboys had not been shut out at home since 1984, a 21-0 loss to San Diego State.
Tandberg, who had field goals of 46 and 29 yards, moved ahead of Art Preston, Paul Hewitt and George Jones into fourth on San Diego State's scoring chart with 209 points.
Jay Stoner, who completed 19-of-29 passes for 147 yards and was intercepted once, became Wyoming's No. 2 total offense leader with 6,826 yards. He moved ahead of Josh Wallwork, who had 6,753 from 1995 to 1996 and needs 816 to catch Tom Corontzos, who had 7,642 yards from 1988 to 1991.
San Diego State had only six sacks entering the game but finished with four more.
Amon Arnold led the Aztecs' defense with two forced fumbles and a sack.