Originally created 09/25/98

Arizona scrambles past San Diego St.



SAN DIEGO -- Just one Arizona quarterback would have been too much for San Diego State.

Keith Smith, again getting the start in Arizona's two-quarterback system, had touchdown scrambles of 20 and 30 yards and threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy McDaniel as the No. 16 Wildcats beat the Aztecs 35-16 Thursday night.

Ortege Jenkins, who played the second and third quarters, led the Wildcats on two scoring drives and threw a 10-yard TD pass to McDaniel.

Last year, Arizona rallied from a 21-0 first-quarter deficit to beat the Aztecs 31-28 at Tucson. On Thursday, the Cats jumped to a 28-3 lead midway through the second quarter.

Arizona is 4-0 to start a season for the first time since 1994 and extended its winning streak to eight games. The Aztecs, 0-3 for the first time since 1960, lost to a Top 25 opponent for the third straight game.

Smith was 10-of-16 for 121 yards, and Jenkins 6-of-9 for 75 yards. Smith also gained 41 yards on five rushes.

San Diego State sophomore Brian Russell made his first Division I-A start and had three passes intercepted, two inside Aztecs territory by inside linebacker Scooter Sprotte. San Diego State had six turnovers, leading to three Arizona touchdowns.

Russell, who transferred from Penn, replaced Spencer Brinton after he sprained his left thumb in a 35-6 loss at Southern Cal on Sept. 12. Russell was 12 of 33 for 167 yards and one touchdown.

Running back Larry Ned carried 33 times for 144 yards and one score against a defense that had allowed only 181 rushing yards and no touchdowns to three previous opponents.

Smith's 19-yard TD pass to McDaniel with 7:11 left in the first quarter came one play after Dennis Northcutt's 51-yard punt return. Chris McAlister's block took out two Aztecs to help spring Northcutt.

Sprotte's first pickoff led to Smith's 20-yard scoring run. Smith was flushed out of the pocket and got a lane down the right sideline when Northcutt's block took out two defenders.

Arizona got the ball back on Ned's fumble and Smith capped it with a 30-yard quarterback draw for a 21-3 lead with 12:01 left in the second quarter.

Jenkins took over on Arizona's next possession and his scrambling ability made it look like the Wildcats were toying with the Aztecs.

On third-and-2 from the Aztecs 45, he rolled right and threw back across his body to running back Kelvin Eafon down the left sideline for a 40-yard gain. Jim Wendler finished the drive with a 5-yard run up the middle for a 28-3 lead.

Jenkins threw a 10-yard TD pass to McDaniel six plays after Sprotte's second interception, making it 35-10 late in the third quarter.

Russell threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jim Ange in the third quarter and Ned scored on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter, set up when Eric Lewis recovered Northcutt's fumbled punt at the Arizona 14.

San Diego State found out how tough the game was going to be on its first possession. Damon Gourdine returned the opening kickoff 76 yards to the Arizona 21, but the Aztecs lost one yard in three plays and had to settle for Nate Tandberg's 40-yard field goal.



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