No. 23 Aztecs control own destiny in Mountain West as date with UNLV looms

Sports

SAN DIEGO – For the fifth time this season, the Aztecs football team cracked the AP Top 25 poll, coming in at number 23 after a close 23-21 win against Nevada over the weekend.

The victory propels San Diego State University into first place in the west division of the conference with just two games to go on the season. Their top goal entering the year – win their 22nd Mountain West Conference Championship. 

“Whoever it is in the conference, they’re all very important games for us, you know, to go out and win that 22nd conference championship,” said Cam Thomas, junior lineman for the Aztecs.

Aztecs took sole possession of first place in the west division, thanks in large part to Cam Thomas who recorded a season-high 10 tackles against Nevada, including three sacks. Thomas’ performance led him to be named Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the fist time in his career. 

“He loves to play,” head coach Brady Hoke said. “He loves the game, he loves to prepare to play. He’s a guy out there before practice. He helps the younger guys and he’s been a fun guy to work with and develop.”   

Matt Araiza was also named the Special Teams Player of the Week for the fourth time this season, booting in three field goals, including his first career game-winner.

“You talk about field position and those kinds of things, what Matt has done, how he’s played, he’s the MVP,” Hoke continued. 

Up next, the Aztecs are on a short week playing their final road game of the year against UNLV. The Rebels have only two wins this season, but both of those come within the last two weeks. 

“I’ve watched this team several times this season and their record does not show who they are,” Thomas said. “I think they’re a really good team. We must keep our edge this weekend and go out there and execute.”

Kickoff Friday is set for 8:30 p.m. in Las Vegas.

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