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Aztecs : Utah Defense, or Lack of It, Suits Santos

September 14, 1987|CURT HOLBREICH | Times Staff Writer

San Diego State senior quarterback Todd Santos found the Utah defense almost too easy.

"I had all the time I needed," he said. "We kept throwing into the middle, and it was wide open. I kept waiting for them to change their coverage, but they didn't until it was too late."

Not that Santos was complaining.

"I love games like that," he said. "I love offense."

By the time the Utes adjusted Saturday night, the Aztecs had a 45-21 halftime lead on their way to a 52-34 Western Athletic Conference victory, and Santos was more than halfway to a record-setting game.

Not only did Santos set personal highs for passing yardage (462) and completions (35) in a game, but he broke the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. record for completion percentage in a game with 35 completions or more. Santos was 35 of 42 for 83.3%. That broke the record of 81.1% set by Rick Campbell of California. Campbell completed 43 of 53 passes against Florida in 1980.

Santos' 35 completions also tied the school record set by Matt Kofler against Colorado State in 1981. Santos had set his previous best for completions (34) and passing yardage (423) in a 55-20 victory over New Mexico in 1985. His high for attempts is 49 against the Lobos last season.

It was quite a turnaround from the week before, when Santos was intercepted on the Aztecs' first two possessions in a 47-14 loss at UCLA.

"I couldn't wait to put that game behind me," said Santos, who was intercepted once against the Utes. "It was tough waiting a week to play again. If I could, I would have played again on Monday."

Aztec Notes

Reserve linebacker John Wesselman is questionable for Saturday's game at Air Force with a compound dislocation of his right index finger, sustained in the second half against Utah. Wesselman has been the Aztecs' leading special teams player and primary backup at outside linebacker. He blocked a punt and had eight tackles (six unassisted) against the Utes. . . . Defensive tackle Mike Hooper (right ankle sprain) and reserve linebacker Kevin Maultsby (sprained left thumb) should be able to play Saturday.

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