San Diego State, historically like the guy who gets caught crashing a party and is quickly escorted to the door, did it again Saturday night.
A Heisman Trophy showdown turned into a national embarrassment for the Aztecs when they were routed by No. 1 Miami, 63-17, in a game featuring:
--No Marshall Faulk.
--Plenty of Gino Torretta.
--Two bench-clearing brawls.
In front of 52,108 in San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, the Hurricanes won their 29th consecutive game and held San Diego State to seven yards rushing.
Representatives of the Fiesta and Sugar bowls attended the game. Miami is expected to go to the Sugar Bowl if undefeated Alabama beats Florida next week.
Faulk, nursing a sprained right knee, watched the game from the sidelines and didn't suit up. Torretta left the game after the third quarter, having completed 19 of 35 passes for 310 yards and a touchdown.
"It wasn't going to be me against (Faulk), from my standpoint," Torretta said. "It really didn't matter if he played, because I would have done the same thing."
Faulk left the stadium without talking to reporters. Aztec trainer Brian Barry said that San Diego State officials examined Faulk during pregame warm-ups and determined the knee was too stiff for him to play.
"Once he warmed up, there was no question as to our decision," Barry said. "It was a mutual thing--Coach, Marshall and I."
During all the Heisman talk this week,
San Diego State Coach Al Luginbill said that Fresno State's Trent Dilfer, not Torretta, would be the best quarterback the Aztecs faced all season.
A few Aztecs backed up Luginbill, and the Hurricanes had all the extra motivation they needed.
"Sure," Miami Coach Dennis Erickson said. "You don't make statements like that. How ridiculous is that? Keep your mouth shut and play the game.
"The one thing I've taught this team is to keep your mouth shut and compliment your opponent. I don't want to give anybody any fuel, and we got some fuel, to be honest with you."
Although Faulk didn't play, San Diego State officials were distributing both his 1992 and career accomplishments by the end of the first quarter.
Faulk ended the season with an average of 163 yards per game, making him only the fifth player in NCAA major college history to lead the nation in rushing for two consecutive seasons. The last player to do so was Cornell's Ed Marinaro in 1970 and 1971.
Faulk also became the second player in NCAA history to rush for 3,000 or more yards in his first two seasons. Georgia's Herschel Walker also accomplished that feat.
Torretta, meanwhile, improved his record as Miami's starting quarterback to 26-1.
He is Miami's career leader in yards passing, total offense, attempts and completions.
Against an inept Aztec defense, Miami (10-0) took a 28-3 halftime lead, then scored 35 third-quarter points. By then, a couple of records were in jeopardy.
Miami's school record for points is 75, set against Fordham during a 75-7 victory in 1954. The Aztec defense, though, came within six points of setting a school record for points allowed. San Diego State gave up 68 to Pacific in 1958.
Larry Jones and Steve McGuire of Miami each rushed for two touchdowns and Lamar Thomas caught two scoring passes--one for 68 yards from tailback Kevin Williams.
The Hurricanes scored near the end of the half on a 24-yard pass from Torretta to Thomas, capping a three-play, 72-yard, 18-second drive to make it 28-3.
"This one right here was a nightmare," Luginbill said. "Obviously, we got outplayed in every respect. We didn't expect that, and it starts with me."
A San Diego State season that once looked so promising ended in disgraceful fashion, with two brawls and Miami running up 581 total yards to the Aztecs' 225.
It was the Aztecs' second consecutive loss and third time players rushed the field to participate in a scuffle in the past two games. Both incidents occurred after plays when Aztec quarterback David Lowery was tackled.
Asked where the Aztec program now stands, Luginbill replied: "I need time to evaluate that."
Security was tightened around the locker rooms after the game because of a death threat phoned in against Erickson.
Erickson said he was told of the threat in the fourth quarter by Athletic Director Dave Maggard. Erickson said he did not know where the call originated.