Hageman's 46-yard Field Goal lifts SDSU to First-Ever Outright MW Football Title
SAN DIEGO (AP) -Donny Hageman kicked a 46-yard field goal with 5:10 to go and San Diego State beat Air Force 27-24 to win the Mountain West Conference championship, the Aztecs' first outright title since 1986.
Redshirt freshman Christian Chapman threw for 203 yards and one touchdown in his first start for the Aztecs (10-3), who won their ninth straight game.This is their first outright title since winning the Western Athletic Conference crown in 1986. They shared the 2012 MW championship with Boise State and Fresno State.
SDSU took a 24-17 lead after touchdown runs of 1 yard by fullback Dakota Gordon and 28 yards by Rashaad Penny.
Air Force (8-5) tied it on Timothy McVey's third touchdown, a 2-yard run on fourth down with 11:49 to go.
Chapman threw a 48-yard pass to Micah Holder to the Air Force 25 but a 6-yard loss and a holding penalty moved the ball back, forcing the Aztecs to settle for Hageman's go-ahead kick.
Air Force had two more possessions. It punted with 3:35 left and the game ended on Karson Roberts' desperation pass.
Chapman did enough to help the ground-oriented Aztecs win, completing nine of 14 passes. He started in place of Maxwell Smith, who suffered a knee injury in the regular-season finale against Nevada.
Chapman threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to wide open D.J. Pumphrey, the league's Offensive Player of the Year, to tie the game at 7 on the first play of the second quarter.
The Aztecs made plenty of mistakes that cost them points.
Chapman threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Mikah Holder on the Aztecs' second possession but it came back because of a chop block penalty and SDSU was forced to punt.
SDSU then forced the Falcons to punt, only to see Holder have the ball bounce off his chest. Air Force recovered at the 10 and McVey scored on an 8-yard run two plays later for a 7-0 lead.
Air Force went ahead 17-10 on a 3-yard run by McVey midway through the third quarter. It was set up on a crazy play, when Air Force's Jacobi Owens fumbled at the Falcons' 40 and the ball was knocked forward several yards. Two Aztecs had a chance to recover but Air Force's Garrett Griffin jumped on it at the SDSU 28. McVey scored six plays later.
SDSU then scored on consecutive drives. Fullback Dakota Gordon gained 23 yards on fourth-and-1 from the 29 and scored on a 1-yard run three plays later to tie it at 17.
Penny's 28-yard TD run came early in the fourth quarter and gave the Aztecs a 24-17 lead.
Owens ran 17 times for 156 yards. McVey had nine carries for 48 yards.