Lucas Johnson has San Diego State's best passing performance since 2014 in Frisco Bowl win over UTSA

·2 min read

San Diego State quarterback Lucas Johnson had a career night in the No. 24 Aztecs' Frisco Bowl win over UTSA.

Johnson threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns while adding another TD on the ground as SDSU moved to 12-2 with a 38-24 win. The Frisco Bowl was one of just two non-New Year's Six bowl games that featured teams that each had 10 or more wins. 

Johnson had never thrown for more than 220 yards in a game before Tuesday night — it’s not much of an overstatement to say that his passing performance came out of nowhere. Johnson’s previous high for yards came in a loss to Fresno State earlier this season where he threw two interceptions and was 14-of-31 passing.

Tuesday night, Johnson was 24-of-36.

San Diego State quarterback Lucas Johnson (7) avoids a tackle during the first half of the Frisco Bowl NCAA college football game against UTSA, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)
San Diego State quarterback Lucas Johnson (7) avoids a tackle during the first half of the Frisco Bowl NCAA college football game against UTSA, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

Heck, you should never expect San Diego State to throw for as many yards as Johnson did on Tuesday. His 333 passing yards were more than SDSU has thrown for in a game since Week 2 of the 2014 season. The SDSU offense is based around the running game and controlling the clock — the Aztecs have averaged over 40 rushing attempts per game and just 25 passing attempts.

Johnson targeted Jesse Matthews a bunch. Matthews had 11 catches for 175 yards and two scores. Matthews scored the first two TDS of the games for the Aztecs, who took the lead for good before the end of the half on a Matt Araiza field goal.

UTSA entered the game short-handed with star running back Sincere McCormick preparing for the NFL draft and numerous other players absent from the game. QB Frank Harris was 22-of-36 passing for 271 yards and two TDs and an interception while Brenden Brady had 76 yards rushing and a TD in McCormick’s place.

The bowl loss shouldn’t diminish the breakout season that UTSA had. The Roadrunners were 11-0 before surprisingly losing to North Texas to end the regular season. UTSA then won the Conference USA title over Western Kentucky and finish the 2021 season with four more wins than any other season in school history.

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