SAN DIEGO — Christian Chapman threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Wells with 54 seconds left, capping a wild ending sparked by a darkness delay in San Diego State’s 20-17 victory over No. 19 Stanford on Saturday night.
Six plays before Wells’ score, the game was delayed nearly 25 minutes when most of the lights went out at 50-year-old San Diego Stadium. The city has fallen behind on maintenance of the stadium, and the NFL’s Chargers moved to Los Angeles earlier this year after they couldn’t get a deal for a new home.
The game resumed with the Aztecs on the Stanford 42, and SDSU quickly moved in for the score. On the winner, Chapman rolled right and found Wells, who slammed into Brandon Simmons and tumbled into the end zone.
Kameron Kelly intercepted Keller Chryst on the first play of the ensuing Stanford possession.
The comeback by SDSU (3-0) overshadowed a huge night by Stanford’s Bryce Love. He gained 184 yards on just 13 carries, including touchdown runs of 53 and 51 yards, plus a 47-yarder that set up a field goal.
Love’s 53-yard scoring run came on the first play of the fourth quarter, giving Stanford a 17-13 lead.
Aztecs running back Rashaad Penny, the national rushing leader, had 175 yards on 32 carries, including a 4-yard touchdown run.
Stanford fell to 1-2.
Penny came in leading FBS in rushing yards per game (206.5) and all-purpose yards per game (284). He went off for 353 all-purpose yards in a win at Arizona State, including scoring on a 95-yard run, a 99-yard kickoff return and a 33-yard reception.
After an early defensive struggle, Stanford broke through first when Love ran 51 yards for a touchdown early in the second half for a 7-3 lead.
SDSU gained momentum with two big stops just before halftime.
Ron Smith intercepted Chryst and returned it to the 15. Penny scored three plays later for a 10-7 lead. He emphatically spiked the ball, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct flag.
Stanford drove to the SDSU 25 before Chryst lost the ball on a strip sack by Kelly, with Damon Moore recovering with 17 seconds left in the half.
STANFORD: The Cardinal had two lousy weekends in Southern California. A week earlier, Stanford lost 42-24 to USC in its Pac-12 opener, in which it allowed 307 yards rushing.
SAN DIEGO STATE: The Aztecs of the Mountain West Conference have beaten a Pac-12 team for the third time, and for the second time in two weeks. They won 30-20 at Arizona State a week earlier to snap a 28-game road losing streak to Pac-12 schools. They beat California 45-40 here last season.
STANFORD: The Cardinal return to Pac-12 action when it hosts UCLA on Saturday night.
SAN DIEGO STATE: The two-time defending MWC champion Aztecs open league play at Air Force on Saturday.