On a night when points were hard to come by, the San Diego State Aztecs blew a big opportunity Thursday night in the hometown Poinsettia Bowl.
Safety Eric Pinkins plucked a tipped pass out of the air and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown that would have given the Aztecs a 13-0 lead over Brigham Young.
But the play came back because defensive end Everett Beed was whistled for blocking below the waist. San Diego State ended up punting from the BYU 36 and the Cougars marched down for a field goal to pull to 6-3 at halftime.
The Aztecs ended up losing 23-6. BYU Linebacker Kyle Van Noy forced a fumble in the end zone and recovered it for a touchdown, and scored on a 17-yard interception return, both in the fourth quarter.
''I thought blocking below the waist on an interception for a touchdown was the key to the game,'' SDSU coach Rocky Long said. ''I really believe if we had scored that touchdown, the momentum would have been in our favor the rest of the night.''
The big plays sw...