HONOLULU (AP) — Zeke Rankin kicked four field goals, including a 37-yarder for the go-ahead score with 2:05 left, and Middle Tennessee State beat San Diego State 25-23 in the Hawaii Bowl on Saturday night.

The Blue Raiders (8-5) overcome a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to turn back the Aztecs (7-6) in a game that featured six lead changes.

Rankin converted four of his five field goal attempts to tie the Hawaii Bowl record for field goals. He made kicks from 44, 49, 26 and 37 yards and missed from 42.

San Diego State took a 23-22 lead with 5:43 to play on a 52-yard field goal by Jack Browning, but Middle Tennessee State drove 55 yards in 12 plays, capped by Rankin’s 37-yard field goal to put his team ahead for good.

Middle Tennessee State finished with 170 yards of total offense to 364 total yards for San Diego State.

The Blue Raiders won despite allowing seven sacks and being held to minus-61 yards rushing.

San Diego State led 14-13 at halftime.

It was the first meeting between the schools.


Middle Tennessee State: After being picked by league media to finish eighth (out of 11 teams) in the C-USA preseason poll, the Blue Raiders finished the season out in a strong way by winning their final four games, capped off by their sixth bowl in eight seasons and 10th overall in 17 seasons under coach Rick Stockstill.

San Diego State: The Aztecs were projected by Mountain West media to finish second in the West Division behind Fresno State. Their season saw personnel changes at offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and quarterback, which helped to spur five wins in seven games following a 2-3 start to the year.

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Middle Tennessee State will visit Bryant-Denny Stadium for its first game against Alabama since 2015 on Sept. 2. The Blue Raiders have lost all three of their previous meetings against the Crimson Tide.

San Diego State opens at home against Idaho State on Aug. 26 before back-to-back Pac-12 opponents in UCLA and Oregon State on Sept. 9 and 16, respectively.