The Aztec offensive line needs to re-engage, recommit, re-organize.  Pound and ground is missing.  We rush for a grand total of 89 yards against an awful defensive team.  Juwan Washington was doing all the work to no avail.  The big boys need to return to a grand scale of pushing, shoving and being generally unpleasant for an entire football game, not a half or a quarter.

The Rebels wanted the game more than we did.  They arrived ready to play.  We meandered and wandered, especially during the first half.  To surrender a 24-13 lead and allow UNLV to score twice in the fourth quarter is testament to lackadaisical play and misplaced confidence.  Thomas Lexington breaking away for a 75 yard touchdown run carried the twin of ruining the Aztecs winning the West Division.  His line of 21/133 is to be applauded.  Sadly.

I disagree with Jeff and Rocky pulling Christian Chapman with 10:30 remaining in the second quarter.  Mr. Chapman was sporting a 8/10 for 92 yards effort when yanked.  I don’t buy the “more mobility” reason.  Projecting his 20 minutes of play throughout the rest of the game equates to 24 completed passes.  Ryan Agnew registered 14/26/187 accented by 3 sacks.  So much for “more mobility”.

Returning to UNLV’s effort, the Aztec’s first play of the game from scrimmage summed the game:  UNLV linebackers mugging Mr. Washington deep in his own backfield.  Again and again.  The aforementioned 3 sacks destroyed sustained Aztec offensive momentum.  The Rebels wanted the win and provided a game’s worth of effort.  Us, not so much.

Congrats to Ethan Dedeaux (7/63) and Tim Wilson (5/123 and 2 touchdowns).  Brandon Heicklen had another quality game featuring 4 punts for an average of 43 yards.  3 of the 4 landed inside the twenty-yard line.  Well done and great improvement compared to last year.

John Barron missing from 34 . . . if he makes the kick, we play from a 27-27 tie.  Indicative of the Aztecs evening.

Onward to Fresno.  May pound and ground make a timely return.  Otherwise could be a long night.

7-3/4-2.

 

Advertisements

Our offense is best described as procrastinating.  We wait and wait.  Score enough to hang around.  Wait some more.  You know what is fun?  Three downs and a punt.  Let’s do that a few times.  Wait.  Then we finally score enough to win.  Rocky’s brain must want to explode.  I sometimes wonder if Jeff Horton turns complete beach on Rocky and whispers, “Dude, we’ll get there.  I totally promise.”

Down 9 points with ten minutes remaining had me leaning towards the unthinkable loss at Albuquerque.  This cannot be.  And, thankfully, was not as the Aztec offense tumbled, rolled and generally fell forward for 17 points via Kahale Warring’s 19 yard catch, John Barron’s 32 yard field goal and Juwan Washington’s 50 yard td run.  Thank you, one and all.

Speaking of Mr. Washington, welcome back to both he and Christian Chapman.  Mr. Washington had a tidy line of 95 yards for 8.6 ypc.  Mr. Chapman was 13/19 without an interception.  As economical as ever.  Though, I’m not complaining.

The Aztec defense was once again superb.  Kyahva Tezino had a fantastic night:  12 tackles including 2.5 sacks.  The Aztec defense dropped the Lobos quarterback 6 times.  They held the Lobos running backs to an average of 2.7 yards per rush, 4.6 yards per completion (now that is impressive) and Lobo offense to only 142 total yards.  Tayler Hawkins enjoyed his first start at the Warrior position while Luq Barcoo made his first pick of the year.

Other first time starts belonged to Isiah Macklin and Elijah Kothe at the wide receiver spots.  Well done.  Tim Wilson had 3 catches for 63 yards leading the way for all Aztec receivers who caught a total of 17 balls for 240 yards.  Not bad.

The winner of this week’s who-can-catch-and-advance-a-punt contest was Garrett Binkley.  He caught 4 for 54 yards which is lightyears ahead of all other efforts not involving Juwan Washington.

Who was the guy on the LSU campus with the John Barron for Heisman sign?  Best moment of the year on ESPN’s national pre-game show.

Three games remain.

7-2/4-1.

Go, Aztecs.

 

 

 

We started as the proverbial house afire.  Two sustained drives of 12 plays and 75 yards followed by 8 plays and 80 yards.  14 points.  I’m thinking the offense finally arrives.

Not so.

Yet, the Aztecs were seemingly dominant.  24 first downs to Nevada’s 14.  173 yards rushing to their mere 62.  Even Ryan Agnew posted better numbers than Ty Gangi:  283 passing yards and 3 tds compared to 235 yards and 2 tds.  Tell me those facts before the game and I’m looking at win number 7, not loss number 2.

Chance Bell (5.2 ypc) continues to impress.  He makes Chase Jasmin (5.3 ypc) a better runner.  Nothing like competition to fan the flames of playing time.  Congrats to Kahale Warring for an evening of 6/95 and 2 tds.  Brandon Heicklen punted the air out of the football.  6 punts for an average of 44.8 including one at the Wolf Pack 4 yard line.

Jordan Byrd dropping the punt and returning all punts for 4 lousy yards needs to be fixed.  Now.

A by and large lucky season to date given the number of freshmen and redshirt freshmen on the field at the skill positions of wide receiver and running back.  The kids have logged major minutes during the course of the season.  Granted, when Juwan Washington returns, the march of underclassmen at the running back spot stops.  While Ryan Agnew has performed admirably, I want Christian Chapman to start against UNM.  Work out the rust long before the Fresno State game.

6-2/3-1.

Go, Aztecs.

 

I don’t know if we are lucky or good.  Maybe a bit of both.  Nevertheless, this game was heavy to the yuck factor.

Thank God for John Barron.  The game winner from 51 yards out (or 52 depending who you listen to) was the perfect final score to a game featuring incompetent offense.  The Aztec offensive line was marginal.  Far too much SJSU pressure was delivered to Ryan Agnew.  He scrambled like eggs on a Saturday morning.  The Spartan defense was camped in the Aztec backfield causing lost yards snap after snap on behalf of Chase Jasmin, Chance Bell and Kaegun Williams (don’t fumble and you get to play).  Ryan Agnew was, again, pedestrian.  His 7/11 featured a miraculous 12.3 yards per catch.  How is that possible?

The Aztec defense saved the night.  Especially holding San Jose State on 4th and 2 deep in the fourth quarter.  Tariq Thompson’s interception highlight was the 41 yards he advanced the ball.  SJSU averaged 1.8 yards per rush and registered only 295 total yards for the evening.  Josh Love posted the most ineffective 26/36 effort of any quarterback this season.  All for a paltry 215 yards passing.  Without a touchdown.  If Ryan Agnew or Christian Chapman ever threw the ball 36 times in a game, I would assume that Jeff Horton was not on the field.

A tip of the hat to Brandon Heicklen averaging 41.8 yards per punt.  Sorely needed and thank you.

Congrats to Damon Moore, Tayler Hawkins, Connor Mitchell, Chance Bell (I like what I see.  He should be “the guy” until Juwan Washington returns) and Daniel Bellinger logging minutes that mattered at game’s end.

6-1/3-0.  Bowl eligible.  Rocky coaches his 100th game as a head coach.  And wins.  Courtesy of a kicker he actually talks to on the sidelines.

“Can you make a fifty harder?”

“Sure.”

“Let’ go.”

Go, Aztecs.

 

 

Troy Calhoun is an angry man.  I cannot recall a head coach yelling at officials as often as Mr. Calhoun.  As is heard at the beach, “Chill, dude.  Have a fish taco.”

For most of the game, I thought Cole Fagan, the Air Force fullback, would beat us single-handedly.  Mr. Fagan had a superb game.  Thankfully, he did not beat us.

The Aztecs played lucky football.  Ryan Agnew was showing his lack of experience with one bad decision after another.  The stumble into the Aztec end-zone for a safety was pure high school freshmen football.  I was waiting for Jeff Horton to pull him and re-introduce Christian Chapman to the offensive line.  Yet, while 9/25 with an interception is indeed awful, Mr. Agnew, through the good graces of his receivers, averaged almost 24 yards per completion.  Of course, a blocked punt via Kaelin Himphill scooped by Trenton Thompson for a touchdown is almost required to win ugly.

Among other low lights was John Barron finally missing a field goal.  Rare.  2/12 on third down conversions.  84 yards total rushing.  13 first downs.  The offensive line struggling to block the Air Force front seven the entire first half.  The lightning strikes and delays, delays, delays.

Winning ugly is better than any brand of losing.

5-1/2-0.  Go, Aztecs.

 

Ugly was pretty.  Who knew?

The first half featured the Aztec offense wondering what game was played?  Hockey?  Softball?  Tennis?  Why is the ball weirdly shaped?  We could not have looked and played with more incompetency.  Bad is a compliment.  Seemingly, false starts were the order of the day.  We had, I don’t know, 14, 26, 37 false starts.  Sure, I exaggerate, but my point of an absent offense is well taken.  You are welcome.

The good news:  We won.  Fred Trevillion caught the first pass thrown to him.  And did not have a single drop the entire game.  New horizons for Fred.  Chase Jasmin gained the most grueling 78 yards of his life.  He left the game limping (not good news).  His pinball bounce move in the fourth quarter set up Jordan Byrd’s 72 yard run.  Without Chase reversing course, a different outcome emerges.  Kobe Smith can catch punts.  Luq Barcoo is good.  Depth charts don’t mean much to Rocky.  Darren Hall, Connor Mitchell and Damon Moore enjoyed many minutes on the field.  Darren recorded a pick and Damon a sack.  Zidane Thomas had two carries (his first carry was during our third offensive possession of the game.  You think I don’t notice).  He is the fifth running back on the almighty chart.  Who needs starters?

God bless, John Barron.  Without him, we are an average football team hanging our hat on fourth and whatever.

In addition to Darren Hall’s interception, I applaud Tariq Thompson and Ronley Lakalaka for good hands.  Kyahva Tezino will provide nightmares for Brett Rypien the remainder of the season.  Kyahva delivered many a body shiver.  Brandon Heicklen was booming the ball.  He averaged 44.9 yards on 8 punts.  Well done.

I was surprised by Boise not attempting an onside kick after the missed extra point with 5:07 remaining.  Thank you, Boise coaching staff.

As for the numbers, the Aztec defense held Boise to an average of 2.9 yards per play.  Boise had 2 rushing yards at the end of the first quarter.  At the half, they had a total of 72 yards of offense.  The Broncos ballyhooed passing game stalled at 8.1 yards per catch and a slight 178 yards for the game.  If I told you before kickoff that the Aztecs would have 9 first downs and 267 yards of total offense, you would have asked, “Did we lose by two or three touchdowns?”

Thank you, Rocky.

4-1/1-0.

Go, Aztecs.

 

 

SDSU West: Final Thoughts

Posted: October 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

SDSU West developed in full sun light.  Soccer City tried desperately to avoid the ballot, at best wanting a special election, thankfully denied by the San Diego City Council.  Numerous private discussions with Mayor Faulconer ultimately proved a waste of time.

SDSU expanding campus into Mission Valley allows the school to accept thousands of more students and graduate thousands of more students.  These young men and women enter the California work force educated and making above average salaries that in turn make our state’s economy grow.  SDSU West generates long-term economic health for decades to come.  Additionally, the university’s expansion requires more professors, academic support staff and administration to join the current SDSU work force of 42,000, which strengthens the tax base of San Diego.

Speaking of tax, SDSU West relies on zero tax payer support.  None.  Nada.  Zip.

SDSU committed more than 50% (approximately 85 acres) of the site purchase to open space via the creation of a San Diego River park, biking/hiking trails, community parks and recreation fields.  Soccer City does not have a legal obligation to develop a river park. Options rather than written commitment dominate their ideas about the development of open space.  Options that lead to little green area development other than two benches under a tree.  Wiggle room carries the day for Soccer City.

FS Investors purposefully underestimated the daily traffic generated by their retail dominated development.  FS Investors claimed daily traffic at 71,500 trips while SANDAG estimated a minimum of 97,000 daily auto excursions through Mission Valley.  Miscalculating by 25,500 (or 36%) daily auto trips is pure misrepresentation.  I suppose such gross miscalculation is never seen regarding FS Investors long-term planning.  I cannot imagine a FS Investor board member shrugging his shoulders at a meeting discussing revenue when an error of 36% is discovered.

Remember the Chargers?  The good years and all that traffic.  Imagine that four-wheel nightmare on a daily basis.  I give you Soccer City on a daily basis.  SDSU West is projected to generate daily traffic trips of 60,440 or 38% fewer trips compared to Soccer City.  Retail lives 365 days.  Imagine the grind of traffic during the holidays and summer.  The heaviest traffic load SDSU West will create is the Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. rush to class.  Remember, SDSU hits the traffic snooze button during the summer and about six weeks from December to January.

Consider the inevitable slowing economy or recession.  740,00 square feet of Soccer City retail themed development crumbles into a hollow shell of empty businesses, vacant parking lots and the formerly employed of Soccer City looking for work elsewhere.  Horton Plaza serves as a fine wreck of an example of too much retail during economic contraction.  The mere idea that Soccer City is retail dependent gives cause for pause in a city loaded with technology companies and the associated well paid work force.  A sales associate at a jewelry store instead of a technological entrepreneur?  Since when?  Which is best for San Diego?

FS Investors does not have a Major League Soccer team at the ready to deposit in their stadium.  By the way, that stadium has a mandated construction date of 2025!  They push the stadium as a center piece of Soccer City.  Yet, they seem prepared to keep the tools in the shed for a number of years.  They must admit that expanding their soccer stadium to meet the needs of Aztec football is limited and most definitely unlikely.  FS Investors is a business.  What benefit do they receive by altering their soccer stadium to placate SDSU’s desire for increased seating during football games that brings no revenue to FS Investors?

Contrast the definitely-maybe Soccer City approach to stadium building to SDSU’s much spoken, much researched and much desired need for a stadium.  Do note, that university officials, while desirous of a football stadium, do not view the stadium as the center piece of SDSU West development.  The stadium is part of the proposal.  Not the proposal.  SDSU has generated and made public their vision of a football stadium.  SDSU has a football team ready to use the stadium.  SDSU does not need to search for a team to place inside the stadium as does Soccer City.

SDSU is a research based university.  Acquiring $134 million in research funding and grants during the 2017/18 academic year does not happen by accident.  No other Cal State campus comes close and one-third of UC campuses do not secure as much funding.  SDSU has accessed similar amounts of research funding dating back to 2015.  In recent years, SDSU’s Campaign raised $815 million for campus wide funding.  The school produces more than $457 million in state and local taxes.  Expanding SDSU into Mission Valley makes these dollars grow substantially.  As FS Investors will tell you, this is all about the money.

 

 

 

 

Lucky, lucky, lucky.

Darren Hall’s (fr-rs) interception during overtime sealed the deal.  Well done, Mr. Hall.

Yet, I remain concerned about the Aztec back 5.  All too often, Eastern Michigan had receivers two and three steps behind our safeties.  Shades of the Stanford game.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Guess how many rushing yards EMU had at the half?  20.  That’s all.  20.  Overall, the Aztec defense was superb.  The “bend, but do not break” phrase fits well.

Chase Jasmin (so) had a fine game.  He’s better than I thought (at least this early in the season).  Chad Woolsey (sr) played a number of snaps at the fullback spot.  Joining Mr. Woolsey for playing time with the football was Elijah Kothe (fr) and Kobe Smith (fr).  Both caught a couple of passes for 16 and 27 yards respectively.  Looking forward, Fred Trevillion is the only receiver to leave at season’s end.  I believe we will finally enjoy both depth and talent at the wide receiver spot this year forward.

Ryan Agnew (jr) was serviceable.  Or less delicately, he did not stink, though the interception before halftime was ill conceived.  I remain impressed with his ability to tuck the football and run.

And, of course, I must not be remiss about John Barron’s night (granted, the one field goal he missed would have been the margin of victory at the end of four quarters).  Three makes including the ot shot not only created the win, but kept us in the game.  Mr. Barron is one of the best in the nation.

The three game homestand ends.  Not a single game was pretty, but 3-0 is no cause for complaint.  By the way, the middle of the field was mostly dirt by game’s end.  Time to break out the green paint.  Organic, of course.

3-1 into the bye week.  Not bad.

Go, Aztecs.

 

The Cardiac Kids are alive and well.  This year’s team is exhausting.  Couple our need to take the last two games to the wire with a start time of 7:30 p.m. (this game), and I’m whipped.

The offensive line was in fine shape.  Sure the occasional breakdown and holding call (we would have scored 35 points!  Keep your hands to yourself, big guys) flared.  When Zach Thomas went down during the second quarter causing Dominic Gudino to take the right guard spot, I’m thinking, “Well, let’s see if the o-line firms or collapses”.  Firm was the outcome.  Juwan Washington averaged 5.1 per carry, Chase Jasmin (definitely the #2 guy behind Juwan) averaged 5.9 per carry and Ryan Agnew (he has speed Christian Chapman can only dream of ) averaged 4 yards per carry.  No other proof is required as to the effectiveness of the big guys.  The second half was 21 plus minutes of pushing, shoving and being generally unpleasant with the Arizona State defense.  The Sun Devil defensive line and linebackers were torn and frayed.

Ryan Agnew’s 12/24/129 seems paltry, but his three consecutive completions to B.J. Busbee (welcome to the field of play) and Ethan Dedeaux (twice) was part of a 6/9/77 sequence which tied the game at 14.  Not bad for a first start.

John Barron from 54 had enough on the ball to have nailed a 65 yard attempt.  WOW!  17-14 will never be as impressive again.

Kyahva Tezino had a fantastic game.  He was everywhere less the stands selling popcorn.  I must admit concern about Kyree Woods.  He gave up too many completions.  Without improvement, I see either Luq Baarcoo, Jeff Clay or Darren Hall taking his spot.  ASU was picking on Mr. Woods for a reason.

The Aztec defense, less my concerns about Mr. Woods, gathered momentum during the second half.  ASU had the ball in the third and fourth quarters for a total of 8 minutes and 54 seconds.  At the half, the Sun Devils had 254 yards of total offense.  At the end of the third quarter they tacked on an additional and whopping 13 yards (yawn).  Well done, Aztecs.

Kudos to SDSU administration for the SDSU West presentation so kindly aired by CBS during the game.  I choose to believe this notice was especially effective coupled with a win over a ranked rigged 5 school.

In addition to B.J. Busbee (fr-rs), congrats to Jordan Byrd (fr), Shane Coleman (fr-rs) and Keshawn Banks (fr) on substantial play time and bright futures.

2-1.

Go, Aztecs.

 

Aztecs 28, Sac State 14

Posted: September 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

So much ugly, so little time.

We were lucky.  Sacramento State was looking like Eastern Illinois and Cal Poly SLO.  We were looking at 0-2.  Thankfully, we decided to play football the entire fourth quarter.

The offensive line disappointed consecutive games.  More sustained pushing and shoving is needed.  Juwan Washington rushing 36 times for an average of 4.3 yards per carry is an indication of an anemic o-line.

Christian Chapman is likely to miss the Arizona State game.  Ryan Agnew filled in admirably.  11/17/159 is a productive half of football.  Sure, the two picks kept Sac State in the game, but the Aztec defense allowed one score, rather than two, off the interceptions.

Ethan Dedeaux, Kahale Warring and Tim Wilson, Jr. made the most of their 6, 3 and 3 receptions.  211 of the evening’s total of 271 yards receiving were due to their talents.  Not bad and something to build on.

God bless John Barron.  Without his 52 and 32 yard scores, the first half is absolutely miserable.

Speaking of miserable, the Aztec defense held the Hornets to 1.7 yards per rush and a mere 234 yards of total offense.

Disaster averted.  Arizona State is next.  At least we are at home.

1-1.

Go, Aztecs.