The good news:  We won.  Donald Hageman made a field goal and all the point after kicks.  Almost 31,000 in the stands.  Mrs. Gwynn has excellent aim.

The bad news:  Quinn Kaehler played with the authority of a newbie.  The linebacking crew was as effective as a dieter in Hodads, thus the defensive backs were far too involved.

The Aztecs rushed for three of five touchdowns.  Donnel Pumphrey looked very good (19/111).  Chase Price’s first run from scrimmage is Youtube bound.  Enthusiasm doesn’t begin to describe that run.  Returning to Kaehler, 18-29-1 is passable (no pun intended) on paper, but the reality was yuck.  He threw behind his receivers a half-dozen times.  He was well short a couple of times.  Ruffin’s one-handed grab was testament to the difficulty all Aztec receivers faced in attempting to catch a pass.  Thanks to Bob Toledo’s play calling, we struck an almost perfect balance between the rush (194) and pass (205) for  a yard shy of 400 overall.  Not bad for the first game.

Six of the top seven tacklers were defensive backs.  Not good.  Far too much advance past the line of scrimmage by the NAU Lumberjacks.  Micah Seau had one assist.  He started.  Boo.  Of the 65 total tackles (solo and assists), a measly 14 were credited to the linebacking crew.  A below average 22% of total tackles.  Rocky was very unhappy and rightfully so.  The third quarter, the NAU coaching staff discovered the left side of the Aztec defense was an open door leading downfield.  That was an ugly period of time.  As usual, Rocky adjusted and the problem disappeared, but such a deficiency is most disappointing against a team such as the L’jacks that do not have near our athletic ability (sorry, NAU).

Next Saturday is UNC.  If Kaehler plays flatline football, we are in for a looooooonnnnnnngggggggg evening.  If the linebacking corps remains passive to the line of scrimmage, refer to the aforementioned length of evening.  The game is an ESPN broadcast.  Time to play well, let the nation know the Aztecs are national, not just regional and beat the Tar Heels.

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