Archive for October, 2014

While the Aztec offense was generally incapable of scoring in the almighty red zone for most of the evening, the Aztec defense was the definition of beauty . . . if you are a football fan.  Hawaii scrapped together a paltry 264 yards of total offense including less than 100 yards of rushing offense.  Two interceptions, one each by Damontae Kazee and Malik Smith, at key moments, removed any hope of momentum on behalf of the Rainbow.  SDSU stopping Hawaii’s late third quarter drive sealed the deal.  Hawaii had the ball a mere 2:49 in the fourth quarter.  No chance to close the gap.  Less the fluke touchdown at the end of the second quarter, Hawaii does not score a touchdown.  The final bit of proof:  Six punts on behalf of the visitors.

As for the Aztec offense, ugly, but effective enough.  Quinn Kaehler (13/24/174) played well given his shoulder consideration. No interceptions was nice.  He hit 10 different receivers for completions.  I will generally ignore the glaring number of dropped passes on behalf of the receiving corps.  71 offensive plays and 457 total yards suggest that SDSU should have put at least another 17 points on the board.  Hageman missing from 31 is proof he’s human, and remains a tremendous upgrade from last year’s field goal efforts.  Donnel (25/182) may have to share more time with not only Chase Price, but Marcus Stamps as well.  Mr. Stamps run of 34 yards was a combination of grace and bruising-cruising.  Imagine Bob Toledo working a few plays with a three back set of the following four:  Pumphrey, Price, Stamps and Gordon.  Linebackers wince at the mere thought.

A well deserved and timed week off allows Mr. Kaehler rest and rehab.  Same goes for all Aztecs suffering dings and dents.  Ezell Ruffin should return for the Idaho game (11/8), though do not be surprised if he plays against Nevada (11/1).

4-3/3-1.  At Nevada is the immediate challenge.  Less a complete breakdown, Idaho is a win.  Boise did not impress against Fresno.  Air Force is never easy.  San Jose needing overtime to beat Wyoming is a great sign for SDSU.  Worst case for the last 5 games is 3-2, though I’m hopeful for 5-0.  Call me greedy.

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The maniac rant is first, analysis is second.

Nick Bawden brings very little.  He is ineffective.  He is a mid-level manager searching for inspiration while claiming to provide leadership.  4 of 13 for 63 yards is not an Aztec quarterback.  Nor a quarterback who should appear on a depth chart.  If Mr. Bawden is the best Brian Sipe can recruit from the deep pool of southern California, then I impolitely suggest that Mr. Sipe log many more miles on his car.  I firmly suggest that Mr. Bawden sit for the remainder of the year while Christian Chapman assumes the number two spot on the depth chart.

Speaking of quarterbacks, the return of Quinn Kaehler was of note.  Upon his third quarter entry, the offense was much crisper.  Seemingly, SDSU looked like the second coming of the 49ers offense during the 1980s.  Yet, all we did was run.  And run.  And run.  Thank goodness for Donnel Pumphrey and Chase Price.  Those two were fantastic.  Donnel logging 246 yards and Chase hitting 141 yards were both a sight to behold.  And, yes, I forgive both of you for fumbling.  But, no more.  Congrats to the offensive line.  The big guys were head and shoulders above the UNM d-line.  Bob Toledo found something lacking on the left side of the UNM defense, and the Aztec line pummeled that weakness.  Better conditioning, stronger.  Altitude be damned.  Well done.

The Aztec defense continues to impress.  The Lobos triple option did not provide much of any option the entire evening.  152 yards rushing and a mere 111 yards passing is testament to another top-notch SDSU defensive effort.  The poor 4 for 13 on third down conversions was further proof of an Aztec defense that clicked the entire night.  Trey Lomax played his best game of the year.  Damontae Kazee had an impressive fourth quarter.  I did note that Rocky went with a four-man front the entire game.  Dakota Turner has played himself into a starting role.

I have accepted that Mr. Kaehler  will throw at least one interception per game.  I’d rather that outcome than the alternative.

Hawaii at the Q is next.  3-3/2-1 should (always a dangerous word) become 4-3/3-1.  Fresno State’s loss to UNLV was most welcome.

You know I will complain about Nick Bawden’s performance, but later.  The blue sky was the Aztec defense.  A masterful job even in light of the 24-13 loss.  SDSU holds Brian Burrell to a mere 143 yards passing.  The Bulldog running backs were marginally better with a collective 172 yards rushing.  Fresno State barely  breaks the 300 total offensive yard mark with 315.  Well done, San Diego State defense.  If only the offense boarded the bus.

The first half featured four punts, one fumble and the continued accurate foot of Donald Hageman for which I continue to be most grateful.  Less Mr. Hageman, that is a pathetic offensive result.  Mr. Bawden was, shall we say, less than stellar or effective.  84 total yards passing.  As much as I have reduced Quinn Kaehler’s performance to date, I officially miss him.   Mr. Kaehler must return to the huddle immediately.  Even with a bum shoulder, I’m certain Quinn would have thrown for considerably more than 84 yards against Fresno State in a wind storm.  Mr. Bawden’s not one, but two interceptions with 6:15 and 4:14 remaining sealed the deal for both teams.  During the final two minutes of play, I applauded the rare display of animation from Bob Toledo as he frantically waved his arms to encourage Mr. Bawden to run the offense since time remained on the clock.  Perhaps Mr. Bawden was unconvinced of the possibility of winning or he was sweaty and wanted to shower.

Dakota Gordon continues to impress.  He is a bruiser who displays a passion for the game.  Speaking of passion, Seamus McMorrow is a linebacker in disguise.  Great to see a specialist not so specialized.  Perhaps Seamus will begin a trend among kickers with size becoming involved in the action of tackle football.

The next two must be won:  At UNM this Friday followed by a return to the Q against Hawaii.  Regardless of who throws, 2-0 must be the result.