Archive for September, 2015

The San Diego State Aztecs are a bad football team.  We are inept and ill prepared.  Five sacks, four fumbles, three of which were lost and the inability to catch a punt is indicative of a football team searching for its collective soul.

I, again, call for the end of Maxwell Smith’s reign as starting quarterback.  10 for 29 is not an Aztec quarterback.  Another anemic performance (and I’m being polite).  While acknowledging he was sacked five times, those sacks emphasize Mr. Smith’s lack of mobility that in turn results in an astonishingly bad 242 total yards of offense.  This is Aztec football?  Christian Chapman eludes some of those sacks because he can move from side to side, step into the pocket and actually run forward.  Mr. Smith was the primary author of 6 yards gained in the first quarter.  6.  The number found between 5 and 7.  In the second quarter, he revved up the offense to 72 total yards.  Feel the excitement.  Why does Rocky continue to start Mr. Smith?  Why does Jeff Horton remain blind to the need for change?  Finally, when a starting quarterback’s longest completed pass is 31 yards, the defense stuffs any and all attempts to establish a running game since the first seven guys can stand at the line of scrimmage and wave “hello” to Pumphrey, Price, Penny and Gordon.

Our field position was so bad that Donny Hageman was not handed a single field goal opportunity.  We converted a lousy 5 of 17 third down opportunities.  Boo.

8:16 represents the Aztecs time of possession for the entire first half.  Unbelievable.  In the second quarter, we had the ball for less than 4 minutes.  Incredible for the wrong reason.

The defense played better than the Cal and South Alabama games, but we continue to allow too many big plays especially on the back-end of the secondary.

Mountain West play begins this weekend.  We stumble into MW town with a 1-3 record looking disheveled, dirty and disoriented.  We haven’t played well the entire four games leading to MW play.  Cold comfort can be found that the rest of the West division played about as poorly as we did in non-conference games.  Fresno State and their loyal hordes of fans (yes, I’m jealous) roar into the Q next Saturday.  Candidly, the Aztecs must steam roll the rest of the schedule for any chance at a bowl game.  I trust change is underway and we will see a mobile, smart, redshirt freshman by the last name of Chapman directing our offense that will finally resemble an Aztec offense we can recognize.

So much is sad and disappointing about the title.

Losing.

At home.

In overtime.

To South Alabama.

We should be 2-1, alas, coulda, shoulda, woulda.  Or wish in one hand while spitting in the other.  You get the point.

I wrote assuredly of our able defense at the beginning of the season.  I watched a pathetic, patchwork Aztec defensive effort yield 511 (!) total yards of offense on behalf of South Alabama.  Xavier Johnson averaged 7.5 yards per carry.  All 19 of them.  Our defensive line was of little effect.  Our linebackers overwhelmed.  Need further proof?  South Alabama scores on passing plays of 46 and 57 yards while also enjoying a lengthy touchdown run of 74 yards.

Maxwell Smith must sit.  Mr. Smith makes poor decisions, is absolutely immobile and fails to register any SEC seasoning on the field.  12 for 26 is not an Aztec quarterback.  Consider the 5 of 16 third down conversions.  Against South Alabama.  We cannot and do not move the football.  305 paltry offensive yards the entire game speaks to an anemic offense at best.  Finally, during the fourth quarter, San Diego State had the ball for better than 9 minutes.  We scored once.

Happy Valley will be a sad place for Aztec fans this Saturday.

First, the good since the game wasn’t all bad.  The Aztec offense had the ball for 34 plus minutes.  Granted, we did little to nothing with the ball, but we at least possessed the ball.  Tanner Blain had 4 of 9 punts land inside the 20 yard line.  Plus, Mr. Blain averaged 40.6 yards per boot.  Rashaad Penny had a rushing line of 5/34 for better than six and a half yards per carry.  So much for the good.

Now for the bad.  The flags were flying.  Each time offensive momentum seemed to build, behold, the yellow flag.  12 penalties for 136 yards stops a lot of momentum.  5 personal fouls (a couple seemed less than devious, though bad football cannot be explained away by less than average officiating) indicates an unprepared team.

During the third quarter, Cal found their running game.  Daniel Lasco and Vic Enwere (especially) ran through the San Diego State defense like a fat man cutting a steak.  Both Mr. Lasco and Mr. Enwere averaged 6.5 yards per carry.  Both these gentlemen were well acquainted with the Aztec defensive backs because those five were all that stood between Mr. Lasco and Mr. Enwere consuming more yardage.

The combined efforts of Maxwell Smith and Christian Chapman resulted in 14/32 for 173 yards with 2 interceptions (one each).  After the impressive first drive that resulted in the only SDSU score, Mr. Smith returned to his USD game demeanor:  largely ineffective.  Mr. Chapman displayed impressive mobility coupled with bad decision-making.  Aztec coaches Long, Horton and Morgan must decide between Mr. Smith’s 10/19/136 or Mr. Chapman’s 4/14/37 performance to determine the best season solution at the quarterback spot.  I’m not a fan of rotating quarterbacks, though I’m sure none of the above mentioned coaches care.  While my prior posts have shown a clear preference for Mr. Smith to be the starting quarterback, I now find myself lobbying on behalf of the more dynamic (he can run when he needs to) Mr. Chapman, youth be damned.  Candidly, when the Aztecs register a grand total of 325 offensive yards and a long pass of a pathetic 33 yards, let us lean decidedly to the future development of a redshirt freshman.

Speaking of total yards, our lauded Aztec defense was awful.  Specifically, Damontae Kazee and Malik Smith were less than stellar.  While the blitz was occasionally effective, our lack of defensive pressure allowed the Cal quarterback far too much time far too often.  Yet, I do not offer that fact as an excuse for our bad pass coverage.  Allowing 485 total yards on the road or home or anywhere is further proof of an unprepared defense.

Thus, game two.

As for next week against South Alabama, beware and be prepared.

 

 

 

Aztecs be concerned.  37-3 should be a time to expand the chest and walk about in pride.  But, not this game.  While not calling for fear, do find substantial pause for thought.

Granted, the defense was tremendous.  But, they should be tremendous against USD.  Holding the Toreros to less than 200 yards total offense deserves praise.  As does five picks.  As does two defensive touchdowns.  A great first game against a team that did not have a chance (no offense, USD).

And now for the concern.  Maxwell Smith was awful.  I mean Nick Bawden awful.  9/21 with an interception.  100 yards.  Sailing the ball past wide open receivers (and tight ends and running backs) all night.  Mr. Smith was appallingly ineffective.  Further proof (do you need any?) includes the 6/14 on third down conversions.  Against USD.  Please.  The offensive line must improve quickly.  As in the next few practices prior to Cal or we score no more than 10 points against the Bears.  The Aztec offense generated a measly 305 total yards.  Boo.  One offensive touchdown.  One.  Our defense outscored our offense.  Say those words again.  How about the 15 first downs?  Put up 15 first downs against any other opponent, even South Alabama, and we lose.  Badly.

Speaking of offense, thank you, Donny Hageman.  3/3 from 33, 36 and 37.  Confidence.  Perhaps the rest of the offense will consult with you.  Charge a fee.

To those of us sporting those ugly rose-colored glasses, lose them.  Stomp on those distorters (new word).  Smash.  Grind into the asphalt.  Say, “grrr” while doing so.  Very little to cheer about this effort.

On behalf of the 48,785 (a third of whom wandered in during the fourth quarter to discover a football game in progress), thank you.