Archive for September, 2017

And the heavens opened.

Rain, lightning, wind, pestilence.  I’m exaggerating about the pestilence.  A raging storm framing a slippery, fall down football game that started badly for San Diego State.  What did not go wrong?

Air Force ran straight at the Aztec defense.  Eight yards, six yards, nine yards.  Ugly.

The Aztec offense felt the need to contribute.  We offered, and Air Force gladly accepted, the following time of possession during our first four “drives”:

2:03.

1:51.

2:36.

1:56.

We registered zero first downs during the first quarter.  Zero.  The number between negative one and positive one.  Zero.

There was enough standing water on the field to attract several flocks of various fowl.  Sadly, ducks, geese, swans and coots could not stick the landing due to the high winds.

Just for fun, lightning strikes at 7:56.  And twice more resulting in a total delay of 88 or 89 or 90 minutes depending upon the source.

Upon resuming the game, lo and behold, the Aztecs, who prefer dry weather on cool nights, decided to play football while staring at a 9-0 shutout.  More people were on the field playing football than in the stands watching football.

Christian Chapman first play post-lightning was a strike to Kahale Warring.  We are stirring.  Rashaad Penny scores.  No more shutout.

Yet, the kind-hearted nature of the Aztecs continued to shine.  We refuse to take away a minimum of three Air Force fumbles.  Guests are never rude.  John Barron misses a field goal!  Christian Chapman loses a fumble (as preferred in the general scheme of football). Brandon Heicklen has a punt blocked, but runs down the naughty cadet before he can score.  That was big.

Rashaad Penny’s second score followed by David Wells td pass get the fourth quarter off to a great start until Air Force scores to go ahead, 24-21 with 6:16 remaining.  However, just as the David Wells td pass was a fine case of “right back at ya”, so too was Mr. Penny’s third touchdown with 5:39 left.

Trey Lomax seals the game with his interception at the :58 second mark.  Done.  28-24.  All without halftime.  If you watched/listened, quarters second, third and fourth were consecutive without a break.

Interesting numbers:  Air Force’s total yardage was 253.  Average gain per play 3.8.  Swamp Aztec defense was good enough.  Air Force was a combined 6/17 on third and fourth downs.

4-0/1-0.  Go Aztecs.  Swim Aztecs.  Row Aztecs.

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A defensive gem.  This game was worthy of mud, broken teeth and twisted fingers.  The Aztec defense was exceptional.  Consider:

Stanford’s first three possessions were three and out.

The tree throws for a mere 64 yards on a bad 9/20 with 2 interceptions (thank you, Ron Smith and Kameron Kelly).

Stanford’s total offense at the end of the first quarter:  3 yards.

Stanford’s time of possession in the first quarter:  2:19.  Yeah, I know you can credit the Aztec offense as well.

Total tree offense at the half:  88 yards.

The Aztec defense stops Stanford inside the ten resulting in three points as opposed to seven at the end of the third quarter.

And, of course, the Kameron Kelly pick with 54 seconds remaining.

Final total yardage for Stanford:  238.

Proof enough.

Now for the Aztec offense.  First, Christian Chapman throwing in the pocket is as effective as using bare hands to remove a hot dish from the oven.  Christian needs to move to be successful.  No more pocket stuff.  21/29/0 and one touchdown was a solid performance.  Mikah Holder had his best game of the season.  7 catches for 85 yards and besting his twin brother makes for a fine evening.  Rashaad Penny running against a quality defense for 175 yards (5.5 yards per carry) is testament to his place as a top-ten running back.  The final drive post-electrical collapse is further proof of a team on course to have another fine year.  David Wells insisting on the end-zone and game winning touchdown will be a 2017 season favorite.

John Barron misses a field goal.  Who knew?

Brandon Heicklen needs to be much more consistent with his punts.  To date, his effort is as scattered as his punting.  Also, the offensive line struggled against the Stanford defense.  Mr. Chapman was often on the run on behalf of his own safety.  Clean up that mess now.

Finally, I thoroughly enjoyed Hunkie Cooper yelling at David Shaw for touching Aztec players as the two teams were leaving the field at the half.  Don’t touch Hunkie’s kids.  Speaking of kids, great to see the student section storm the field at game’s end.

As a side note to the city of San Diego, what more proof do you need to maintain the stadium other than the lights going off for 25 minutes?  Game interruption on national television is not helpful to either SDSU or the city of San Diego.  Seems minor league.  Invest in something new and spiffy while keeping the lights on.

3-0.  Go Aztecs.

 

 

 

A solid game with a spectacular performance by Rashaad Penny.  He does everything except drive the team bus to the stadium.  Mr. Penny will continue to play football after his senior year.

I applaud Jeff Horton’s insistence on running a majority of first-half plays to the left side, thus demanding Tyler Roemer, Daishawn Dixon and Keith Ismael become division one offensive linemen now rather than sometime in the future.  If those three do not perform to expectation, then we would have suffered the dread “three and out” disease.  Thankfully, not so.

The penalty parade must stop.  Now.  12 for 95, including two negated touchdowns in the first half, is ridiculous and beneath the quality of Aztec football.  No more offside calls on the defense.  As Graham Chapman said, “Wait for it.”

Five sacks of the ASU qb for a total of 35 yards placed a great deal of doubt on the Sun Devil offense.  Noble Hall, Sergio Phillips and Myles Cheatum may be the best defensive line in the MWC.  Nice to see Chibu Onyuekwu and Damon Moore receive playing time and contribute to the discomfort of the ASU running game (a mere 1.4 yards per carry and 44 yards total rushing).

John Barron was perfect from 29, 27 and 32 yards.  Change nothing.

2-0.

Go, Aztecs.

 

38-17, Aztecs over UC Davis

Posted: September 4, 2017 in Uncategorized

The score should have been 38-10, but that’s me in whiny mode.

The offensive line received a four-quarter work out.  Those five need all the snaps they can get prior to Arizona State next Saturday (may the game time temperature be less than 100 degrees).  Second and third level Aztecs (less the aforementioned linemen) received valuable game time experience in the fourth quarter.

On one hand, our youth is pause for concern, yet once this bevy of freshmen and redshirt freshmen learn the proverbial ropes, they may well create a bright future quickly.  But, I must admit that patience will be difficult.

Christian Chapman, Rashaad Penny and Kahale Warring were the highlights of the game.  By the way, Mr. Chapman’s end of the first half interception does not count given the Hail Mary circumstance resulting in said pick.

46,000+ in the seats is a nice start to the season.  Hopefully, the legion of former Charger fans will migrate to the Q (or whatever the structure is called) on a regular basis.

I find the Facebook broadcast interesting.  Another crack in the walls of satellite/cable providers.  How many students and less-than-30-year-old-people who enjoy SDSU football watched?  No fee potentially attracts those shut out from ESPN/C-CBS broadcasts of the past.  A development worth watching (no pun intended).

1-0.