Archive for November, 2018

Hawaii 31, SDSU 30

Posted: November 28, 2018 in Uncategorized
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A boggle of a loss.  Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  The perfect end to a disappointing final three MWC games (therein lies the true hurt) of the 2018 season.  The 2018 season was equivalent to an at-fault fender bender followed by losing your wallet.  On Friday night.

John Barron missing from 32 was the moment.  Not to lay, nor do I dare lay, the loss on his talented foot, but if he makes that kick, we never hear the word “overtime.”  This missed kick led to Rocky’s decision to go for two and the game when a standard point after touchdown would have created a second ot and another chance to win.

Hawaii owned the first half.  Cole McDonald was Heisman material.  Then, the vaunted defensive adjustment occurred post-half time, and Mr. McDonald returned to scale, thus no longer shredding the Aztec back eight.  Registering zeros in the third and fourth quarters should have sealed an Aztec win.  But, “should” is a dangerous word:  You should take out the trash.  You should avoid the last beer.  You should eat less crap.

Finishing 7-5 and 4-4 (especially) is inexplicable.  A shoulder shrug of a season.  Coulda, shoulda, woulda.  The 2018 season is to Aztec football fans what Monday morning is to a guy who hates his job, but won’t search for another.

Speaking of searching, seems to me that coaching staff changes will be made.  I will not speculate about specific coaches, but the inconsistency of the running game coupled with the o-line’s inability to block consistently will receive the cold glare of slow review from Rocky.  These guys know coaching is a business.  Things change.  Time advances.  Ideas evolve.  Do we remain Pound and Ground U?  Ryan Agnew threw enough to notice during his time in place of Christian Chapman.  I will say the wide receivers finally delivered a quality season long effort this year.  Something to shift towards or build upon for 2019?

The cold comfort of the MWC portion of our season is our total point spread for the 4 losses was 4 (Nevada), 3 (UNLV), 9 (Fresno State) and 1 (Hawaii).  All 4 losses were within our grasp, but a loss is a loss.  Will next year yield the same without change or major adjustment?

Finally, I doubt, strongly, that any bowl is interested in us given our sloppy end to a promising season.  Perhaps such polite decline is the ultimate motivator during spring ball, 2019.

 

Consecutive MWC losses since I don’t know when.  Perhaps that is a good sign.

Hanging zeros in the third and fourth quarters is proof of a struggling offense.  We gained 64 yards on the ground the entire evening.  Our struggle to block continues.  Additionally, the offense created a paltry 8 first downs the entire game.  No offense stays on the field long enough to score with that few first downs.  The only good offensive news was SDSU receivers averaging 27.2 yards per completion.  Between Christian and Ryan, 8 passes were completed.  Each lays claim to 4.  Spread the mediocrity to equal measure.  Look!  We are both crappy.

Congrats to the defense for keeping the Bulldogs far under their offensive average.  Kyahva Tezino (15 tackles) and Parker Baldwin (14 tackles) gave me a reason to continue watching the game.  At least we had the decency to sack Mr. McMaryion 3 times while he enjoyed a 17/24/267 night.

Fred Trevillion had his best game by far with a line of 4/189 and 2 scores.  Maybe he can repeat that line against Hawaii.

If you did not notice, Hawaii is tied with us for third place in the West.  Saturday night, we arrive ready to play or we end the MWC season with a rough 4-4 record.  Bowl eligible is not the same as an invitation.

7-4/4-3.

 

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.

 

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.