Archive for September, 2019

Utah State 23, SDSU 17

Posted: September 22, 2019 in Uncategorized

Meh or coulda, shoulda, woulda.

Choose one of the above.

The Aztec defense allowed one (1) Aggie offensive touchdown.  If we subtract the Aggie defensive touchdown (a bouncing ball interception), we win, 17-16.  We were in the game  until the end.  So much for the good news.

Utah State’s linebackers and secondary made plays.  What seemed to be a 5 yard plus run for Chance Bell, Jordan Byrd and/or Chase Jasmin crumbled to a 2 yard gain the entire night.  Rare was the run forward that eluded the Aggie defense.

Ryan Agnew’s propensity to scramble bit him last night.  Especially the final play during which he almost stumbled into the end zone for a safety.  Mr. Agnew lost 60 (!) yards all by his lonesome due to his ineffective scrambles, zig-zags and running sideways.  This behavior must be modified.  He must be frustrating to watch in a buffet line.  Yet, on his behalf, he threw for 2 touchdowns in the fourth quarter that kept SDSU’s chances alive.

The penalty bug returned as SDSU received 7 flags for 61 yards.  That and a grand total of 83 yards lost is a quarter plus worth of offensive yardage.

A week off after 4 games is well received.  Heal, rest and have a long chat with Mr. Agnew about throwing the football forward rather than running with the football in the wrong direction.

I choose meh.

3-1/0-1.

Go, Aztecs.

 

When I bitch and moan during a 31 – 10 win, my Aztec football life is a tad too good.  Yet, I bitched and moaned during our prolonged penalty party (Dominic Gudino called for holding twice?  C’mon, Dom) that stalled a second quarter drive into a Matt Araiza field goal rather than a touchdown.  My burden is great.

Speaking of Mr. Araiza, six kick offs equaled six touchbacks.  Not bad.  I want to witness the spectacle of the SDSU kick off team veering immediately to the sidelines after one of Mr. Araiza’s kicks.  Who needs coverage when a touchback is guaranteed?  All that sprinting for nothing.

The running game returned with a flourish.  Does this imply our o-line is becoming more effective?  I choose yes.  Jordan Byrd seems to be the heir apparent.  22/134 and 2 touchdowns speaks well.  Chance Bell made the best of his playing time with a line of 17/121 and 1 touchdown.  Ryan Agnew was a passing qb during the first half, then morphed into last year’s version of Captain Handoff during the second half.  I believe I’m bitching and moaning, again.  However, Mr. Agnew was without an interception and did throw for a touchdown to Daniel Bellinger.  Mr. Agnew did not suffer a sack courtesy of the Aztec o-line.

The Aztec defense was sack city against the Aggies.  6 tosses to the ground were suffered by the NMSU qb.  Many bruises.  Keshawn Banks led the way with 2 and enjoyed the company of Cameron Thomas (1.5), Myles Cheatum (1.5) and Andrew Aleki (1).  The Aztec defense created a total of 46 lost yards on behalf of the Aggie offense.  A whole lot of backwards goes a long way.  The Aztec rush defense allowed 30 yards the entire game.  The pass defense, not so much.  299 yards was far too much to a team that specializes in short slant routes.  I find inadequate Luq Barcoo’s and Kyahva Tezino’s interceptions.  I want roses, not daises.  Again, I’m bitching and moaning.

The offense has scored a total of 60 points during the first three games.  To beat Utah State we will need at least half that number.

3-0.  Go, Aztecs.

What a game, what a  game.

First, those of you whining about Jeff Horton and his play calling need to wander away into oncoming traffic.

The Aztec offense, courtesy of Ryan Agnew, performed well enough.  The offensive line looked absolutely anemic during the first possession, then blocked, pushed and shoved to a reasonable degree of effectiveness throughout the remainder of the game.

Mr. Agnew scrambled as needed.  He’s not half bad.  Ask the UCLA defense as they bit on Ryan beginning to run only to watch him pull back and throw his sole touchdown pass of the afternoon to make the score 17-7.  23/31/293 is a notable effort.  Kobe Smith and Jesse Matthews caught 12 of Mr. Agnew’s 23 completions for a total of 190 yards.  Do we have a receiving duo of impact?

Speaking of impact, or lack of, the running game was absent.  Jordan Byrd started to no real effect.  Chase Jasmin scored the first touchdown on a well blocked 3 yard run and did nothing else.  Chance Bell had a couple of carries for not much.  Juwan was mostly missing in action less the interesting sequence with 25 seconds left in the first half featuring Jeff Horton seemingly willing to take a couple of knees and end the half, when Rocky walked over to him and, um, encouraged Mr. Horton to run actual plays to gain yardage (a thrilling concept), which resulted in Mr. Washington rushing for 15 yards in two carries (his best consecutive rushes of the afternoon).  I will say that I was puzzled by Mr. Horton’s repeated (and repeated) attempts at running the ball into the middle of the UCLA defense for no gain or minor losses.  However, this shortcoming was easily overcome by the arm of Mr. Agnew.

The d-line continues to impress.  At worst they held the UCLA o-line in place which allowed Aztec linebackers into the backfield (as proof consider our 3 sacks of the UCLA quarterback).  At best, they applied plenty of pressure forcing throws on the run or brining down UCLA running backs behind or near the line of scrimmage.  The 2 fourth down stuffs at 4:04 and 2:31 in the fourth quarter by the SDSU defense was pure fight and desire.  At game’s end, allowing 62 yards rushing and 199 yards passing is to be applauded.  Finally, the UCLA offense had the ball for only 21:44 the entire game thanks to the Aztec defense.

Matt Araiza was 3/4 in field goal attempts.  He hit from 43, 31 and 25.   His 6 kickoffs featured 5 touchbacks with the other not returned.  That’s right.  6 kicks, no yardage.  A worthy defensive weapon this year and the next three.  I can’t wait to watch him kick in Fort Collins this October.  He may send one into the stands on the fly.

2-0.

Go, Aztecs.

 

Aztecs 6, Weber State 0

Posted: September 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

A punting clinic unfolded during the game.  A sure sign of a lack of offense.  As exciting as working outside in triple digit heat.  Oh, yeah.

Brandon Heicklen’s foot was surely sore at game’s end.  9 punts.  Thankfully he averaged an impressive 49 yards per leg swing.  3 of the 9 landed inside the 20 and 4 were waved for fair catches.  Weber State had lousy staring points the entire game.

The Aztec defense held Weber State to 5 first downs.  As in 5 first downs the entire game.  That is a tough trick.  Among other highlights:  Weber State averaged only 1.8 yards per rush, accumulated 35 yards rushing at game’s end, averaged less than 6 yards per completed pass and overall generated a pathetic 154 yards of total offense.  The Aztec defense was above and beyond.  And, Tariq Thomspon’s interception with less than 3 minutes remaining sealed the deal and prevented a likely 7-6 loss.

Evidently, shot gun/spread offenses are really difficult.  I mean calculus difficult.  The Aztec offense sputtered and stalled all night.  The offensive line was physically present, but mentally at the beach watching the sunset.  SDSU offensive highlights were limited to:  8 different Aztecs caught at least one pass from Ryan Agnew.  Jordan Byrd ran for 51 yards on 5 carries and Chance Bell had 18 yards on 3 carries.  Both these guys deserve more time with the ball in their arms.  Yes, Ryan Agnew can scramble.  Not my favorite moment(s), but at least he falls forward more often than not.  However, 238 total yards is an absolute mess of an offense.  Get well, fast.

Finally, Matt Araiza’s introduction was the game difference.  Two chances (I’m not counting the misfire snap that sailed away from Brandon Heicklen), both good, both desperately needed.  More to follow, I’m sure, but hopefully accompanied by lots of extra points.

1-0.  Go, Aztecs.