Archive for December, 2020

BYU 28, SDSU 14

Posted: December 17, 2020 in Uncategorized

Thus, the strangest season mercifully ends. Amen.

Yes, we led at the half. Yes, we kept BYU below 30 points for only the third time in eleven games. Aztec fans discovered Greg Bell in the game is a tremendous advantage as opposed to Greg Bell standing on the sidelines. If Mr. Bell returns next year, our running game begins 2021 at a level of silly good.

Jordon Brookshire was 21/31/230 with both a td pass and interception. Yet, Mr. Brookshire does little to fill me with confidence. Throwing the ball more than twenty yards is a struggle. Carson Baker does not fill me with confidence for his confidence is sitting on a bench somewhere on El Cajon Blvd. Lucas Johnson, with his barking hamstring, is undependable for a long stretch. A harsh judgment, perhaps, but some athletes, no matter the sport, are simply injury prone, which leads to unanswered questions about availability and durability.

Kaegun Williams had his best game in an SDSU football uniform, grinding away for 95 yards on 16 carries (5.8 yards per carry. Impressive against a quality BYU defense). Tanner Kuljian’s first down scamper on a fake field goal attempt was another feather in the cap of Aztec special teams and coach Doug Deakin.

The two errors that ruined a winnable game were Mr. Brookshire throwing his only pick of the night at the BYU 20 in the first quarter after investing 12 plays for 58 yards followed by Mr. Williams fumbling the ball at the BYU 10 (double grimace) in the third quarter after 4 plays and 67 yards. Look skyward and sigh.

I find a bowl game highly unlikely, yet given the number of teams choosing to end their football exposure (wisely) in light of C-19 and our surprising run of health and luck through eight consecutive games, we may find ourselves as a replacement in, as J.D. Wicker said, a glorified road game. Regardless, 2020 deserves an asterisk, emoji, icon, meme and exclamation mark. I refuse the argument that our ten game bowl streak is in peril or at an end. Pandemic is an exception.

As we look to 2021, we need a confident, dependable, generally injury free quarterback. Greg Bell in the backfield makes a better group of running backs. If he does not return, I will need to be convinced that Chance Bell, Kaegun Williams and Jordan Byrd can/will provide an effective running game from beginning to end.

4-4/4-2.

Go, Aztecs.

Strange. We score 29 points without an offense.

If not for Jordan Byrd (93 yard kickoff return) and BJ Busbee (90 yard punt return), chances are, we lose to a woeful Colorado State team . . . at home. Well, if I may call Carson home.

Jordon Brookshire rushed 23 times for only 73 yards. Why did Mr. Brookshire rush 23 times? Did all the running backs fall into disfavor during the prior week of practice? Offensive coordinator Jeff Hecklinski was as innovative as a kid making a pb and j sandwich in a five star restaurant. Crust or no crust? Continuing with the Aztec rushing game, 48 runs yielded a whopping 117 yards. That is less than 2.5 yards per carry. Total offense was a pathetic 247 yards. How many teams win by 12 when generating 247 yards of offense? Only the lucky. Returning to Mr. Brookshire, he was a serviceable 14/24 with 1 touchdown, but to little effect downfield. He remains out of sync with his receivers. By the way, congrats to Dominic Benson (2/22) and Nolan Givan (1/14) for their first Aztec catches. Watching Daniel Bellinger’s (5/53) involvement in the passing game was long overdue. All of this offense scored 1 touchdown. Boo.

Of course, the Aztec special teams were tremendous. Given the above scores by Mr. Byrd and Mr. Busbee, the kickoff return team averaged 43 yards per return while the punt return efforts finished with an average of almost 39 yards per return. Yet, all that above average to great starting points eluded our offense and ended in three Matt Araiza field goals of 40, 21 and 38 yards.

As usual, less the second quarter, the Aztec defense was spectacular. Both Darren Hall and Tayler Hawkins picked off passes in the fourth quarter to hush any prolonged CSU drive. 11 tackles for loss registered 38 yards including 2 sacks. Defensive coordinator Kurt Mattix continues to impress.

4-3/4-2. Go, Aztecs.

Colorado 20, SDSU 10

Posted: December 1, 2020 in Uncategorized

Let us begin with the week that led to our trip to Boulder. Fresno State cancels during the prior weekend. J.D. Wicker has a partial agreement with the University of Washington that is canned on Tuesday by the PAC-12 when the Huskies are directed to play an available PAC-12 team. In less than two full days, J.D. speaks with the University of New Mexico, then Tulsa and settles on Colorado. “Settles” has all the stability of riding in a car with no struts, brakes, seat belts or windshield. How could this end badly? We’re fine.

As for the game, we were flat. Neither side of the ball held much interest initially. However, the defense quickly awoke. Darren Hall’s interception leading to halftime was sorely needed. By game’s end, the Aztec defense allowed the Buffalo offense 134 yards rushing and 138 yards passing for a total of 272 yards (3.3 per play). Consider the stingy 7/19 on third downs as well. A winnable offering . . . if you have an offense that can score more than 20 points. We did not.

The Colorado defense was far superior to the Aztec offense. We resembled a juco team. Yep, the Aztec offense was inept. Carson Baker needs counseling. Jordan Brookshire has a passion for throwing his passes at his receivers’ ankles. Carson and Jordan were a collective mess of 11/28 with 1 interception. 11/28 is a completion rate of 39%. Our running game featuring the trio of Kaegun Williams, Jordan Byrd and Chance Bell did next to nothing and were a collective fizzle. Our offensive line was pushed and shoved the entire game by the Buffaloes. The Aztec offense finished with 155 total yards. Yuk. We were 4/17 on third down. Double yuk. The offense failed to score points in all four quarters less Matt Araiza’s lone make. Thank goodness, Tanner Kuljian had a great night punting the football (8 for an average of 44.9 yards per). If not, 20-10 gets worse.

Speak not of the injured Lucas Johnson, Greg Bell and William Dunkle. Make no excuse. We played truly bad offensive football.

3-3. Go, Aztecs.