Archive for September, 2021

An old fashion butt kicking featuring a total of 64 Aztecs on the field as the game progressed.

As you know, the game was not televised, thus I was enjoying the quality radio work of Ted Leitner, aka, Uncle Teddy. He is as entertaining, knowledgeable and self-deprecating as ever.

Back to the game. 450 total yards for the Aztec offense. 24 first downs (double Towson’s number). 8/15 on third down. 5/6 in the almighty red zone. A commanding 38:10 of football possession.

Matt Araiza averaged 65.7 yards per punt. Carson sits 39 feet above sea level. What will he average at Air Force? 75 yards per punt?

Brionne Penny had 4 catches for 55 yards. Will Haskell played the last half of the fourth quarter. Uncle Teddy painted a complimentary description of Mr. Haskell’s play. Mekhi Shaw started at one of the wide receiver spots. New faces to remember 2022 forward.

Once Greg Bell left the game, running back by committee took hold. Chance Bell (7/79), Kaegun Williams (10/76), Jordan Byrd (7/79) and Jaylon Armstead (13/44 all straight up the gut) provided the bulk of the offense. Mr. Armstead was christened “Chugga-Chugga” by Uncle Teddy during the radio broadcast.

Lucas Johnson was a serviceable 16/25 and 149 yards with a td. We will not discuss his interception.

The Aztec defense was not as active as the first three games, yet they held the Tigers to 228 total yards. 15, and only 15, of those yards were rushing yards. The Tigers averaged less than a yard per carry. Well done, Aztec defense.

Next week is an off week. Perfect timing for Greg Bell, Andrew Aleki, Jordon Brookshire and Tayler Hawkins to get well. New Mexico visits to begin MWC play October 9. Rocky Long returns. Should be fun. I wonder if defensive coordinator Kurt Mattix will present Rocky with a gift?

4-0.

If you enjoy the spectacle of 3 (!) overtime periods to cap off a tie score that never should have been, Saturday afternoon into evening was your kind of game. All present received more than their money’s worth.

A 10-10 halftime score was the result of the following defensive slugfest:

The Utes offense was pummeled to the effect of 19 yards rushing, 70 yards passing, 1/9 third down conversions and their o-line allowing their qb (prior to third quarter banishment) to suffer 3 Aztec sacks.

The Aztec offense “generated” 56 rushing yards, 23 (oy vey) passing yards and a glamorous 0/7 on third down attempts. Feeble defined.

Fear not! Much like the New Mexico State game, the second half featured offense. Specifically, 2 touchdowns courtesy of Greg Bell and a bruising effort by the Aztec offensive line with applause directed at center Alama Ulave and right tackle Brandon Crenshaw-Dickson for clearing the deck on behalf of Mr. Bell.

With 5:23 remaining in the third quarter, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham had seen enough of Charlie Brewer at qb, thus pulled Mr. Brewer and replaced him with Cameron Rising. Quarterback’s replaced is always a cringe moment . . . is he much less talented . . . is he capable of charging the offense . . . Mr. Rising was seemingly coated in grease as he scrambled, ran, twisted, pardoned-me-excused-me his way downfield and engineered the Utes comeback to tie the game at 24. AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Matt Araiza chose a bad time to be human by missing 2 field goal attempts (okay, missing from 48 in the fourth quarter wasn’t a gimme, but missing from 37 in ot was). However, I must offer kudos to Mr. Araiza for participating in a tackle during one of his kickoffs. Pure moxie.

The tit for tat continued during overtime possessions with the Utes matching us and us matching them until the blessed call that overturned their final 2 point score (yes, the ball did hit the ground before the catch was made) much to the delirious delight of Aztec players, coaches and fans (who, by the way, made an astounding amount of noise given the number present), thus sealing this year’s PAC-12 record at 2-0 (7-2 for the last 9 games for those of you wondering).

I have moaned and protested about Jordon Brookshire as our starting qb and overtly lobbied without shame for him to be replaced with Lucas “Hamstring” Johnson. Well, I received my wish to the result of 10/19/44 (yes, 44 yards passing. Total. No more). His longest completion was 15 yards. Strangely, of his 10 completions, 9 different receivers enjoyed catching the football. I found cold comfort with his rushing line of 10/87 (averaging 10.9 per dash). What the hell, we won.

Jordan Byrd’s 100 yard return was the stuff of Aztec special teams lore. Greg Bell earned every one of his 119 yards. Lots of bruises received and given, I’m sure.

If I would have been told prior to the game that we would win while registering 12 first downs, 3/15 on third down conversions and 44 passing yards, I would have laughed and encouraged medication consumption.

3-0.

Go, Aztecs.

Much better.

Jordon Brookshire looked more quarterback-ish (new word). However, I remain less than happy with his #1 role, but I’ll trash can my complaints for now. His 40 yard touchdown toss to Ethan Dedeaux was on the money. A perfect throw and competent catch. Mr. Brookshire’s line of 10/15/183 and 2 tds was efficient. 8 different Aztecs caught at least one ball. Well, if 10 completions is all that is offered, spreading the wealth makes all feel valued.

Greg Bell made efficient look cheap. 7.4 yards per rush (17/125) and a 55 yard scamper of a opening touchdown is a fine football game. Chance Bell (10/52) added potent punch in lieu of Greg. The coaching staff smartly rested Greg during the majority of the second half. A 28 point lead will lead to such clarifying decisions.

For consecutive games this 2021 season, the Aztec defense was stellar. Defensive coordinator Kurt Mattix is a man with a plan, vision and satisfying result. Consider the following Arizona offensive numbers:

Total yards rushing: 49. Total yards passing (between two quarterbacks): 179. Add those two numbers for a meager 228 yards in total offense in Tucson. Additionally, the SDSU defense limited Arizona to 55 offensive plays. Also, the Wildcats offense had the ball a total of 9:51 the entire second half. Wow-wee. Oh, yeah, third down conversions ended 1/13.

Continuing with all praise Aztec defense: 18 qb hits (same as the New Mexico State game), 10 three and outs (!), 4 sacks for 20 yards, 11 tackles for loss (34 yards) and Patrick McMorris’s interception for another 16 yards. Backwards was the theme for the Arizona offense.

A few minutes into the third quarter, the constant pounding issued by both SDSU lines was as apparent as a warm start to a football game in the desert. The Arizona lines were worn out and out played. All the ice in their cold drink melted long ago. Okay, I’ll stop.

Of course, I must complain about the number of doltish penalties (8/84) earned by both sides of Aztec nation. Guys, knock off the personal fouls, please. And, remember, offside penalties mean you are not in the now. Pay attention!

2-0.

Go, Aztecs.

An ugly game.

Jordon Brookshire is not a starting quarterback. He is/was awful. Indecision is his middle name. As stated in prior posts, throwing the ball downfield is really hard. 7/20 and 115 yards is a poor first half, yet this was his game total. He was 2/6 for 15 yards in the first quarter, 1/6 for 39 yards in the second quarter and 0/1 in the fourth quarter. Lucas Johnson should be stretching his archenemy (legs and associated muscles) the entire week before the Arizona game. If Brady Hoke, and to a lesser extent Jeff Hecklinski, continue an entire game with Mr. Brookshire, he/they should have his/their brain(s) removed from his/their skull with an ice-cream scoop.

William Dunkle acted like a moron. Keep your emotions in check, Mr. Dunkle. Frustration is part of the game. Teeing up yourself for 15 yard specials is d-u-m dum, so dumb, you didn’t get to the “b”.

The good news is the Aztec defense yielded only 48 total yards rushing. 3 interceptions, including a touchdown courtesy of Andrew Aleki, coupled with 5 sacks was impressive. However, the defensive backfield was far too soft and off the line of scrimmage as proven by the 326 yards passing by New Mexico State. By the way, Noah Tumblin needs to get better fast. He was the proverbial drum beaten, especially during the first half.

Greg Bell (21/161) and Jordan Byrd (3/48) made for an effective running game (248 total rushing yards).

If you were wondering, can Matt Araiza punt? The answer is yes, yes he can. 9 boots for an average of 56.8 yards. What will he do in high altitude locations?

Finally, our offense cannot sustain itself with Jordon Brookshire as qb. We will not be able to win close games, especially with time fading away. The Aztec offense had one quarter (the fourth) in which possession exceeded 7 minutes. Not good.

1-0.

Go, Aztecs.