Archive for October, 2021

Bulldogs 30, Aztecs 20

Posted: October 31, 2021 in Uncategorized
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Our first loss. Cold comfort is game eight was our first loss. Nonetheless, boo.

Less time of possession, the Aztec offense for the most part was step for step with Fresno. Consider 165 rushing yards (us) to 179 (them). 23 first downs (us), 24 first downs (them). Red zone touchdowns registered 3/3 (us) and Fresno 3/5. Of course the passing game was no contest. Jake Haener’s 306 yards was far and away superior to Lucas Johnson’s 220. While displaying an ability to throw downfield, Mr. Johnson had the shame of 2 interceptions. Will Haskell piloting the last SDSU drive for a score was a peek into the near future. Jordan Mims ran, walked and skipped through the Aztec defense to the tune of 186 yards rushing. We made him a Heisman candidate.

Fresno outplayed the Aztecs. The first half especially. Not playing four quarters of defensive football was the root of our loss. Kurt Mattix will surely have a meaningful practice Monday morning.

I trust the the boys will be in a bad mood stepping off the plane in Honolulu next weekend.

3-1/7-1.

Go Aztecs.

We had no business playing past game 162. Seattle, Oakland and Toronto were more deserving by playing better baseball the entire month of September. Contrast the Sox’ anemic hitting and bullpen explosions. Yet, we beat the Evil Empire and somehow squeezed past a superior Tampa team before falling to the Astros. Not bad.

What did we learn in 2021? Alex Verdugo is one of the few, and I do emphasize few, hitters who hits opposite the shift. He loves left field and left field loves Alex. J.D. Martinez is a guaranteed whiff on low and away breaking balls. At his age with his success, I find this malady ridiculous. Hunter Renfroe is indeed one of the better right fielders in MLB. Christian Arroyo injures himself while waking up. Rafael Devers is Yaz II with his back breaking swing. While successful, far too many pop ups. Bobby Dalbec should receive a 10-year deal and play first base and only first base. Xander Bogaerts is an 81 game offensive wonder, then becomes an 81 game offensive shoulder shrug. Kiki Hernandez can play almost anywhere. Christian Vazquez needs to lay off 3,000 calorie days. He is a chunk by the end of May and his defense (mainly too many passed balls) suffers into the the late summer.

The following should never wear a Red Sox uniform again and if found in Boston immediately escorted to the city limits: Adam Ottavino (at times, I thought he would weep after a difficult 2/3’s of an inning), Darwinzon Hernandez (I cringed when he would stand in the bullpen), Phillips Valdez (he hit 7 batters in 40 innings) and Austin Davis (why did Chaim Bloom trade a living baseball player for this guy?).

The 2021 Winter To Do List includes saying good-bye to J.D. Martinez, Kyle Schwarber (he is a defensive travesty at first base), and Eduardo Rodriguez, acquiring a large bat (preferably Kris Bryant or Jose Ramirez) and at least one starter of import and not necessarily a free agent. Trades are nice, especially one including Matt Barnes. As for my focus on Mr. Bryant and Mr. Ramirez, I want to see Rafa gently nudged off third base and become more of a dh. Sure, he can play third every now and then, but his true talent lies with a bat in both hands rather than a glove on one hand. 2022’s starting pitching should feature Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck and a couple of guys who didn’t play in Boston in 2021. The 2022 bullpen has Garrett Whitlock closing. Hirokazu Sawamura and Hansel Robles need a lot of company.

Have a swell winter.

What a game, what a game, what a game.

Both defenses were pound city. Smack, hammer, slam and repeat. Get up. More is on the way.

As for the Aztec offense, meh. But, meh was good enough to win. Lucas Johnson was a serviceable 11/13. Though his 72 yards was poor. Yet, I will not complain. Greg Bell did not make an appearance until the 12:30 mark in the third quarter. In his place, Jeff Hecklinski proved a rotation of Kaegun Williams, Jordan Byrd and Chance Bell was more than effective: We gathered the occasional first down, scored now and then, and kept the ball. 229 yards of total offense was bland, but enough.

The SDSU defense was stellar plus. Kurt Mattix is a man with a plan. Swarm to the ball. Hit hard and often. Air Force had a total of 259 yards. Only 192 rushing yards. Wow-wee. Oh, yeah, 4/16 on third down. A deep bow to the Air Force receiver, #0, who dropped a pass that would have been a touchdown. Luck and talent are hard to beat. Keshawn Banks’ second quarter ankle grab of the A.F. quarterback was brilliant. Mr. Banks introduced a new form of “gotcha!”. Dallas Branch’s one-handed interception set the tone for the game. Air Force had the ball with 2:18 remaining in the fourth quarter and did nothing. By the way, congrats to Mr. Branch, Vai Kaho and Desmond Bessent for joining the starters.

3-0/7-0. Who knew?

Go Aztecs.

SDSU 19, SJSU 13

Posted: October 17, 2021 in Uncategorized
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In a word, ugly. Yet, a win is a win.

San Jose arrived ready, willing and able. We arrived waiting for the game to end. The Spartan defense held the Aztec rushing company to 70 yards. Ugh. As in ugly. 240 yards of total offense as well. No more. Thank goodness, Lucas Johnson entered the game to throw two balls to Jesse Matthews for the overtime win (another sign of a lackluster effort by our beloved Aztecs).

I trust Jeff Hecklinski and Brady Hoke have concluded that starting Jordon Brookshire at quarterback is a waste of time, motion, effort, tides, gravity and asking repeatedly “why?”. While Lucas Johnson is a mere step above Mr. Brookshire, he is not Mr. Brookshire, therein lies the advantage.

If you were wondering about the tenacity of the Spartan defense, please consider the following: No Aztec running back averaged more than 4 yards per carry. Greg Bell averaged 2.2. ypc. The Aztec offense averaged barely 3.5 yards per play. However, the Spartans were most generous with various penalties totaling 101 yards in grass and dirt. Thank you.

Matt Araiza saved the day with 7 punts (another sign of poorly played offensive football) for 52.9 yards per whack.

The SDSU defense was a collective “meh”. Yielding 345 yards to San Jose State was unremarkable, boring and grim. Boo.

Yet, we won. Yet, I complain. About a team which has yet to lose. Life is good.

2-0/6-0.

Go Aztecs.

I will complain first. Yes, you know who remains my subject of complaint and concern. At some point, our talented running game will not be enough to secure a close win. Passing will be required. Specifically, the type of passing featuring completed passes. Not overthrowing, under throwing and plain old missing badly passing. The first quarter was a testament to how not to complete a pass. “Do you see the wide open receiver? You will want to throw the ball ten yards beyond his hands.” To describe Mr. Brookshire’s incompletions as inaccurate is a crime. 11/24/130 is a bad first half, not a game’s worth of effort. Yet, ’tis not true for Mr. Brookshire.

336 yards of total offense was enough to beat New Mexico. No, I did not feel bad for Danny Gonzales and Rocky Long. Those two gentlemen continue to have a lot to fix in Albuquerque. The Lobos lone touchdown was defensive, thus the SDSU defense pitched the proverbial shutout. The Aztec defense stuffed the UNM run to the tune of 66 yards rushing (1.9 yards per rush) and harassed the Lobo receiving corp into a meager 127 yards or less than 5 yards a catch. 16 third down attempts yielded success on only 3 occasions. 4 sacks for 35 yards is the SDSU norm. Every little bit helps. Kudos to Dallas Branch upon his return for 5 solo tackles which included 1 for a loss of 6 yards.

The Lobos did not help themselves with a whopping 9 penalties for 86 yards. A result reflective of much frustration. I was also surprised with the decision to return each Aztec kickoff from half inside the end zone. So much for strategy.

Matt Araiza averaged a puny (for him) 48.2 yards per boot. Oh, the shame.

Yep, we are ranked. Started the game at #25. Woke up Monday morning at #24.

To San Jose we go. Remember, last year Nick Nash nipped numerous wounds upon us last year. I trust we arrive focused and motivated by bad memories.

1-0/5-0.

Go, Aztecs.