Archive for September, 2022

SDSU 17, Toledo 14

Posted: September 27, 2022 in Uncategorized
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After Toledo scored their second touchdown to go up 14-10, I’m wondering, “When was the last time we started 1-3?”.

2-2 is pure relief.

How many football teams win games when forced to punt 9(!) times? Jack Browning is quickly becoming my favorite Aztec. 6 of his 9 boots landed inside the 20. Pure quality.

I accept the fact we cannot effectively throw the football. My hope that Braxton “Happy Feet” Burmeister would transfer his V. Tech numbers will not see the light of day. He flees far too soon. Alas, he ignores my pleas to stay in the pocket an additional couple of seconds. Jeff Hecklinski needs to emphasize the run. Ground and pound takes the forefront. Stop with the fantasy of Mr. Burmeister completing anywhere near 20 passes. The run game created many a successful year for Aztec football the last dozen, so reload and run, run, run. Jordan Byrd, Jaylon Armstead, Kenan Christon and Mr. Happy Feet collectively ran for 217 yards and averaged 6.6 yards per carry. Numbers Aztec faithful can live with. Want to argue? Mr. Burmeister averaged 5 yards per completion. At half time, he had 11 yards passing. Sit down. No more talking. Shhh.

The defense was generally spectacular. 3 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery stuffed many a Toledo hope. Sure, the boys wilted in the fourth quarter, however on their behalf spending almost 32 minutes on the field is less than conducive to sustained perfection. Congrats to former qb, Jalen Mayden who registered 8 tackles while assuming the Aztec position in place of Patrick McMorris. Ta da.

The final SDSU drive with 2:51 remaining was testament to intestinal fortitude and holding one’s water. The two false start penalties with the ball on the 6 yard line was mind blowing. I was expecting the offensive line to line up backwards to enhance the challenge. Note: 11 Aztec penalties for 103 yards of gifts to Toledo is stupid and undisciplined.

I offer a new word: wugly. Winning ugly. You are welcome.

Go Aztecs.

2-2/0-0


Utah 35, SDSU 7

Posted: September 21, 2022 in Uncategorized
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Little to like. I was surprised Utah did not score north of 42 points. 21-0 at the half. Two more Ute touchdowns in the third with 7:30 on the game clock. All signs pointed to butt-ugly. Game’s end, we achieved simple ugly.

The Aztec offense is wheezing. Three games yields north of 20 points once. We are an asthmatic running with cramps on a long jog.

7 points is all we can scrape together in 60 minutes of football. Kyle Crum or no Kyle Crum, the result is wretched. 3.1 yards per offensive play is indeed offensive. Braxton Burmeister seems to have a talent for quick exit against P12 teams. Unfair? Perhaps. I would love to see a repeat performance sooner rather than later of his Idaho State result. Enough of this coulda, shoulda, woulda. Time to score lots of points. Lots would be better than 30 points.

The SDSU dbs were beaten like a slow moving midget in a buffet line. Giving up 4 passing tds is uninspired, confused football. Utah was 8/15 on third downs. 68 offensive plays averaged 6 yards a play for Utah which translates into far too many first downs.

Good news: Jack Browning had another fine game punting the football. 8 boots for 45.6 yards per. 3 inside the 20 yard line.

Go Aztecs

1-2/0-0

A game of monster runs and punting to perfection.

In no particular order, may I present Jordan Byrd with a 66 yard punt return and 53 yard run. Both for touchdowns. Braxton Burmeister sprinting 47 yards for a score as well as another rush of 16 yards. Jaylon Armstead rushing for 129 yards on 10 carries highlighted with a run for 61 yards and another for 23 yards. Cam Davis, a bruiser, granted not the size of Mr. Armstead, yet he runs well between the tackles, ran for 77 yards. Kenan Christon had a 34 yard dash. At game’s end the Aztecs tallied 380 yards rushing (8.8 ypc).

Jack Browning had five punts inside the 10 yard line (two were downed at the one yard line). 47.5 yard average made for a tough start again and again for Idaho State.

The SDSU defense was inconsistent. Bad numbers and good. Idaho State held the ball for 30+ minutes for 73 offensive plays. Yet, the Aztec defense was third down stingy (6 of 19) and pitched a shutout on fourth down (0 for 2). Two Bengal trips to the red zone yielded no points. However, SDSU gave up 338 total yards. I realize I’m bitching about allowing 7 points. I have standards.

Finally, congrats to Blake Martin as he made his Aztec debut (4 carries for 17 yards).

Go Aztecs.

1-1/0-0.

First game at Snapdragon. Hot as blazes. 100 degrees at kickoff . . . at 12:30 p.m. . . . in Mission Valley . . . on September third. Abnormal plus.

We were dropped off at the game by Francisco who knew the San Diego Mission Road shortcut. He saved us a minimum of forty minutes otherwise spent on the 15 waiting to access Friars Road. Should have been a good sign, alas, not so much. However, bless Francisco.

Walking up to Snapdragon from the east was a blaze of not only heat, but also a hundred plus shade pop-ups to the south providing shade for the many, many dedicated pre-game gatherings. Reminded me of a concert or Fourth of July at Pacific Beach. A dozen-plus food carts lined Victory Drive. Plenty of food choice ranging from tacos to Banh Mi. Entering Snapdragon was a breeze (perhaps not the best word to use given the heat). Approximately ten food vendors are found inside the stadium. All have at least two serving facilities. Waiting was minimal. The beer vendors (dominated by Alesmith) were overwhelmed given the thirst of tens of thousands Aztec fans. My first beverage (I was good and chose nothing higher than a 4.7 abv the entire game. Sainthood awaits. And a statue) lasted perhaps ten minutes. The most satisfying, hydrating moment of the day. Viewing the field from the north (overlooking the student section) was akin to the first time I walked into a baseball stadium and witnessed the green jewel of grass. Perfect.

After taking a few photos and short videos for family and friends, we veered west and were pleasantly surprised to enjoy the shade and breeze of the concourse. We made our way toward the Pier (our seats are nearby). The din of noise reminded me of pre-game Fenway or Wrigley. Excitement buzzed, conversation and laughter. More people wearing Aztec gear in one place than ever before.

Ten minutes before kickoff, we found our seats . . . in full sun, as was more than half of Snapdragon. The entire east side of Snapdragon was bathed in sun. Almost the entire crowd could be seen in the shade of the east concourse. The aforementioned student section, and also the SDSU band section, is the north side. Pure heat. The students survived the day until halftime. Most joined the spectacle of chasing shade. A California record must have been set for most people at a sporting event seeking any form, no matter how slight, of shade. The SDSU band members were rotated from their piece of the north section to shade to prevent the ill effect of wearing a heavy band uniform in 100 degree heat.

I realize the optics via the CBS national broadcast must have looked suspect at best. People, the day was miserably hot! Survival ruled! Chase shade! Optics be damned!

By 2:00 p.m., the sun shifted just enough to the south to allow our section shade from about halfway up. Appreciated relief.

Now, to the game. I noted a bevy of recruits on the Aztec sideline. I have never seen recruits on the SDSU sideline during the first home game of the year. Coach Hoke and staff are taking immediate advantage of showing off the new digs to impress possible future Aztec football players.

The crowd was loud from the moment the Aztecs ran out of the tunnel onto the field. Third downs received crowd noise galore. A sense of football knowledge was present.

What was absent was tackling. The number of missed tackles from Aztec defenders was two dozen plus (turns out Caden MacDonald claimed thirty-five misses). Wildcat running backs (especially) broke three and four attempts to bring them down. The Arizona offense was no-huddle the entire first half. The Aztec defense could not adjust.

The Aztec passing offense was elsewhere. Braxton Burmeister had a whopping ten attempts. Will Haskell had six. Jeff Hecklinski was devoted to the run (42 rushes) at the expense of offensive balance. I trust his Idaho State game plan will reel back the running game in favor of at least twenty-four throws downfield. Mr. Burmeister had a bad case of happy feet. He fled the pocket far too soon too often.

In the end, Arizona was the better team.

0-1/0-0.

Go Aztecs