Archive for the ‘SDSU’ Category

The Aztec offensive line needs to re-engage, recommit, re-organize.  Pound and ground is missing.  We rush for a grand total of 89 yards against an awful defensive team.  Juwan Washington was doing all the work to no avail.  The big boys need to return to a grand scale of pushing, shoving and being generally unpleasant for an entire football game, not a half or a quarter.

The Rebels wanted the game more than we did.  They arrived ready to play.  We meandered and wandered, especially during the first half.  To surrender a 24-13 lead and allow UNLV to score twice in the fourth quarter is testament to lackadaisical play and misplaced confidence.  Thomas Lexington breaking away for a 75 yard touchdown run carried the twin of ruining the Aztecs winning the West Division.  His line of 21/133 is to be applauded.  Sadly.

I disagree with Jeff and Rocky pulling Christian Chapman with 10:30 remaining in the second quarter.  Mr. Chapman was sporting a 8/10 for 92 yards effort when yanked.  I don’t buy the “more mobility” reason.  Projecting his 20 minutes of play throughout the rest of the game equates to 24 completed passes.  Ryan Agnew registered 14/26/187 accented by 3 sacks.  So much for “more mobility”.

Returning to UNLV’s effort, the Aztec’s first play of the game from scrimmage summed the game:  UNLV linebackers mugging Mr. Washington deep in his own backfield.  Again and again.  The aforementioned 3 sacks destroyed sustained Aztec offensive momentum.  The Rebels wanted the win and provided a game’s worth of effort.  Us, not so much.

Congrats to Ethan Dedeaux (7/63) and Tim Wilson (5/123 and 2 touchdowns).  Brandon Heicklen had another quality game featuring 4 punts for an average of 43 yards.  3 of the 4 landed inside the twenty-yard line.  Well done and great improvement compared to last year.

John Barron missing from 34 . . . if he makes the kick, we play from a 27-27 tie.  Indicative of the Aztecs evening.

Onward to Fresno.  May pound and ground make a timely return.  Otherwise could be a long night.

7-3/4-2.

 

Advertisements

Our offense is best described as procrastinating.  We wait and wait.  Score enough to hang around.  Wait some more.  You know what is fun?  Three downs and a punt.  Let’s do that a few times.  Wait.  Then we finally score enough to win.  Rocky’s brain must want to explode.  I sometimes wonder if Jeff Horton turns complete beach on Rocky and whispers, “Dude, we’ll get there.  I totally promise.”

Down 9 points with ten minutes remaining had me leaning towards the unthinkable loss at Albuquerque.  This cannot be.  And, thankfully, was not as the Aztec offense tumbled, rolled and generally fell forward for 17 points via Kahale Warring’s 19 yard catch, John Barron’s 32 yard field goal and Juwan Washington’s 50 yard td run.  Thank you, one and all.

Speaking of Mr. Washington, welcome back to both he and Christian Chapman.  Mr. Washington had a tidy line of 95 yards for 8.6 ypc.  Mr. Chapman was 13/19 without an interception.  As economical as ever.  Though, I’m not complaining.

The Aztec defense was once again superb.  Kyahva Tezino had a fantastic night:  12 tackles including 2.5 sacks.  The Aztec defense dropped the Lobos quarterback 6 times.  They held the Lobos running backs to an average of 2.7 yards per rush, 4.6 yards per completion (now that is impressive) and Lobo offense to only 142 total yards.  Tayler Hawkins enjoyed his first start at the Warrior position while Luq Barcoo made his first pick of the year.

Other first time starts belonged to Isiah Macklin and Elijah Kothe at the wide receiver spots.  Well done.  Tim Wilson had 3 catches for 63 yards leading the way for all Aztec receivers who caught a total of 17 balls for 240 yards.  Not bad.

The winner of this week’s who-can-catch-and-advance-a-punt contest was Garrett Binkley.  He caught 4 for 54 yards which is lightyears ahead of all other efforts not involving Juwan Washington.

Who was the guy on the LSU campus with the John Barron for Heisman sign?  Best moment of the year on ESPN’s national pre-game show.

Three games remain.

7-2/4-1.

Go, Aztecs.

 

 

 

We started as the proverbial house afire.  Two sustained drives of 12 plays and 75 yards followed by 8 plays and 80 yards.  14 points.  I’m thinking the offense finally arrives.

Not so.

Yet, the Aztecs were seemingly dominant.  24 first downs to Nevada’s 14.  173 yards rushing to their mere 62.  Even Ryan Agnew posted better numbers than Ty Gangi:  283 passing yards and 3 tds compared to 235 yards and 2 tds.  Tell me those facts before the game and I’m looking at win number 7, not loss number 2.

Chance Bell (5.2 ypc) continues to impress.  He makes Chase Jasmin (5.3 ypc) a better runner.  Nothing like competition to fan the flames of playing time.  Congrats to Kahale Warring for an evening of 6/95 and 2 tds.  Brandon Heicklen punted the air out of the football.  6 punts for an average of 44.8 including one at the Wolf Pack 4 yard line.

Jordan Byrd dropping the punt and returning all punts for 4 lousy yards needs to be fixed.  Now.

A by and large lucky season to date given the number of freshmen and redshirt freshmen on the field at the skill positions of wide receiver and running back.  The kids have logged major minutes during the course of the season.  Granted, when Juwan Washington returns, the march of underclassmen at the running back spot stops.  While Ryan Agnew has performed admirably, I want Christian Chapman to start against UNM.  Work out the rust long before the Fresno State game.

6-2/3-1.

Go, Aztecs.

 

I don’t know if we are lucky or good.  Maybe a bit of both.  Nevertheless, this game was heavy to the yuck factor.

Thank God for John Barron.  The game winner from 51 yards out (or 52 depending who you listen to) was the perfect final score to a game featuring incompetent offense.  The Aztec offensive line was marginal.  Far too much SJSU pressure was delivered to Ryan Agnew.  He scrambled like eggs on a Saturday morning.  The Spartan defense was camped in the Aztec backfield causing lost yards snap after snap on behalf of Chase Jasmin, Chance Bell and Kaegun Williams (don’t fumble and you get to play).  Ryan Agnew was, again, pedestrian.  His 7/11 featured a miraculous 12.3 yards per catch.  How is that possible?

The Aztec defense saved the night.  Especially holding San Jose State on 4th and 2 deep in the fourth quarter.  Tariq Thompson’s interception highlight was the 41 yards he advanced the ball.  SJSU averaged 1.8 yards per rush and registered only 295 total yards for the evening.  Josh Love posted the most ineffective 26/36 effort of any quarterback this season.  All for a paltry 215 yards passing.  Without a touchdown.  If Ryan Agnew or Christian Chapman ever threw the ball 36 times in a game, I would assume that Jeff Horton was not on the field.

A tip of the hat to Brandon Heicklen averaging 41.8 yards per punt.  Sorely needed and thank you.

Congrats to Damon Moore, Tayler Hawkins, Connor Mitchell, Chance Bell (I like what I see.  He should be “the guy” until Juwan Washington returns) and Daniel Bellinger logging minutes that mattered at game’s end.

6-1/3-0.  Bowl eligible.  Rocky coaches his 100th game as a head coach.  And wins.  Courtesy of a kicker he actually talks to on the sidelines.

“Can you make a fifty harder?”

“Sure.”

“Let’ go.”

Go, Aztecs.

 

 

Troy Calhoun is an angry man.  I cannot recall a head coach yelling at officials as often as Mr. Calhoun.  As is heard at the beach, “Chill, dude.  Have a fish taco.”

For most of the game, I thought Cole Fagan, the Air Force fullback, would beat us single-handedly.  Mr. Fagan had a superb game.  Thankfully, he did not beat us.

The Aztecs played lucky football.  Ryan Agnew was showing his lack of experience with one bad decision after another.  The stumble into the Aztec end-zone for a safety was pure high school freshmen football.  I was waiting for Jeff Horton to pull him and re-introduce Christian Chapman to the offensive line.  Yet, while 9/25 with an interception is indeed awful, Mr. Agnew, through the good graces of his receivers, averaged almost 24 yards per completion.  Of course, a blocked punt via Kaelin Himphill scooped by Trenton Thompson for a touchdown is almost required to win ugly.

Among other low lights was John Barron finally missing a field goal.  Rare.  2/12 on third down conversions.  84 yards total rushing.  13 first downs.  The offensive line struggling to block the Air Force front seven the entire first half.  The lightning strikes and delays, delays, delays.

Winning ugly is better than any brand of losing.

5-1/2-0.  Go, Aztecs.

 

Ugly was pretty.  Who knew?

The first half featured the Aztec offense wondering what game was played?  Hockey?  Softball?  Tennis?  Why is the ball weirdly shaped?  We could not have looked and played with more incompetency.  Bad is a compliment.  Seemingly, false starts were the order of the day.  We had, I don’t know, 14, 26, 37 false starts.  Sure, I exaggerate, but my point of an absent offense is well taken.  You are welcome.

The good news:  We won.  Fred Trevillion caught the first pass thrown to him.  And did not have a single drop the entire game.  New horizons for Fred.  Chase Jasmin gained the most grueling 78 yards of his life.  He left the game limping (not good news).  His pinball bounce move in the fourth quarter set up Jordan Byrd’s 72 yard run.  Without Chase reversing course, a different outcome emerges.  Kobe Smith can catch punts.  Luq Barcoo is good.  Depth charts don’t mean much to Rocky.  Darren Hall, Connor Mitchell and Damon Moore enjoyed many minutes on the field.  Darren recorded a pick and Damon a sack.  Zidane Thomas had two carries (his first carry was during our third offensive possession of the game.  You think I don’t notice).  He is the fifth running back on the almighty chart.  Who needs starters?

God bless, John Barron.  Without him, we are an average football team hanging our hat on fourth and whatever.

In addition to Darren Hall’s interception, I applaud Tariq Thompson and Ronley Lakalaka for good hands.  Kyahva Tezino will provide nightmares for Brett Rypien the remainder of the season.  Kyahva delivered many a body shiver.  Brandon Heicklen was booming the ball.  He averaged 44.9 yards on 8 punts.  Well done.

I was surprised by Boise not attempting an onside kick after the missed extra point with 5:07 remaining.  Thank you, Boise coaching staff.

As for the numbers, the Aztec defense held Boise to an average of 2.9 yards per play.  Boise had 2 rushing yards at the end of the first quarter.  At the half, they had a total of 72 yards of offense.  The Broncos ballyhooed passing game stalled at 8.1 yards per catch and a slight 178 yards for the game.  If I told you before kickoff that the Aztecs would have 9 first downs and 267 yards of total offense, you would have asked, “Did we lose by two or three touchdowns?”

Thank you, Rocky.

4-1/1-0.

Go, Aztecs.

 

 

Lucky, lucky, lucky.

Darren Hall’s (fr-rs) interception during overtime sealed the deal.  Well done, Mr. Hall.

Yet, I remain concerned about the Aztec back 5.  All too often, Eastern Michigan had receivers two and three steps behind our safeties.  Shades of the Stanford game.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Guess how many rushing yards EMU had at the half?  20.  That’s all.  20.  Overall, the Aztec defense was superb.  The “bend, but do not break” phrase fits well.

Chase Jasmin (so) had a fine game.  He’s better than I thought (at least this early in the season).  Chad Woolsey (sr) played a number of snaps at the fullback spot.  Joining Mr. Woolsey for playing time with the football was Elijah Kothe (fr) and Kobe Smith (fr).  Both caught a couple of passes for 16 and 27 yards respectively.  Looking forward, Fred Trevillion is the only receiver to leave at season’s end.  I believe we will finally enjoy both depth and talent at the wide receiver spot this year forward.

Ryan Agnew (jr) was serviceable.  Or less delicately, he did not stink, though the interception before halftime was ill conceived.  I remain impressed with his ability to tuck the football and run.

And, of course, I must not be remiss about John Barron’s night (granted, the one field goal he missed would have been the margin of victory at the end of four quarters).  Three makes including the ot shot not only created the win, but kept us in the game.  Mr. Barron is one of the best in the nation.

The three game homestand ends.  Not a single game was pretty, but 3-0 is no cause for complaint.  By the way, the middle of the field was mostly dirt by game’s end.  Time to break out the green paint.  Organic, of course.

3-1 into the bye week.  Not bad.

Go, Aztecs.

 

The Cardiac Kids are alive and well.  This year’s team is exhausting.  Couple our need to take the last two games to the wire with a start time of 7:30 p.m. (this game), and I’m whipped.

The offensive line was in fine shape.  Sure the occasional breakdown and holding call (we would have scored 35 points!  Keep your hands to yourself, big guys) flared.  When Zach Thomas went down during the second quarter causing Dominic Gudino to take the right guard spot, I’m thinking, “Well, let’s see if the o-line firms or collapses”.  Firm was the outcome.  Juwan Washington averaged 5.1 per carry, Chase Jasmin (definitely the #2 guy behind Juwan) averaged 5.9 per carry and Ryan Agnew (he has speed Christian Chapman can only dream of ) averaged 4 yards per carry.  No other proof is required as to the effectiveness of the big guys.  The second half was 21 plus minutes of pushing, shoving and being generally unpleasant with the Arizona State defense.  The Sun Devil defensive line and linebackers were torn and frayed.

Ryan Agnew’s 12/24/129 seems paltry, but his three consecutive completions to B.J. Busbee (welcome to the field of play) and Ethan Dedeaux (twice) was part of a 6/9/77 sequence which tied the game at 14.  Not bad for a first start.

John Barron from 54 had enough on the ball to have nailed a 65 yard attempt.  WOW!  17-14 will never be as impressive again.

Kyahva Tezino had a fantastic game.  He was everywhere less the stands selling popcorn.  I must admit concern about Kyree Woods.  He gave up too many completions.  Without improvement, I see either Luq Baarcoo, Jeff Clay or Darren Hall taking his spot.  ASU was picking on Mr. Woods for a reason.

The Aztec defense, less my concerns about Mr. Woods, gathered momentum during the second half.  ASU had the ball in the third and fourth quarters for a total of 8 minutes and 54 seconds.  At the half, the Sun Devils had 254 yards of total offense.  At the end of the third quarter they tacked on an additional and whopping 13 yards (yawn).  Well done, Aztecs.

Kudos to SDSU administration for the SDSU West presentation so kindly aired by CBS during the game.  I choose to believe this notice was especially effective coupled with a win over a ranked rigged 5 school.

In addition to B.J. Busbee (fr-rs), congrats to Jordan Byrd (fr), Shane Coleman (fr-rs) and Keshawn Banks (fr) on substantial play time and bright futures.

2-1.

Go, Aztecs.

 

Where to begin.

The first half had a pall.  Sure, 7-0 was pleasant, but the inability of the Aztec offensive line to block outside the tackles, especially to the left, was forcing Juwan Washington to run up the gut (with gusto), and nowhere else.

To speak of “to the left”, Tyler Roemer (left tackle) and Daishawn Dixon (left guard) were repeatedly unable to hold blocks during the first half.  Boo.

So, Jeff Horton calls up the gut plays . . . and we score.  Juwan ran for 20+, 10+, 40+, 6-ish, then a td.  Kudos to Dominic Guidino, Keith Ismael and the afore criticized Mr. Dixon for plowing openings galore for Mr. Washington.

Stanford goes three and out.  We follow with seeming momentum until Isaac Lessard is flagged for a chop block, thus we punt.  Boo.  However, during this sequence, Ethan Dedeaux (r-fr) catches a pass (in other receiving news, Fred Trevillion dropped his first opportunity, thus enhancing the legend of Hit Me On My Number And I Drop My First Pass Trevillion).  Mr. Dedeaux is one to watch  and offers Christian Chapman dreams of 60% completion rates.

Stanford scores two points via a hesitant safety by the officiating squad.  The head ref (forgive my lack of football referee knowledge) seemed to need a tutorial in signaling the safety call.  Perhaps because the call was crap.

Prior to this bit of neighbohood football officiating, Chase Jasmin spelled Mr. Washington, thus received his first dose of competitive, non-wipe out football.  He did so the next set of downs as well (and gathered a rushing first down).  Yes, this is Jeff Horton taking a look under the hood for future reference.  Howl all you want about why-was-Juwan-not-in-the-game.  I don’t care.  Many Aztec fans deplore this side of Mr. Horton, but I offer my inestimable support (incredibly valuable.  Much like your drunken friend cheering you on during a fight . . . that you are losing) in preparation for the MWC schedule.  You know, what really matters.

Then comes the Noble Hall moment.  Mr. Hall catches a batted football and decides to emulate Juwan Washington (mistake).  Rather than tucking the ball with both arms securely against his midsection, he assumes the spirit of Mr. Washington, and has the ball poked out of his arms into Stanford possession, which allows the halftime score of 9-7.  However, I disagree with Rocky that this moment was a game changer or momentum shift.

The first possession in the third quarter features Mr. Dedeaux catching another pass from Mr. Chapman.  Unreal.  Based off of last year.  And the year before.  However, we punt.

Stanford scores by and large because of consecutive penalties on the Aztec defensive backfield.  Boo.

Coach Horton then displays what could be an actual passing game.  The one where receivers catch passes from Christian Chapman.  I offer, Mr. Trevillion, Mr. Dedeaux, and Tim Wilson, Jr making consecutive catches.  Mr. Trevillion makes another catch.  John Barron hits a field goal.  16-10.  Not bad.

As Stanford works towards another score, I find comfort with the fact that Bryce “Heisman” Love has done nothing.  The Aztec defense has face stuffed him all game long.  When Stanford goes horizontal, they do so with nothing to show.  Yet, when they throw vertical, our defensive backfield is at risk.  The Stanford receivers stepped in front and made catches.  They out jumped us and made catches.  Thus, the Aztec defensive weakness.  But, better to have one weakness than many.

Remaining Aztec highlights of the third and fourth quarters feature another 40+ run by Mr. Washington and catches by Mr. Dedeaux and Mr. Wilson, plus a nine yard run by Chase Jasmin.  We had a chance to score during the Dedeaux-Wilson-Jasmin sequence, but our o-line gave up consecutive sacks of Mr. Chapman.  Again, boo.

As we move forward, the Aztec offensive line needs to ignore the media praise.  The big guys need to prove their collective worth.  Sustain your blocks and protect your quarterback.  The defensive secondary must stay stride for stride with taller wider receivers or face similar results via this 31-10 loss.  And, STOP WITH THE PENALTIES ALREADY!!!!.  Over 100 yards?  C’mon.  Parker Baldwin had a career game.  Juwan Washington is the real deal.  We seem to have the beginnings of a passing game.

Next is Sacramento State at home.  Fireworks await.  I want a shutout (okay, I’ll accept a single digit) of Hornet offense.  Pound and ground, then stretch the field.  May Fred Trevillion catch the first ball thrown to him (I may pass out.  Get it?).  Deliver good basic football without a field’s worth of penalties.

Aztecs, 0-1.

Eleven to go.

 

 

This game was Catch-22.  Nothing made sense, but the outcome . . . because this game was Catch-22.

One team generates 429 total yards in 86 offensive plays while the other crawls to 263 total yards.  One team holds the ball for 34+ minutes.  The other 25:33.  One team is an impressive 8/17 on third downs.  The other a pathetic 1/14.  And, for further consideration, that team with 263 yards, 25 minutes of possession and 1/14 on third down punts the ball 10 times.  That team wins.  How?  Why?  Who cares?  We won.  But, we should have lost.

What saved us was 3 interceptions for 127 yards (almost half of what the Aztec offense, um, created) and 1 touchdown along with 4 sacks for 30 yards.  That is 157 yards of defense which is far more than half of what the guys with the football are supposed to do.  Do note, the defense kept NIU out of the end zone in the fourth quarter.  A great time to be effective.

We went from zero penalties against Air Force to a staggering 10/126.  The refs were not pro-Aztec.

Congrats to Dominic Gudino starting in place of Antonio Rosales at right guard.  Congrats to Andrew Aleki covering the NIU fumble in the first quarter that led to a Rashaad Pennuy touchdown the next play.  Congrats to Collin Andrews for joining Tim Wilson and Isiah Macklin in the redshirt-freshmen receiver rotation.

Dakota Turner returns as if he had never missed a snap.  Well done, Mr. Turner.  Jay Henderson had the game of his Aztec life.  And did we need that game.

35,717 in attendance.  Not bad when the opponent is a MAC team.  By the way, if Northern Illinois does not win the MAC, I will be most perplexed.  These guys are good.  A bowl game awaits.

5-0/1-0.  Go Aztecs.