The outcome was an old fashioned butt kicking.  Expose butt, please kick.  Repeat.  Repeat.

The Aztecs were ugly, uninspired and unsuccessful.

The Rams took the game from the beginning snap.  The Aztec defense was reminiscent of the pre-Rocky days (those were bad defensive teams).  Nick Stevens, an average qb, was 10/15/210 without a single interception.  Our front three peppered with the occasional linebacker or two could not reach Mr. Stevens.

Do you want more proof regarding Aztec lack of preparation?  Two CSU running backs ran for better than 100 yards each.  Mr. Gallup (well named) caught 7 balls for 139 yards and 3 touchdowns.  The Rams were 8/12 on third down conversions (that’s a stunning success rate of 66%).  Ram receivers averaged 19.6 yards per catch.  The Ram running game averaged 6.3 yards per carry.  507 total yards of offense swept by a bewildered Aztec defense.

Enough.

Consecutive MWC losses must not become three.  We have one week to prepare for Wyoming.  Will we make their qb look like a future first round pick or will we meet the challenge of arriving in a bad mood?  Will we contain Mr. Hill or allow him to look like Donnel Pumphrey once looked?

Stay tuned.

9-3/6-2.

 

 

 

What a game, what a game.

Best loss of Rocky’s tenure.  Why?  Because we marched 99 yards in 1 minute, 7 seconds and scored.  Christian Chapman looked like a quarterback.  No offense (or pun), but at times I wonder if he can throw for 200 plus yards on a regular basis.  He did so Saturday.

As for Rocky’s two-point conversion call that failed, to those of you whining, stop.  Rocky being Rocky is part of Rocky.  Also, this is the second loss of the season and first MWC loss.  Remember the days when we dreamed of a two loss season?  Wouldn’t that be swell?  Guess what?  Two losses is swell.

I listened to the game on the phone for one very good reason:  Finding a bar in Pacific Beach that features C-CBS is akin to finding fresh water in the Pacific.  I do enjoy listening to Uncle Teddy broadcast Aztec athletic events, but I must ask Ted to refrain from the “depleted defense” comments.  No we are not.  Na’im McGee, Randy Ricks, Tyler Morris and John Carroll have been sidelined most of the year.  We are fine.  Losing Derek Babiash, Billy Vaughn, Jr and Fred Melifonwu to self-inflicted idiocy was also overcome.  The Aztecs are loaded with talented football players.  No more “woe is us” dear Uncle Teddy.

However, I felt that we arrived not ready to commit to the season long, less South Alabama, idea of arriving in a bad mood to greet opponents with football in hand.  We were lethargic especially the defensive back 5.  Tackling with both arms and wrapping up seemed to be optional.  I trust this will not be an issue for the remainder of the season.

Hats off to Jay Henderson.  I do not know the football sin committed by Ryan Dunn, but Mr. Henderson was a more than able replacement.  Another deep sweep of the hat to Rashaad Penny and Juwan Washington.  These two make for an ultra talented pair of kick off returners on an extraordinary level.  A side comment to Mr. Penny regarding his runs from scrimmage, please stop running out of bounds.  Take a hit and get another couple of yards.

I opened with referencing the closing drive, I must also mention the end of the first half drive.  Not quite the length of the field, but close.  And a touchdown as well.  The SDSU offense does impress when time is of the essence.

Wyoming’s qb, Josh Allen, is a first round pick in the making.  Impressive arm and decision making.  The Wyoming defensive line was also effective.  Donnel Pumphrey rarely found a rushing attempt in excess of four yards.  Cowboy linebackers were quick to fill the rare hole.

Returning to the Aztec defense, allowing 5.8 yards per play while showing the Pokes 84 offensive plays is the perfect recipe for a long day.  Further testament to the lackluster effort of the back 5 was Mr. Allen’s 17.6 yards per completed pass.  Far too much grass was given.  Also, when was the last time an opposing qb threw 31 attempts while rushing for 69 yards?  Tis a no-no.  Finally, Wyoming enjoying 9/17 on third down conversions and 2/2 on fourth down is not to be repeated.  A poor Aztec defensive effort.

Colorado State closes the MWC season less the conference championship game.  Hmm.  Senior day.  Alex Barrett, Kyle Kelley, Calvin Munson, Austin Wyatt-Thayer, Malik Smith and Damontae Kazee all say “good-bye” to the Q and Aztec faithful.  Motivated?  Good luck to the Rams offense.  The flip side features Kwayde Miller, Nico Siragusa, Arthur Flores, Daniel Brunskill, Curtis Anderson and a running back by the name of Donnel Pumphrey playing together for the last time down the street from the beach.  Should be fun.

9-2/6-1.

 

I’m officially spoiled.  Any time the Aztec defense gives up a pass of more than 10 yards or a run greater than 5 yards, I smirk and shake my head.  What a lovely problem.

First, kudos to Nick Bawden for shoving the slow to remove himself from Donnel Pumphrey Nevada linebacker after Donnel’s touchdown.  Thou shalt not mess with thy teammates.

Next, Ty Gangi went from thinking, “Their defense isn’t so good” to “What the hell is going on?” by the second quarter.

The end of the second quarter Aztec drive resulting in John Baron’s field goal is another indicator of a competent offense that takes advantage of available time.  As was scoring after the first two interceptions.

Tanner Blain punted once.  Well done, offense.

620 yards of total offense with 474 yards rushing.  Rashaad Penny finishes 10/208.  Donnel Pumphrey ends the evening with 26/198.  Juwan Washington chips in with 5/73.  Just another night on the field.

Christian adds 2 more touchdowns to bring his annual total to 15 while throwing no interceptions and a line of 11/16/146.  He ain’t rewriting Aztec record books, but he is effective and he wins.

7/9 on third downs.  Impressive.  5/5 in the red zone.

Hats off to Kameron Kelly, Ron Smith and Parker Baldwin for their interceptions.

The Wolf Pack joins the legion of teams with less than 100 yards rushing (90) after playing the Aztecs.

Consider the following:  15.2 points, 86.4 yards rushing, 196.1 yards passing, 282.5 total offense.  The average offensive production of Aztec opponents as of 10 games played.

Wyoming is next.  May the weather behave.

9-1/6-0.

While the score was impressive, so was 41,000+ in the seats.  A trend?  Here’s hoping.

The Aztec defense holds Hawaii to 48 yards rushing, 215 total yards and 5/16 on third downs.  Insult to injury:  8 punts.  Oh yeah, the two Hawaii quarterbacks were a combined 25/45 with 4 interceptions.  Third and fourth depth chart Aztecs stopped a fourth quarter drive as well.  Rocky was most pleased.  Returning to the 4 interceptions, those errant passes generated 109 yards of “offense” for the Red and Black.  The 2 scores were most helpful.

John Baron misses from 51 yards out.  Amazing.  He’s human after all.  2/3 was well done.

Quest Truxton is the Rashaad Penny of punt returns.  Quest seems to dip himself in grease prior to the punt.  Lots of misses.  4 returns for 73 yards speaks of twisting, turning and talent.  Touchdowns are next.

Speaking of Mr. Penny, he rejoins Donnel Pumphrey in the 100+ list.  8/109 (13.5 per carry) while Mr. Pumphrey rushes for 118 yards.  A tip of the helmet to the Hawaii defense.  Donnel’s first quarter effort indicated 200+ yards for the night, but the Rainbow Warriors adjusted nicely.  At least against Donnel.  Juwan Washington continues to impress.  5/48 and 2 scores.  He runs pads to pads.  I’m a fan.

Three to go.  With Nevada’s loss to New Mexico, we are in the MWC championship game on December 3rd.  No time for slippage.

8-1/5-0.

 

 

Pound and ground was on display.  The offensive line and Nick Bawden were out in force.  Utah State’s defensive line and linebackers were walking backwards the entire game.  400 rushing yards is phenomenal.  14 passing yards?  Not so much.

Donnel Pumphrey runs the ball on 32 occasions for 223 yards (7 yards per carry).  Juwan Washington shows the future with a line of 14/143 for almost 10 yards per carry.  Oy vey!  Plus, Mr. Washington scores twice.  The offense registering 7 for 14 on third down conversions is further proof a good night on the field.  As was 4 red zone scores.

Dominating Utah State at Logan in the rain is testament to preparation and a lot of hard work on the practice field.  This game was ripe for difficulty, especially with the Aggies scoring on their first possession.  Alas, difficulty was not the case.  Maybe for Utah State.

A big night for John Baron.  4/4!  Nice range from 21 yards to a maximum of 43 yards.  Change nothing.

The defense was the usual blur of chaos.  3 sacks, Malik Smith’s interception and touchdown, and Aztec tackling resulting in 23 yards lost at the expense of the Aggies’ offense.  11/26 is reflective of a quarterback struggling.  Utah State averaged a paltry 2.5 yards per carry.  A hand shake to Ron Smith on substantial playing time in the defensive backfield and the tipped pass in the fourth quarter that fell to the ground.  Given the effective play of Kyaha Tezino and Jay Henderson at linebacker, Randy Ricks’ injury is not as problematic as first thought.

Back to the Q this Saturday.  The Rainbow flies in from the islands.  Hawaii is much improved.

7-1/4-0.

At last, offense!  The ball journeyed to the end zone more than three occasions.  Thank you, Jeff Horton.  I know he called for a pass on the first play of the game to shame me.  Nice try.  I continue to call for more than 18 passing attempts from Christian Chapman.  I want to see 200+ yards from Mr. Chapman.  I’m greedy.

Speaking of greedy, the Aztec defense is phenomenal.  San Jose is team #2 without a touchdown against the Red and Black.  Three consecutive games result in a total of 13 points by UNLV, Fresno State and San Jose State.  Impressive.  Nine tackles for loss including five sacks against the Spartans (whose offense was rather spartan.  Get it?).  209 yards allowed (San Jose rushed for less than 70 yards).  Incredible.

Also incredible in these days of players running rampant with bad judgment and at times engaging in criminal behavior (yeah, I’m talking about you, Baylor University), Rocky means what he says and says what he means as he suspended PRIOR to the San Jose game, Derrick Babiash, Billy Vaughn, Jr. and Fred Melifonwu.  Rare air for a division one coach of any sport.  Hats off to Kalan Montgomery for taking Babiash’s spot without notice.

I applaud San Jose State’s defense for “holding” Donnel Pumphrey to 135 yards.  I’m not mocking the Spartans.  Truly, they did a fine job of containing Donnel, as much as Donnel can be contained.  The flip side is Rashaad Penny averaged 11.7 yards per carry.  Can’t stop everybody.

Finally, I was pleased to see second, third and fourth level guys on the field with nine minutes remaining.  Valuable experience for Jeff Clay, Myles Cheatum, Troy Cassidy, Trenton Thompson, Kyahva Tezino, Kevin Walcott, Sam Tai, Chad Woolsey, Ryan Agnew, Ryan Simmons, Daishawn Dixon and Julian Rochelin.

6-1/3-0.

 

I must continue last week’s rant about our inability to score points.  This limitation is getting ridiculous.  We score a whopping 17 points against a ragged Fresno State defense.  17 points.  No more.  The Aztec offense had the ball for 37 minutes and 19 seconds.  We register 25 first downs.  All we can put on the board is two touchdowns and one field goal?  Boo.  Christian Chapman had 12 passing attempts.  The description of skinny.  I realize Jeff Horton loves the run, and with Donnel Pumphrey and Rashaad Penny, who wouldn’t, but, Jeff needs to call consecutive passing plays every now and then.  I’m not clamoring for the return of Bob Toledo’s multi-chapter playbook, but more frequent looks downfield would result in more points on the board.  David Wells (3/30) and Nick Bawden (2/23) received 5 of Christian’s 7 completions.  If his comfort lies with tight-ends and fullbacks, then let’s throw the ball to tight-ends and fullbacks more often.

More applause for the Aztec defense.  Keeping Fresno State to 217 total yards is notable.  The Bulldogs rushing for less than 100 yards is a further proof (if you need any) of a stellar defense.  The SDSU defensive line battering the Bulldogs offensive line accompanied by linebackers visiting the backfield on a regular basis is a recipe for success. Change nothing.

5-1/2-0.

I shouldn’t complain.  But, can’t we average, say, 27 to 34 points the rest of the way?

 

 

Aztecs 26, Rebels 7

Posted: October 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

Back on track.  Mostly.  Am I about to complain?  Mildly.  How and why the Aztec offense did not put the ball in the end zone at least twice more (I’m not greedy) was of concern.  I found concerning for the long-term our inability to score only three offensive touchdowns against UNLV.  Sure, the Rebels are much improved, but I don’t find their defense to be anything more than average . . . at best.  Given the fact we had the ball for 16+ minutes more than the Rebels is another bit of proof we were a no-show in the end zone.  We should (a dangerous word) have scored more and often.

Hats off to John Baron.  Who follows a 48 yard make with a 50 yard make?  John Baron, thank you very much.  Nice leg.

The SDSU defense was superb.  Consider the following:  UNLV finds only 9 first downs (1 of the 9 was due to an Aztec penalty) to couple with 9 total passing yards.  I believe one leads to the other.  The Rebels ran for 113 yards.   And now for the total yardage, 113, add 9 carry the one, 122 yards of total offense.  Absolutely dominating.

Donnel Pumphrey and Rashaad Penny were a dynamic one-two punch.  251 yards between two running backs, both 100+ is testament to talent and great blocking from the offensive line and receivers.  Christian Chapman bounced back nicely from his less than stellar result against South Alabama.  15/20 with no interceptions and one touchdown is solid play.

How about 33,296 fans in attendance?  Not bad.  And a decent dose of that number was in the student section.  Our home attendance total is in the vicinity of 115,000 after three games.  Healthy.  Dare we eclipse 35,000 for a MWC game later this year?  The heights are dizzying.

4-1/1-0.

 

South Alabama was the better team.  We were flat and completely unable to gather any momentum.  We were ugly.  Butt ugly.  Let us have no more of this ugliness.

Christian Chapman had his most ineffective game as an Aztec.  13/22/159 is as unappealing as a flat beer on a hot day.  Yuck.  Sure, Christian was rushed (no pun intended) with four sacks and I lost track of hurried attempts which lent to his challenge.  Strangely, when reading our rushing stats, you would think we had a chance which we did.  Donnel’s line was 25/151 for an average of 6 yards per rush while Rashaad was 9/66 which was just shy of 7 yards per carry.  Impressive.  But, we could not score those things called touchdowns.

Recall, we were up 24-21 at the end of three.  Sadly, only South Alabama played during the fourth quarter.  The Aztecs went into self-destruct mode.  We were a 3:00 a.m. Trump tweet.  The fourth quarter featured 1/5 on third downs.  We were 2/10 overall.  Only 10 third downs the entire game.  The first and second quarters registered a whopping 8:39 minutes of Aztec ball possession.  That’s 4:19.5 seconds per quarter.  A perfect time frame for a sputtering offense to remain lost in the fog of incompetence.  Yet, we ran two more plays than the Jaguars (63-61).  The penalty idiocy continues (10/85).  Two lost fumbles.  The aforementioned four sacks.  Ugly.

All of this before mentioning the difficult night of Ryan Simmons.  Until that snap over Tanner Blain’s head, we had a chance.  The chance stopped dead when the long snap stopped rolling inside the five.  Jaguar’s score.  Ugly.

The SDSU defense made the South Alabama qb look like a four-year starter rather than a little shaver making his first start.  Only five incompletions (16/21/242) to go with 3 touchdowns.  He averaged 15.1 yards per completion against the back eight.  He stretched us until we snapped.  Three times.  As for the South Alabama rushing game, they didn’t have one.  89 yards total (2.2 ypc).  Yet, they score 42 points!  Of course, 7/13 on third down creates a lot of second chances of which they took full advantage as I refer you back to the score.

Kudos to the Jags.  They beat us consecutive years.

Now MW play begins.  May the boys be angry and focused against UNLV.  Feel the sting of losing to a team we coulda, shoulda, woulda beat.

3-1.

 

Defensively, this game was ugly.  Butt ugly.  28-0 becomes 28-21.  Northern Illinois marched up and down the field during the third quarter at an alarming rate of ease and efficiency to the tune of 14 points.  The Huskies converted 3 of 5 fourth down attempts.  Shame on us.  Never, ever, should NIU convert 60% of anything against the Aztec defense.  Thankfully, Damontae Kazee and Trey Lomax blessed their defensive teammates with well timed interceptions.  NIU drives were stopped and points prevented.

The officiating crew was in love with their yellow flags, but this game makes for consecutive games featuring 100+ yards (107 if you were counting) administered via the flying yellow flag.  Ridiculous.  Rocky and staff need to have a come-to-Jesus meeting with the boys about keeping emotions checked.  Imagine if we simply cut in half the free yardage we handed NIU and Cal.  Fewer points offered to opponents would be the not so surprising result.

A “thank you”to the NIU punter who averaged a whopping 29.4 yards per punt.

A “thank you” to Tanner Blain for placing three punts inside the five and one inside the ten.  Well done, Tanner.  Your best game as an Aztec.

Speaking of best game as an Aztec, Kahale Warring makes his first catch and touchdown simultaneously.

Christian Chapman had a serviceable game (11/19/126), though the three touchdown passes were nice.  I want to see Mikah Holder and Eric Judge DIVE to catch a pass!  Mikah had two catchable balls and Eric one that required leaving their feet and becoming parallel to the ground.  C’mon!  Get dirty!  DIVE!

Donnel was Donnel.  The first half is a yawn, the second half is extreme lobbying on behalf of a Heisman trophy.  He averaged 9.6 yards per carry.  Unreal.  Rashaad Penny was 14/65.  A good day to run.

Next week is rest and get well week.  Then South Alabama at their place.  This game will be a toughie.  The Aztec defense must realize its substantial potential the entire game or else the Jaguars beat us.

The Associated Press blesses us with a ranking of 22.

3-0.