Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Heicklen’

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.

 

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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.

 

 

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.

 

 

And thus the regular season.  And thus the conference season.

Juwan Washington averaged 9.3 yards per carry.  Rashaad Penny averaged 9.2 yards per carry.  Well done offensive line (most of the runs were in between the tackles, so the o-line gets the bulk, pun intended, of the credit).  By 2019, this group of biggies should be one of the best in the nation.

On the other side, a fine game delivered by both Kyahva Tezino (14 tackles) and Tariq Thompson (2 picks for a season total of 5).  A tip of the hat to Bandon Heicklen who had his best game as an Aztec (41.6 yards per punt).

Almost 29,000 in attendance which is not bad given the game was the day after Thanksgiving and the student section empty due to closed campus.

Now a bowl designation awaits.  This will be the eighth consecutive bowl game for the football program.  Dizzying heights.  Sure, playing in the MWC championship game is ideal, but consider our second place finish in the West division as motivation for next year.

10-2/6-2.  Go Aztecs.

 

And the heavens opened.

Rain, lightning, wind, pestilence.  I’m exaggerating about the pestilence.  A raging storm framing a slippery, fall down football game that started badly for San Diego State.  What did not go wrong?

Air Force ran straight at the Aztec defense.  Eight yards, six yards, nine yards.  Ugly.

The Aztec offense felt the need to contribute.  We offered, and Air Force gladly accepted, the following time of possession during our first four “drives”:

2:03.

1:51.

2:36.

1:56.

We registered zero first downs during the first quarter.  Zero.  The number between negative one and positive one.  Zero.

There was enough standing water on the field to attract several flocks of various fowl.  Sadly, ducks, geese, swans and coots could not stick the landing due to the high winds.

Just for fun, lightning strikes at 7:56.  And twice more resulting in a total delay of 88 or 89 or 90 minutes depending upon the source.

Upon resuming the game, lo and behold, the Aztecs, who prefer dry weather on cool nights, decided to play football while staring at a 9-0 shutout.  More people were on the field playing football than in the stands watching football.

Christian Chapman first play post-lightning was a strike to Kahale Warring.  We are stirring.  Rashaad Penny scores.  No more shutout.

Yet, the kind-hearted nature of the Aztecs continued to shine.  We refuse to take away a minimum of three Air Force fumbles.  Guests are never rude.  John Barron misses a field goal!  Christian Chapman loses a fumble (as preferred in the general scheme of football). Brandon Heicklen has a punt blocked, but runs down the naughty cadet before he can score.  That was big.

Rashaad Penny’s second score followed by David Wells td pass get the fourth quarter off to a great start until Air Force scores to go ahead, 24-21 with 6:16 remaining.  However, just as the David Wells td pass was a fine case of “right back at ya”, so too was Mr. Penny’s third touchdown with 5:39 left.

Trey Lomax seals the game with his interception at the :58 second mark.  Done.  28-24.  All without halftime.  If you watched/listened, quarters second, third and fourth were consecutive without a break.

Interesting numbers:  Air Force’s total yardage was 253.  Average gain per play 3.8.  Swamp Aztec defense was good enough.  Air Force was a combined 6/17 on third and fourth downs.

4-0/1-0.  Go Aztecs.  Swim Aztecs.  Row Aztecs.

A defensive gem.  This game was worthy of mud, broken teeth and twisted fingers.  The Aztec defense was exceptional.  Consider:

Stanford’s first three possessions were three and out.

The tree throws for a mere 64 yards on a bad 9/20 with 2 interceptions (thank you, Ron Smith and Kameron Kelly).

Stanford’s total offense at the end of the first quarter:  3 yards.

Stanford’s time of possession in the first quarter:  2:19.  Yeah, I know you can credit the Aztec offense as well.

Total tree offense at the half:  88 yards.

The Aztec defense stops Stanford inside the ten resulting in three points as opposed to seven at the end of the third quarter.

And, of course, the Kameron Kelly pick with 54 seconds remaining.

Final total yardage for Stanford:  238.

Proof enough.

Now for the Aztec offense.  First, Christian Chapman throwing in the pocket is as effective as using bare hands to remove a hot dish from the oven.  Christian needs to move to be successful.  No more pocket stuff.  21/29/0 and one touchdown was a solid performance.  Mikah Holder had his best game of the season.  7 catches for 85 yards and besting his twin brother makes for a fine evening.  Rashaad Penny running against a quality defense for 175 yards (5.5 yards per carry) is testament to his place as a top-ten running back.  The final drive post-electrical collapse is further proof of a team on course to have another fine year.  David Wells insisting on the end-zone and game winning touchdown will be a 2017 season favorite.

John Barron misses a field goal.  Who knew?

Brandon Heicklen needs to be much more consistent with his punts.  To date, his effort is as scattered as his punting.  Also, the offensive line struggled against the Stanford defense.  Mr. Chapman was often on the run on behalf of his own safety.  Clean up that mess now.

Finally, I thoroughly enjoyed Hunkie Cooper yelling at David Shaw for touching Aztec players as the two teams were leaving the field at the half.  Don’t touch Hunkie’s kids.  Speaking of kids, great to see the student section storm the field at game’s end.

As a side note to the city of San Diego, what more proof do you need to maintain the stadium other than the lights going off for 25 minutes?  Game interruption on national television is not helpful to either SDSU or the city of San Diego.  Seems minor league.  Invest in something new and spiffy while keeping the lights on.

3-0.  Go Aztecs.