Posts Tagged ‘Darren Hall’

Strange. We score 29 points without an offense.

If not for Jordan Byrd (93 yard kickoff return) and BJ Busbee (90 yard punt return), chances are, we lose to a woeful Colorado State team . . . at home. Well, if I may call Carson home.

Jordon Brookshire rushed 23 times for only 73 yards. Why did Mr. Brookshire rush 23 times? Did all the running backs fall into disfavor during the prior week of practice? Offensive coordinator Jeff Hecklinski was as innovative as a kid making a pb and j sandwich in a five star restaurant. Crust or no crust? Continuing with the Aztec rushing game, 48 runs yielded a whopping 117 yards. That is less than 2.5 yards per carry. Total offense was a pathetic 247 yards. How many teams win by 12 when generating 247 yards of offense? Only the lucky. Returning to Mr. Brookshire, he was a serviceable 14/24 with 1 touchdown, but to little effect downfield. He remains out of sync with his receivers. By the way, congrats to Dominic Benson (2/22) and Nolan Givan (1/14) for their first Aztec catches. Watching Daniel Bellinger’s (5/53) involvement in the passing game was long overdue. All of this offense scored 1 touchdown. Boo.

Of course, the Aztec special teams were tremendous. Given the above scores by Mr. Byrd and Mr. Busbee, the kickoff return team averaged 43 yards per return while the punt return efforts finished with an average of almost 39 yards per return. Yet, all that above average to great starting points eluded our offense and ended in three Matt Araiza field goals of 40, 21 and 38 yards.

As usual, less the second quarter, the Aztec defense was spectacular. Both Darren Hall and Tayler Hawkins picked off passes in the fourth quarter to hush any prolonged CSU drive. 11 tackles for loss registered 38 yards including 2 sacks. Defensive coordinator Kurt Mattix continues to impress.

4-3/4-2. Go, Aztecs.

Such a promising start. Two first downs during our first possession. Then, the old backward, not quite forward, pass does us in, but the Aztec defense kept the Wolfpack out of the end zone and they settled for a field goal. Our next possession featured a march downfield and a Lucas Johnson run for a touchdown. Not bad.

The remainder of the first half was Aztec touchdowns followed by Nevada field goals less their lone touchdown. 21-16 us at the half was feeling quite winnable.

Until our offensive line decided blocking was optional. You want proof? Here is the proof: 5 (!!!!!) consecutive three and outs during our first five possessions in the second half. Punt city. Zero push from our offensive line into and beyond the Nevada defensive line. Not a single Nevada linebacker required laundry service at game’s end. No stains here.

Among other second half shortcomings, consider (1) Lucas Johnson’s fall down sack (nobody touched him) early in the fourth quarter; (2) Carson Baker’s return, which resulted in the fifth consecutive 3-0. Mr. Baker’s body language featured all the energy of a snail on a cold day; (3) Nevada’s four down, first and goal that resulted in the go-ahead score (and final score) courtesy of a missing Aztec defense (who, by the way, allowed the Wolfpack a lovely line of 5/5 in the red zone and 4 whole yards in tackles for loss).

Hope reared its ugly head with Darren Hall’s interception (as a side note, Mr. Hall simply could not keep up with Romeo Doubs the entire afternoon). The Aztec offense lined up on the Nevada 26 with a minute plus remaining. Nine plays later, the game ended. Nine plays to find 26 yards plus one more. Nope. Not happening.

Final damning evidence of an offense flawed and missing: Both Bells (Greg and Chance) averaged less than 4 yards per carry. Jordan Byrd averaged 1 yard per carry. We were 2/11 on third downs. A performance worthy of a pair of crutches.

3-2. 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.