Posts Tagged ‘Kaehler’

While the Aztec offense was generally incapable of scoring in the almighty red zone for most of the evening, the Aztec defense was the definition of beauty . . . if you are a football fan.  Hawaii scrapped together a paltry 264 yards of total offense including less than 100 yards of rushing offense.  Two interceptions, one each by Damontae Kazee and Malik Smith, at key moments, removed any hope of momentum on behalf of the Rainbow.  SDSU stopping Hawaii’s late third quarter drive sealed the deal.  Hawaii had the ball a mere 2:49 in the fourth quarter.  No chance to close the gap.  Less the fluke touchdown at the end of the second quarter, Hawaii does not score a touchdown.  The final bit of proof:  Six punts on behalf of the visitors.

As for the Aztec offense, ugly, but effective enough.  Quinn Kaehler (13/24/174) played well given his shoulder consideration. No interceptions was nice.  He hit 10 different receivers for completions.  I will generally ignore the glaring number of dropped passes on behalf of the receiving corps.  71 offensive plays and 457 total yards suggest that SDSU should have put at least another 17 points on the board.  Hageman missing from 31 is proof he’s human, and remains a tremendous upgrade from last year’s field goal efforts.  Donnel (25/182) may have to share more time with not only Chase Price, but Marcus Stamps as well.  Mr. Stamps run of 34 yards was a combination of grace and bruising-cruising.  Imagine Bob Toledo working a few plays with a three back set of the following four:  Pumphrey, Price, Stamps and Gordon.  Linebackers wince at the mere thought.

A well deserved and timed week off allows Mr. Kaehler rest and rehab.  Same goes for all Aztecs suffering dings and dents.  Ezell Ruffin should return for the Idaho game (11/8), though do not be surprised if he plays against Nevada (11/1).

4-3/3-1.  At Nevada is the immediate challenge.  Less a complete breakdown, Idaho is a win.  Boise did not impress against Fresno.  Air Force is never easy.  San Jose needing overtime to beat Wyoming is a great sign for SDSU.  Worst case for the last 5 games is 3-2, though I’m hopeful for 5-0.  Call me greedy.


Pumphrey had a great game.  4 touchdowns and 167 yards rushing.  Truly outstanding.  The offense rolled for 466 yards.  But, Kaehler continues to look less than sharp.  16/27/0 reads well enough, but I find anemic the 209 yards passing.  Only one sack was well done on behalf of the offensive line.  The Aztec front five did a fine job dominating the Rebels.  Just ask Pumphrey.

The UNLV qb throwing for 346 yards was living proof the last 5 of the Aztec defense having a collective bad game.  I know I’m in full complaint mode, but I found disappointing the 6/14 third down conversions and the 2/2 fourth down efforts.  UNLV is a bad football team.  The Aztec defense should not hand out second chances.  However, sacking the UNLV qb on 6 separate occasions was impressive.  Alex Barrett especially so.

1-0 in conference play.  Candidly, the fact that Fresno State had such a hard time defeating UNM displays real opportunity for SDSU to take the West.  Boise losing to Air Force means the Mountain division is a likely free for all.  If the Aztecs can remain undefeated at home and at the very least split the road games that means a 6-2 MWC record.  Three of the next four games are on the road (at Fresno, at UNM, Hawaii at the Q followed by a trip to Reno).  Taking two of those three road games is more than possible.



The good news:  We won.  Donald Hageman made a field goal and all the point after kicks.  Almost 31,000 in the stands.  Mrs. Gwynn has excellent aim.

The bad news:  Quinn Kaehler played with the authority of a newbie.  The linebacking crew was as effective as a dieter in Hodads, thus the defensive backs were far too involved.

The Aztecs rushed for three of five touchdowns.  Donnel Pumphrey looked very good (19/111).  Chase Price’s first run from scrimmage is Youtube bound.  Enthusiasm doesn’t begin to describe that run.  Returning to Kaehler, 18-29-1 is passable (no pun intended) on paper, but the reality was yuck.  He threw behind his receivers a half-dozen times.  He was well short a couple of times.  Ruffin’s one-handed grab was testament to the difficulty all Aztec receivers faced in attempting to catch a pass.  Thanks to Bob Toledo’s play calling, we struck an almost perfect balance between the rush (194) and pass (205) for  a yard shy of 400 overall.  Not bad for the first game.

Six of the top seven tacklers were defensive backs.  Not good.  Far too much advance past the line of scrimmage by the NAU Lumberjacks.  Micah Seau had one assist.  He started.  Boo.  Of the 65 total tackles (solo and assists), a measly 14 were credited to the linebacking crew.  A below average 22% of total tackles.  Rocky was very unhappy and rightfully so.  The third quarter, the NAU coaching staff discovered the left side of the Aztec defense was an open door leading downfield.  That was an ugly period of time.  As usual, Rocky adjusted and the problem disappeared, but such a deficiency is most disappointing against a team such as the L’jacks that do not have near our athletic ability (sorry, NAU).

Next Saturday is UNC.  If Kaehler plays flatline football, we are in for a looooooonnnnnnngggggggg evening.  If the linebacking corps remains passive to the line of scrimmage, refer to the aforementioned length of evening.  The game is an ESPN broadcast.  Time to play well, let the nation know the Aztecs are national, not just regional and beat the Tar Heels.