Posts Tagged ‘SDSU’

Air Force 13, SDSU 3

Posted: December 2, 2022 in Uncategorized
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The offensive line returned to pre-MWC form: Plenty of false starts. Five to be exact. If you wonder, “Is anytime a good time for a false start?”, the answer is no. Drive killers, long run snuffers and completed passes reconsidered. All the false starts derailed momentum.

Next, negative one. No, not I’m passing judgement on the emotional character of your friend who bitches about taxes, weather, traffic and parking. Rather negative one was the Aztec total rushing yardage as the game ended. We ran backwards.

Jaylen Mayden was an ineffective 16/31/188 with 2 interceptions (both in the end zone during the fourth quarter). Sleep walking while quarterbacking at best. Between Mr. Mayden and the running (cough) game, we totaled 187 yards. Yep, let’s see, 188 – 1 = 187. Thus our evening and result.

How many teams hold Air Force to 285 total yards and lose? We do.

How many teams allow 14 total yards passing and lose? We do.

How many opponents offer a lousy 36.2 yards per punt, yet the receiving team does nothing? That would be us.

0-10 was . . . ? SDSU on third down.

20:47 was . . . ? The Aztecs time of possession (meaning Air Force had the ball :47 shy of 40 minutes).

All the above on senior night to add insult to injury.

The good news, we travel to Hawaii for a bowl game.

Wait ’til next year.

Go Aztecs.



Two games in one. Only one mattered.

Yes, we played a fine first half (21-10). The Aztec defense sacked Jake Haener four times. The Aztec defense corralled Jordan Mims to the point of complete irrelevance. Hard to do given the fact he was a one-man wrecking crew against us in 2021. Fresno at the end of the first half sported 13 total yards rushing, 137 yards passing (150 total yards). The Aztec quarterback Jaden Mayden passed for 78 more yards than the entire output of Fresno State in the first two quarters.

However, we froze in the second half.

Mr. Mayden’s second half passing numbers totaled a disappointing 63 yards. Three first half Aztec scores melted to one in the third quarter and zero, zilch, nada in the final quarter. Pain.

The Aztec defense suddenly found Mr. Haener to be a mystery unsolvable as he finished the game 34/45/394 and 3 tds. The boys continued to hold Mr. Mims to account, but the flying football undid us.

Candidly, any SDSU defense that surrenders 32 points makes the case for woefully unprepared for four quarters of football. Especially the back five who gave two Fresno wide receivers a total of 20 receptions for 269 yards and 3 tds. Yep. Sad, yet true.

Returning to the SDSU offense, the running game continues to border on ineffective and dances close to why-bother? 4.2 yards per carry is the stuff of stale. Remove Mr. Mayden’s 43 yards of scampering, and the Aztec running backs fall far below the pale 4.2 ypc.

Imagine posting 449 yards of total offense, 6/13 on third down and 2/3 on fourth down, then wondering, “How the hell did we lose?” Indeed.

My thoughts exactly.

Go Aztecs.


The Aztec defense arrived with a vengeance. The Nevada starting qb was 2/8/11 before sitting down for the remainder of the game. The vaunted Wolf Pack running game finished with 35 yards rushing. The Aztec back eight kept the Nevada passing game below 200 yards (192). Nevada was an awful 3/14 on third down and had the ball for only 25:43. A mere touchdown on blown coverage was the lone Nevada score. Jonah Tavai sacked Nevada qb’s twice. Michael Shawcroft once.

As for the Aztec offense, well, once again mostly missing in action via six false start penalties. Plain old dumb. Hold your water boys. Game seven should (dangerous word) feature an almost flawless offensive line regarding self-inflicted wounds.

As usual, Jack Browning’s foot rode to the rescue. 3/3 and 9 points which should have been no attempts and no points, however the SDSU offense flamed out repeatedly inside the 20.

Jalen Mayden’s 12/25/156 was scattered about to seven different receivers. A step back from his Hawaii line score. One offensive td versus Hawaii was sadly replicated against Nevada. Remove Patrick McMorris’ scamper to the end zone with a Nevada fumble, the final score turns disappointingly tense at 16-7.

Chance Bell was the shining light of an otherwise dim running back performance averaging 4.6 ypc. Jordan Byrd and Cam Davis were 3.1 and 3.0 ypc. Yawn.

How I long for an Aztec game with more kickoffs than punts. Maybe someday.

Go Aztecs



Nail biter! I can’t believe this is happening! Hawaii scored?! No!!!

Yet, we won. By two. With seven seconds remaining.

Jalen Mayden was as I advertised . . . last year. Me. I said (wrote) so. He is the guy. He was cool, calm, composed, crafty, cagey and cerebral. Offensive coordinator Jeff Horton made enough minor tweaks to route running to allow Mr. Mayden to hit the jersey numbers of his receivers time and again. None of the former throwing to sidelines with a ten percent chance of a reception, thank you very much.

Tyrell Shavers (8/149) , Jesse Matthews (6/68), Brionne Penny (4/54) and Mekhi Shaw (4/28) had a spectcular evening featuring well timed and much needed catches. If the above numbers can be duplicated the remaining six MWC games, the future is bright.

Chance Bell was the only effective running back (7/53) which was disappointing and surprising. Kenan Christon has been a mere blip to date. Jordan Byrd had an off night while Jaylon Armstead continued to nurse an unspecified injury. Cam Davis ran backwards for a three yard error.

Returning to Mr. Mayden, an evening composed of 24/36/322 and no interceptions was exceptional. I believe Braxton Burmeister officially has competition. Thank goodness.

The Aztec defense was meh. They allowed Hawaii 6.1 yards per carry, yet completions averaged less than 10 yards, however those two numbers averaged 5.9 yards per play. Boo. But wait. Hawaii was a poor 3/10 on third downs. Yet the SDSU defense created only 11 yards lost. Meh.

Jack Browning was 3/4 from the grass. He missed a 31 yard attempt with less than five minutes remaining, but hit the one that won the game. Human after all.

Go Aztecs.


Where to begin?

The Big-10 is the beginning, the end and whatever religious chant you want to invoke. No incense, though. Makes me sneeze.

Reading the agreement, $7.5 billion seems the minimum for B10 schools. I assume/forecast/know that the B10 will invite two more schools. Thus, the large end of the contract drifts towards $10 billion. Stop for a moment. Whether $7.5 billion or $10 billion, we speak of an astronomical, beyond the stratosphere, amount of money connected to college football. Couple theses billions of dollars with NIL money, and many a B10 athlete is sitting on a pile of money. Good for them.

The four participants: B10, FOX, CBS and NBC all deserve applause. The B10 commissioner, Kevin Warren, is a forward thinking man. Demanding a triple play of B10 games beginning at noon (Eastern Standard Time), followed by 3:30 p.m. and culminating at 7:00 p.m., or in Mr. Warren’s words “owning windows”, makes the contract groundbreaking. Of course, a new level of alcoholism will blossom as many a college football fan will revel in potentially 10.5 hours of football each and every Saturday from September through early December (bowl games are another conversation). A friend owns a beer store in suburban Philadelphia. He expects sales to increase and impress. Bottoms up and wallets empty.

NBC joining the parade was a surprise. Wed to Notre Dame football was/is smart, but far too confining in the media world of college football. Do know that N.D.’s agreement to accept a raise of $60 million per year was not an extension of the NBC contract, rather a butt pat for a job well done. Anticipate the Irish scheduling more and more B10 games at the expense of their pseudo relationship with the ACC. Please note, I speak solely through the voice of football.

CBS momentarily two-times the SEC (oh, the fury). CBS choosing not to renew their contract with the SEC was mind numbing, yet ultimately acceptable in light of their B10 inclusion. Imagine the indignation of the SEC nation at the reality of continuing Saturday 2022 and 2023 broadcast time with the floozy CBS! Concubine! Yet, SEC fans will tune into CBS until the bitter end.

FOX owns approximately 60% of the the B10 Network. Now they own so much more. FOX on Saturdays, with plenty of B10 games to offer, will receive the majority of love and cash from viewers, media and advertisers. L.A. kids wearing not only USC and UCLA gear will adorn themselves in Ohio State and Michigan shirts, hats, apps, shoes and whatever else is floated via algorithm. Southern California will become more and more confused.

Returning to the spurned SEC, fear not. The entity is angry and seeks revenge. The B10 better than southern football? Never! CBS dating, promising, sending flowers since 1996 suddenly turns away? Die, you bastard! ABC/ESPN (remember, one is the other) now pays $300 million annually to assuage the tender feelings of SEC football. SEC, baby, you remain beautiful, yet furious. A southern woman spurned feels no end of rage until she says otherwise. The ACC beware. The SEC will hunt your ranks for additions. Clemson and Florida State are the two most likely to receive invites. Perhaps others as well. Those of you who wield the shield of grant of rights agreement need to embrace “out of court settlement”. We speak of money, not pride, not tradition. The ACC may be as brittle as the Big-12 and PAC-12. Finally, will the SEC go bold and copy the B10’s coast to coast presence? The ACC is the portal to the east. How far west? Beyond Texas? Beyond Arizona?

The term “Power Five” must be removed from the lexicon of college football. The Two is now the standard. The B10 and SEC far outdistance the ACC, B12 and P12. Along with The Two, how about the Trailing Three?

The P12 is teetering on the edge of extinction. I know, who would have thought? Yet, USC and UCLA bolting for the B10 is the stuff of legend which will ultimately lead to the collapse of the P12. Candidly, I assumed Oregon would couple with USC, however, the southern California media market dwarfs the Eugene media landscape. Who knew? USC will compete in the B10. UCLA will join Rutgers and Indiana at the bottom. By the way, the UC system demanding an explanation from the Bruins regarding their P12 departure is truly stupid. Money, people. Money. Next objection? Speaking of cash and the P12, the annual pay received by USC and UCLA via the B10 is an amount only dreamed of by P12 schools.

The inevitable exit of Oregon and Washington implodes the P12. Both schools exit long before any other combination of P12 schools. To where, I know not. B10? B12? The ACC in a desperate move to remain on par with the B10 and SEC? I give marginal consideration to both Arizona schools joining the B12. Arizona has the academic aura, but not the football machine. Arizona State provides the opposite. I discount the conversation about Stanford and Cal (especially) receiving an invite from the B10. Utah and Colorado joining the B12 makes sense, yet both media markets are limited, but in the case of Utah, joining BYU in the B12 captures the vast TV market of the state of Utah. Yes, a smart ass comment. The two most likely what-the-hell-happened survivors are Oregon State and Washington State. Their respective egotistical nightmare scenario is nowhere else to go but the Mountain West. Trauma! Emergency response!

And now, what about San Diego State University? My beloved Aztecs. If George Kliavkoff, P12 commissioner and Larry Scott doppelganger of do nothing, but look busy, casts his net before further B12 expansion invites are delivered, the Aztecs join the P12. A big “if” given the B12’s Brett Yormark efforts to keep the conference within sight of the B10 and SEC. Is a Mr. Yormark issued invite possible? Yes. The Aztecs possess the last and final presence in the southern California college football media market. If the B12 wants a West Coast team or if the P12 wants to retain a kinda-sorta L.A. market, SDSU provides the opportunity. Snapdragon stadium offers a cherry on top to any conference considering the Aztecs. So does a 7-2 mark against P12 schools dating back to 2016. If both conferences pass on the Aztecs, life goes on in the Mountain West. With the Beavers and Cougars along for the ride.

Winning a bowl game is the absolute best way to end a season. As Texans say, “Yee haw!”

The first quarter the Roadrunners of UT San Antonio were as advertised. Lots of offensive spark and a decent defense. The Aztecs first offensive series was a quick 3 and done. Thankfully, that sequence did not set the tone. Proof, you ask? In addition to the 38 points, I offer 488 total yards of offense.

Lucas Johnson had the game of his life: 24/36/333 with 3 passing touchdowns (2 to Jesse Matthews, who also had the game of his life to date, and 1 to Tyrell Shavers). Mr. Johnson also found time to run for 1 td. 5 appearances in the almighty red zone resulted in 4 touchdowns and 1 field goal.

Greg Bell had his first above average game since the New Mexico game (October 9th for those of you wondering). 101 yards on 26 carries. Good, but not great, though he did assist greatly in running out the clock in the fourth quarter. Mr. Bell ran 9 consecutive carries without mishap leaving the final 2 rushes to Chance Bell, thus eliminating the final 7:13 in the game. Well done.

Returning to Mr. Matthews, wow. 11/175 and above mentioned 2 td catches. He was everywhere. His facial expression was intolerant of loss. Thank goodness.

Next to the win, the highlight of the night was Kaegun Williams making a surprise appearance during a UTSA kickoff which he took for a healthy 52 yards.

The Aztec defense had a bit of an off night. Rare was the hit on Frank Harris, the Roadrunner qb. Giving up 388 total yards was indicative of a slow start generally improved upon as the game continued. CJ Baskerville’s third quarter pick at the SDSU 31 yard line was the defensive moment of the game. Good bye, UTSA drive.

The officials struck me as flag happy. They were quite fond of the little yellow hankie. 14 penalties for 124 yards? C’mon. We were not a band of pirates having a collective bad night.

2021 is a year to remember: 12-2.

Go Aztecs.

USU 46, SDSU 13

Posted: December 8, 2021 in Uncategorized
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We were awful. Worse than the Fresno State game. Far worse.

Twenty players sidelined by C-19 provided a shaky start. Sure, losing Daniel Bellinger and Tyrell Shavers made the offense less impactful. However, starting Jordon Brookshire had more of an impact or non-impact or impact similar to a fender bender all your fault.

Not a single player of note on the Aztec defense was among the twenty C-19 players. The SDSU defense was solid and sound. Allowing Utah State to score 46 points has nothing to do with the Aztec offense. Our defense was somewhere far away from Carson. We dropped four potential interceptions. By the fourth drop, the protestation of the dropee was as old as rotten fish. Catch the damn ball. Of course, not catching passes is why you are not a wide receiver.

The Aztec special teams resembled Clown College: Blocked punts, dropped punts, missed field goals and running about with no apparent purpose was as unwelcome as cold soup.

Returning to my favorite scowl, Mr. Brookshire reverted to his specialty of throwing at shoe laces or far above outstretched hands. The first quarter featured three 3 and outs. He truly set the tone. 11/23/117 was mediocre, and mediocre does not stand during a conference championship game. May he sit during the Frisco bowl.

Watching Jaylen Mayden play (at last) bodes well for next year. 5/6/50 yards and the lone SDSU touchdown coupled with 4 runs for 36 yards is the stuff of effective dual quarterbacking.

Did I mention 120 yards handed to USU via penalties? No? We handed 120 yards to USU due to bad decisions and ill-timed emotion. Great timing for dysfunction. I will not mention the 1/14 on third down conversions. Opps.

We go bowling in Frisco, Texas against UT San Antonio. We finish 11-2. Candidly, at the beginning of the 2021 season, an 8-4/5-3 finish would have thrilled me. I can’t complain. But I do.

11-2/7-1. Ranked #24 in the CFP final tally. Not bad.

Go Aztecs.

SDSU 27, Boise State 16

Posted: November 27, 2021 in Uncategorized
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A great game for a double digit win (the most recent was October 9 vs. New Mexico, 31-7).

The first half smelled and resembled the Fresno State game. The second half was another story.

I admit I rolled my eyes when Jordon Brookshire entered the game. On behalf of Jeff Hecklinski and Brady Hoke, they didn’t have much of a choice given Lucas Johnson’s poor first quarter and worse second quarter. Mr. Brookshire provided immediate hope with a 30 yard completion to Jesse “I Catch Most Anything” Matthews. The 29 yard td pass to Mr. Matthews quickly followed. I’m walking toward the light of briefly becoming a Jordon Brookshire fan. Briefly.

Jordon’s final passing numbers (11/15/192 and a td) and rushing numbers (9/46 and a td) emerged from dream becoming reality. He and Lucas combined for 20 completions for an average of 14.5 yards per completion. A true partnership.

Plays of note not immediately resulting in a touchdown: Our second possession featuring Daniel Bellinger in motion, then stopping under center to take the snap on third and one to plunge forward for a first down. Next up, our failed attempt at a fake punt with Garret Fountain taking the long snap for a whopping 4 yards. The Brookshire pass to Bellinger in the third quarter on fourth and one resulting in Mr. Bellinger rumbling to the eleven yard line which did set up Greg Bell’s go-ahead td. A few snaps later, Caden McDonald tips Hank Bachmeier’s pass into the hands of Patrick McMorris for his second interception.

Speaking of Mr. Bachmeier, the Aztec defense smacked him about and limited his day to 21/40/222 including Mr. McMorris’ two picks (Dallas Branch sealed the game with an interception of Jack Sears with less than a minute remaining). When Mr. Sears entered the game I had visions of Nick Nash in 2020 and Justin Rogers last week. Thankfully, he performed under duress given the fantastic three man Aztec rush.

Jonah Tavai was absolutely dominant with 3 sacks resulting in 18 lost Boise yards.

Jesse Matthews same as Mr. Tavai, but on the other side: 9/133 and a touchdown.

A few more numbers to consider: The Aztec defense shutout Boise in the third and fourth quarters, and held Boise to a total of 319 yards. The Aztec offense tallied 408 yards for the morning (the start time of 9:00 a.m. was insane). The Aztec defense set a record (I’m guessing) for most offsides in a game. Brady rolled the dice three times on fourth down and succeeded twice. We held the ball for 34:17 to Boise’s 25:43. Most helpful.

Utah State at Carson next Saturday for the MWC championship.

7-1/11-1. Quite the surprise.

Go Aztecs.

UNLV’s defense was to be admired. They played well and then some. They stuffed our run game for a total of 98 yards (if Jordan Byrd does not break off his second half sprint, our run game would have been less than 50 yards). The Rebel defense kept the Aztec offense to 290 total yards. Yet, we won. At times I wonder how and why.

Speaking of defense, the Aztecs gave up a whopping 394 yards of UNLV offense. We made Justin Rogers look like Nick Nash II. Mr. Rogers tormented us coming off the bench. He finished with a line of 15/21/305 and threw two touchdowns. Charles Williams did not torment us. The Aztec defense stuffed him for a line of 16/35 (2.2 yards per rush). Andrew Aleki returning an interception for a first quarter td and Seyddrick Lakalaka picking off Mr. Rogers at the 1:53 mark in the fourth quarter provided the defensive highlights for SDSU. And, yes, Keshawn Banks was offside prior to the snap that led to Mr. Lakalaka’s pick. Win some, lose some.

Lucas Johnson (look at his eyes and facial expression and tell me he does not look like a beach stoner) posted a 18/24/192 and 3 td evening. All while enduring 3 sacks and 1 interception. Jesse Matthews rose from the dust of little use the last few games and caught all three of Mr. Johnson’s td passes. Greg Bell gaining 2 yards on a fourth and one at the UNLV thirteen with 5:35 in the fourth quarter ultimately set the stage for Mr. Matthews third td. Sometimes football is ugly before beautiful. By the way, great call Brady Hoke.


Go Aztecs.

What a game, what a game, what a game.

Both defenses were pound city. Smack, hammer, slam and repeat. Get up. More is on the way.

As for the Aztec offense, meh. But, meh was good enough to win. Lucas Johnson was a serviceable 11/13. Though his 72 yards was poor. Yet, I will not complain. Greg Bell did not make an appearance until the 12:30 mark in the third quarter. In his place, Jeff Hecklinski proved a rotation of Kaegun Williams, Jordan Byrd and Chance Bell was more than effective: We gathered the occasional first down, scored now and then, and kept the ball. 229 yards of total offense was bland, but enough.

The SDSU defense was stellar plus. Kurt Mattix is a man with a plan. Swarm to the ball. Hit hard and often. Air Force had a total of 259 yards. Only 192 rushing yards. Wow-wee. Oh, yeah, 4/16 on third down. A deep bow to the Air Force receiver, #0, who dropped a pass that would have been a touchdown. Luck and talent are hard to beat. Keshawn Banks’ second quarter ankle grab of the A.F. quarterback was brilliant. Mr. Banks introduced a new form of “gotcha!”. Dallas Branch’s one-handed interception set the tone for the game. Air Force had the ball with 2:18 remaining in the fourth quarter and did nothing. By the way, congrats to Mr. Branch, Vai Kaho and Desmond Bessent for joining the starters.

3-0/7-0. Who knew?

Go Aztecs.