For one night at least, we can breathe easier. In a 26-7 victory over UNLV on Saturday night at Qualcomm, the Aztecs signaled that whatever ailed them over the previous six-plus quarters of garbage football wasn’t necessarily a permanent state. Or, at the very least, it wasn’t so bad that it would prevent them from drilling MWC West patsies with ease.
The 19-point victory in their conference opener undersells how much the Aztecs (4-1, 1-0) actually dominated. Consider that UNLV:
- Didn’t score an offensive touchdown, relying on a heinous Christian Chapman fumble to gift them their only score.
- Didn’t complete a pass (to a Rebel) until the fourth quarter.
- Didn’t actually convince themselves or anyone else in the stadium at any point that they were going to win this game.
A photo I took in the fourth quarter on my half-busted iPhone 5 tells the tale:
It is in fact good! Even against UNLV! The Rebels, while clearly shitty as ever, can actually score a little this season. This is a team that came in averaging 35 points per game and hung 45 on Fresno State (the Aztecs’ next opponent) one week ago.
This week? UNLV managed a whole two (2) first downs in the first half. After three straight games of the Aztecs getting torched with the deep ball, and not generating much of a pass rush, this was so damn refreshing to witness. You could even see UNLV try to take advantage of the perceived weaknesses they saw on film.
UNLV offensive coordinator Barney Cotton: “We can throw on these guys! Let’s air it it out.”
/Dalton Sneed goes deep on first play from scrimmage.
/Dalton Sneed gets picked off by Derek Babiash.
UNLV offensive coordinator Barney Cotton: “Run away!! Run away!!”
Sneed ended up 2-of-12 for 9 yards – a robust 0.8 yards per pass attempt.
For the first time this year against an FBS opponent, this looked like a Rocky Long defense. I am in favor of this continuing.
This was probably the most balanced the Aztecs’ offense has looked all year.
D.J. Pumphrey tallied 198 total yards despite not actually breaking free for a trademark big gainer. Rashaad Penny added 160 of his own, including his first of likely many 100-yard rushing games in his career. He also did this to cap the Aztecs’ first drive.
Which brings us to Chapman. One week after looking pretty meh against Evil Sun Belt School That Shall Not Be Named, he completed 70 percent of his passes and moved the chains effectively for much of the night. The “one ball on the hand” fumble scoop-six, as previously mentioned, was stupid, but no harm no foul. All in all, tonight felt like growth.
Probably shoulda scored more than 26, but whatever.
Three years ago, our head coach was afraid to kick extra points. Now he just cold trots his kicker out to boot 48- and 50-yarders like it’s nothing. And you know what?
When you have John Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu II, maybe it kind of is nothing. Servants! Get this man a roasted pheasant and a chalice of mead!
One week after one of the most deflating losses in recent memory, SDSU drew 33,000 on Saturday night against a non-marquee opponent – and the figure didn’t seem too inflated. It’s *as if* our fanbase has decided to grant this team little leeway rather that flee for the hills at the first sign of trouble. That’s … a new development around here, quite frankly.
Most impressive? Check out the student section before kickoff.
What the fuck? They did know this wasn’t SkyShow, right?