SDSU’s football season is shaping up to be a slightly improved facsimile of 2015. We’ve made it through the “losing to South Alabama” phase of the season. We passed through the “beating MWC teams convincingly but not overwhelmingly” stage. And now, here we are in the “housing fools by 30-plus” portion of the schedule.
This is the best part IMO.
The Aztecs rolled into Reno on Saturday night and hammered the Wolf Pack 46-16. This is not a particularly good Nevada team, as the Aztecs seem to be the only MWC West squad that did not suffer a team-wide syphilis outbreak this offseason. Still, gaining 620 total yards (474 on the ground) is awesome even if you’re playing MiraCosta College, and the Pirates haven’t fielded a team in years.
Roughly a third of that offense was D.J. Pumphrey, who gained 198 yards rushing to eclipse 6,000 for his career. Here’s the run that moved him past DeAngelo Williams into 4th* place in the official NCAA record book.
(*Including pre-2002 bowl games D.J. is 5th all-time, 194 yards behind Charles White.)
That was pretty.
Naturally, Pumphrey didn’t even lead the team in rushing last night. Rashaad Penny, who seems to be busting off a run of 70-plus every other game now, added 208 yards on 10 …
Hold on, this can’t be right …
It is? Ten? Ten fucking carries??
Penny now has 784 yards on the season, while Pumphrey is at 1,779. Never in FBS history has a team complemented a 2,000-yard rusher with another 1,000-yard rusher. With four more games to play, I’d say the Aztecs have a 50-50 chance of being the first.
On a related note, I’m starting to suspect our offensive line can block a little.
Next week, the Aztecs face Wyoming, a team that scored 66 points against UNLV. It would have been a more impressive outburst had the Rebels not #niced the Cowboys in overtime, but the fact remains: The Pokes can score and they do it through the air.
So while nobody is going to mistake Ty Gangi for Josh Allen, the fact that the Aztecs intercepted three passes against Nevada seems to indicate SDSU’s secondary is up to the task. Freshman corner Ron Smith, who appears to be a player, and sophomore safety Parker Baldwin, who definitely is, picked off passes on consecutive drives in the first quarter, spurring the rout.
So when you run against the Aztecs you get nothing. When you throw, you get picked off. That leaves … running back blocked extra points, I suppose. We’re pretty vulnerable there, actually.
Mikah Holder caught 4 passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. Here’s that:
Might not sound like a huge game, but getting a newly-healthy Holder back into rhythm with Christian Chapman seems like no small development.
So where does this leave us? With North Carolina and Arkansas losing this week, and four straight heavy sack-beating wins in the books, the Aztecs (9-1) have an outside shot at the Top 25. I’m thinking our weak schedule (zero wins against winning FBS teams) keeps us on the outside for another week.
UPDATE: LOL NOOOOOOOPE
But a win over Wyoming? That would do the trick for sure.