The dawn of the STADIUM era of San Diego State football has been ushered in with a mundane, forgettable win. The Aztecs drubbed UC Davis 38-17 Saturday night, modestly rewarding the 46,132 fans who sweltered through a nasty, sticky, stagnant night on the promise of fireworks.
Given the larger context of the season it’s tempting to place outsized significance on this game, but I’m not going to. Even with the Chargers off fighting for Lawndale/Bellflower/City of Industry, San Diego was never going to become an Aztecs town overnight. And frankly, no victory over an FCS team is going to make any former Aztecs agnostics get “ONE CITY. ONE TEAM.” tattooed on their necks.
Still, SDSU put its best foot forward in a season that could start some people on the conversion process. It was a good win and we should be happy about that.
We should also be happy to be indoors, with the air conditioning running at full blast.
I suppose I should probably offer a few thoughts on the game itself, before I literally never think about it again:
The inexperienced offensive line I’ve been hyperventilating about looked pretty good, establishing the running game and keeping Christian Chapman upright. The four new starters (and Antonio Rosales) paved the way for Rashaad Penny to rush for 197 yards (9.4 per carry), including a first quarter burst where Penny outran the entire Davis secondary for 61 yards and SDSU’s first touchdown of the season.
Chapman was efficient as usual through the air, completing 76 percent of his passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He was most impressive hooking up with his tight ends, especially massive 6-6 sophomore Kahale Warring.
Warring (5 catches, 71 yards and the TD above) stepped up with senior starter David Wells hobbled by a foot fracture. Wells will be back, but Warring sure looked like a guy who should get a lot more targets this season.
Rocky Long is probably at Arizona Cafe in OB right now, drawing up a play on a bar napkin with five tight ends and Nick Bawden at quarterback. He also just ordered another Schlitz.
Despite a few new parts, the Aztecs’ defense looked like an Aztecs’ defense. UC Davis couldn’t run at all, Ron Smith and Tariq Thompson came up with key interceptions and the defensive unit overall didn’t allow a touchdown until the second stringers came in late.
Those second stringers … uh … might need to tighten some stuff up. But hey, if the big concern to come out of a game was how the reserved looked in garbage time, it was probably a pretty good night at STADIUM.
Mundane and forgettable, but good.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to fill my bath tub with party ice and sit in there until Tuesday.