One week ago tonight, the Aztecs delivered a huge comeback win against Stanford that we all replayed in our heads and on all our various devices for the entire week. That game was awesome.
Tonight, the Aztecs delivered a huge comeback win against Air Force that I now wish to scrub from my memory using one of those Men In Black neuralyzer things. That game was horrible and can go screw itself.
No. 22 SDSU clinched its first 4-0 start since 1981 and a sure rise* in the rankings by outlasting the Falcons 28-24 in what amounted to four and a half hours of gratuitous torture porn. The grisly and stressful spectacle was mercifully ended by a Trey Lomax interception in the final minute on a fourth down in Aztecs territory.
Here, for your edification, is a representative sampling of the chatter on Twitter dot com during the contest:
The game was brutally long thanks to a delay of more than an hour because of lightning strikes in the area — an unplanned intermission that probably (scratch that, definitely) allowed the Aztecs to escape with the win. SDSU fell behind 9-0 after a horrid quarter and a half of sloshing and bumbling around in a freaking typhoon. It was as if the weather gods really wanted to see what the sport foot-ball looked like in 1915, so they dialed up the conditions needed to make it happen.
Lesson: Everything in 1915 was bad.
After the game resumed amid rainy weather that at least more closely resembled real atmospheric conditions on planet earth, SDSU thoroughly outplayed Air Force the rest of the way, yet made just enough blunders — a turnover on a sack in the red zone, a blocked punt, even a missed field goal by the Lord of Kicksteros — to nearly give it all away late.
Fortunately, Rashaad Penny and Christian Chapman dragged the team across the finish line.
Let’s start with your #Penny4Heisman update. After struggling to get on track while the game was being played in the world’s biggest-ever staging of the ice bucket challenge, Penny roared back to rush for 128 yards and three touchdowns.
The first put the Aztecs on the board.
The second, set up by his own insane one-handed catch to convert a critical 3rd down, gave the Aztecs the lead.
The third proved to be the decisive score.
Is there anything more satisfying than watching Penny slow up and start to Cadillac it the moment he realizes there’s not a defender anywhere near him? I posit that there is not.
Also: Dat Tim Wilson block tho.
Chapman, meanwhile, put up another modest stat line (10-of-16, 180 yards, 1 TD) that does not come close the telling the tale of his contribution. Air Force stuffed the box, and SDSU wasn’t getting anything on the ground until Chapman started connecting through the air. After the delay, he completed 10-of-13 passes, including several big plays to wideout Mikah Holder and the dangerous tight end combo of Kahale Warring and David Wells.
All Wells does, by the way, is catch 4th quarter touchdowns.
The defense, meanwhile, did what it needed to do to hang on. It struggled in the pounding rain against the Falcons’ Parker Wilson on the fullback drive, but tightened that up nicely after the delay and allowed the offense to get in gear and got two big stops to end it. Credit goes to defensive lineman Anthony Luke for a pivotal sack on the final drive and Myles Cheatum for applying the pressure on the Lomax interception.
All in all, it was an impressive display of fortitude by the Aztecs, shrugging off the early adversity and coming up big in crunch time. If you’re going to have a special season, you’re going to need a couple butt ugly and thoroughly unenjoyable wins like this.
With the victory, SDSU completed a brutal opening stretch which included two Pac-12 games and a road contest at possibly the best team in the Mountain Division. Between you and me, I would have been satisfied with 2-2. This team won them all giving us realistic visions of the New Year’s Six dancing in our heads.
What a world. What a start.
Maybe this game wasn’t so bad after all?
No. Screw that. This game can still suck it.