I really want nothing more than to go to bed and sleep for about 17 hours, so I’ll do my best to keep this brief. The San Diego State football team carried a No. 19 ranking, Heisman hype and a Fiesta Bowl resume into Saturday night’s conference showdown with the objectively evil Boise State Broncos.
The Aztecs lost it all, quickly and convincingly.
The Broncos rolled 31-14, on the wings of nightmarish first half that featured the following Aztec blunders:
- Blown punt coverage, resulting in a 53-yard return for a score by shot caller Avery Williams, making it 7-0.
- Whatever the fuck Christian Chapman was doing here, making it 14-0.
- A possible touchdown pass bouncing off the usually sure hands of Kahale Warring, followed by a methodical Boise drive, making it 21-0.
Tough to come back from that, especially when you can’t block. Say, speaking of, did I mention we can’t block anymore?
In the seventh game of the season, right around the time we all figured the Aztecs’ youthful offensive line would find it’s footing and start steamrolling fools, the unit absolutely wet the bed tonight. They’ve played with poise beyond their years in multiple games this season, so maybe we should cut a little slack here, but this was a big step backward.
Rashaad Penny gained just 53 yards on 21 carries, and he had to work hard for every inch of it. Penny was hit at or behind the line of scrimmage virtually every time he took the handoff. Chapman, meanwhile, was sacked four times, and had a Broncos defender about to murder him during his fumble touchdown whathaveyou.
Hopefully this will be a learning experience for the line, because that was awful.
Bad showing for a good showing
As co-editor Lemonvebena and I were walking out of the stadium (which may or may not have taken place with about 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter), he was lamenting the fact that San Diego actually showed up en-masse for their college team for once, only to be rewarded with this miserable performance.
Very true. Forty nine thousand people packed the old Free Checking Tombstone, decked out in red and ready to rock. It was undoubtedly the first game of the year — or even first game in years — for many in attendance. If I know the local fanbase, and after 13 years in this city I think I do, I’m guessing the bandwagon just shed about 10-15,000 people.
Let’s take stock here. SDSU is not going undefeated and will probably not be ranked again unless it can reel off at least five or six straight wins against the soft underbelly of the MWC slate. Rashaad Penny is not winning the Heisman. The Aztecs can still go to a New Year’s Six game, I guess, but the road is a hell of a lot tougher.
Yeah, it sucks to have our grandiose dreams dashed like this, but allow me at this point to throw in this reality check: None of us really expected the Aztecs to be 6-1 at this point in the season. And I’ve come with receipts to prove it. The most optimistic of our four staff bloggers predicted two regular season losses.
This Aztecs team can still exceed expectations. It can still win its division, win its conference for the third consecutive year and play in a compelling bowl game. (Say, did you notice that Fresno State is now in first place in the West Division? Perhaps we should do something about that next week.)
The dream of a glorious, transcendent season died tonight. The dream of a special, memorable season is still very much alive.
Speaking of dreams, I shall now turn my phone off and sleep past noon. Good night.