Rocky Long is many things to many people. Defensive mastermind. GTO-driving internet meme. Patron Saint of Ocean Beach philosophers. He is not, it turns out, a licensed medical doctor.
Long sounded reassuringly calm about star running back Juwan Washington’s injury after Saturday night’s win over Eastern Michigan, saying he didn’t think it was too serious despite the fact that Washington spent the second half with his arm in a sling. Last night, we learned that calming prognosis was overly optimistic.
It’s fine. Remain calm. I’m still calm.
Calmer than you are.
OK, here’s something a little less than calming — SDSU’s six drives after halftime of the EMU game, with Washington in street clothes:
- MISSED FG (5 plays, 43 yards)
- PUNT (3 plays, 8 yards)
- PUNT (7 plays, 27 yards)
- FIELD GOAL (6 plays, 25 yards)
- END OF REGULATION (2 plays, minus-3 yards)
- (OT) FIELD GOAL (4 plays, 4 yards)
For those of you scoring at home (why … why are you scoring a blog post at home?) that’s 104 total yards and five first downs. Jeff Horton also uncharacteristically called passes on 12 of 25 downs, as the Eagles loaded the box and started winning battles up front.
This is not to say backup Chase Jasmin isn’t capable of being a featured back. While not as explosive as Washington, the hard-running sophomore has proven equally elusive this year, particularly against Arizona State when he gained 112 yards on 19 carries and — as you might recall — most definitely did not fumble. Get ready for more Aladdin GIFs in your Saturday timelines, is what I’m saying.
Still, it would be wishful thinking to assume that the Aztecs can go from the tandem of Washington and Jasmin, to Jasmin and freshmen Chance Bell or Kaegun Williams and not miss a beat. That means more pressure on Ryan Agnew and/or Christian Chapman, who may be asked to do more now. That means more pressure on a beleaguered secondary, which may be on the field a little more.
Fortunately, SDSU heads into its bye week and then moves into Mountain West Conference play where the schedule gets considerably easier. For instance, SDSU’s first game without Juwan will be against …
The Washington-less Aztecs will need to survive the following stretch: at Boise State, Air Force, San Jose State, at Nevada and at New Mexico. In my estimation, survival means 3-2 at the very worst, thus remaining in striking distance in the MWC West for the UNLV/at Fresno State/Hawaii home stretch.
That doesn’t seem like too tall an order.
But it no longer feels like a given.