Our beloved San Diego State football Aztecs had been living something of a charmed existence during their 6-game winning streak, may it rest in peace. Well, except for the injuries to key starters, but you know what I mean. Along the way, they won games thanks to a targeting foul they committed, a long-ass John Baron field goal, a mad Ryan Agnew scramble after a lightning delay and yet another long-ass Baron field goal.
After doing just enough to win and not a thing more for nearly two months straight, the Aztecs just felt due to cock one up.
What: Football game Who: San Diego State Aztecs at Nevada Wolve Pæck When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday Where: Mackay Stadium TV: ESPNU Line: SDSU -2.5 and falling
I thought that the two possible outcomes for last week’s San José State game were either a Top 25 ranking or a humiliating defeat. Props to the Aztecs for finding a Third Way, I suppose? With SDSU now at 28 in both polls, a road win of any kind over a decidedly pulse-having Nevada-Reno squad this week should actually do the trick this time. I think?
San Diego State escaped with a 16-13 win over San José State on Saturday night in a football game which — by all objective evidence — occurred.
The Spartans came in 0-6, losers in so many senses of the word. The writers of this web site goofed hard on winless Old Sparty and breezily predicted an easy win at the old Tombstone. For Homecoming. On “Red Out” night. In this week’s Game Preview, AztecsKillingHim wrote:
Last year’s red-themed games resulted in a blowout football loss to Boise State and an embarrassing last-second hoops collapse against a putrid Cal squad. Losing to San José State would prove once and for all that red is a cursed color and should probably be removed as a school color entirely.
Red Out is a hex, a self-own, a salt shaker with a loose lid. This wasn’t a loss — barely — but can we all now agree: Red Out promotions are BAD. From now on I’m holding anyone who specifically wears red to a Red Out game personally responsible for the ensuing chaos, heartbreak and misery.
But what if the unspeakable happens? What if San José State spoils Homecoming by pulling the upset as a nearly four-touchdown dog? Well, it would only be the most embarrassing loss by SDSU football this decade, that’s what!
So it’s either Top 25 glory or abject humiliation — the two true outcomes.
San Diego State beat Air Force 21-17 on a dark and stormy Friday — Friday! — night at the Tombstone. It was a sloppy, sketchy win with a really long pause in the middle of it. Those of us who stayed through the extended lightning delay were then treated to longer commercial breaks punctuated by occasional live football action. Whatever TV audience remained may have been in the tens of thousands, added to the scattered hundreds of diehards and fools left in the stadium.
I’ll give it this much: This is a game past Aztecs teams probably lose. They made enough plays to scratch out Rocky Long’s 69th win as SDSU head coach. No matter how awkward it felt, that’s pretty nice.
What: Football game Who: Air Force Falcons at San Diego State Aztecs When: 6 p.m. Friday, otherwise known at traffic o’clock Where: SDCCU Stadium TV: CBS Sports Network Line: SDSU -10.5
Right now, Aztecs fans are flashing Blue Steel after a win on the Smurf Turf. We sit in our cubicles and dream of tables being run, UCF being upset and the Aztecs crashing the New Year’s 6 party. A loss to Air Force ruins all that. A win allows us to maintain the delusion for another week. Please let us keep it. It’s a good delusion!
But frankly, these are just the subplots. A historic achievement is on the line, friends.
MILESTONE UPDATE: with a win next week against Eastern Michigan, Rocky Long’s winning percentage at SDSU will move to 69 percent. He is three wins shy of 69 wins. Three straight wins would put his winning percentage at .696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969696969
Here’s the thing about Boise: if you’ve read about how it’s been the fastest growing city in the US for three years running, and tons of big companies are moving there, bringing an influx of money and youth, and it’s a low-key progressive city in a historically hyper-conservative region and they have a great downtown bar scene with a ton of great breweries, well, to be honest, there’s good chance you could be a bit underwhelmed.
BUT… if you were unaware of all the above narratives and your only knowledge of the city is that it’s the capital of Idaho and there’s a big, blue football field… well then holy shit what a fun surprise this city is pretty cool!
Last Friday, a few of my friends and I met in beautiful, luxurious San Diego Airport Terminal 1 for a trip up to The City Of Trees. Fun geography fact: Boise is essentially straight north of San Diego! Just a 0.9587 Longitude difference! I find that interesting and I demand you do too. A two hour flight but a one hour timezone difference just to make things exotic.
It’s getting to the point where we need to remind ourselves not to become numb to this.
Less than two years ago, in the wake of the Aztecs’ 2016 Mountain West Conference Championship Game victory, I spent a week leading up to the bowl game running a silly bracket-style tournament of the best wins of the Rocky Long era (hooray, content!). Have a look at the eight games I chose. The winner of the tournament as selected by you, the fans, was — I shit you not — a regular season win over Nevada.
In the 22 months since, we’ve been thoroughly spoiled with the following:
A bowl victory over Group of Five darling Houston in which D.J. Pumphrey broke the NCAA rushing record.
A win on the road at Arizona State in Rashaad Penny’s national coming out party.
The Stanford blackout.
ANOTHER win over the Sun Devils, who were ranked this time.