Due to extremely unfortunate employment-related circumstances, I was not at the Rose Bowl to witness the San Diego State football Aztecs’ historic first win over UCLA. Nor was I even able to watch the game, despite the vast reach of the mighty Pac-12 Networks. Therefore, ergo, I only caught updates of the proceedings via the interwebs and radio play-by-play.
As the game progressed in the 2nd half, Uncle Teddy, in his usual….distinctive manner, effusively complained that the Aztecs continually and predictably ran the ball on first down.
But did they really? Is Coach Horton’s spread offense still Ground Jeff? To drill into this crucial issue, I did what any extremely healthy-minded person would do: Collate all the Aztecs’ first-down play calls.
What: Postseason football game Who: San Diego State Aztecs vs. Ohio Bobcats When: 5:00 p.m. Wednesday Where: Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas TV: ESPN Line: Ohio -2.5
The Stakes Pride and self-respect. Making their ninth straight bowl appearance, the Aztecs need a win to avoid ending the season on a four-game losing streak. And in a late surprise, SDSU will have to overcome the suspension of three players — including starters Noble Hall and Daishawn Dixon — sent home by Rocky Long two days before the game.
The Frisco Bowl is the former Miami Beach Bowl, which was played at Marlins Park from 2014 to 2016. Frisco is a half-hour drive north of Dallas.
Before being announced as SDSU’s bowl opponent, I was only vaguely aware of Ohio University’s existence. Founded in 1804 and the oldest university in the state, Ohio U. is situated on a sprawling 1,800-acre campus in the little college town of Athens. It sounds kind of idyllic to be quite honest. The school’s student population is 60 percent women, a demographic anomaly future college applicants may wish to consider.
Ohio started playing football in 1894. Pretty legit considering the game has only existed (as 25-on-25 murderball) since 1869. The football Bobcats have competed in Division I since 1962.
We regret to inform that none of your loyal scribes were able to watch this game then write about it — which is to say; we were unavailable, except for one of us at the game as a visiting civilian with no intention of sitting down at a computer afterwards. Which is for the best as it turns out! San Diego State lost to the University of California men’s basketball team 89-83 in Berkeley.
The loss to Pac-12 cellar-dwelling Cal drops SDSU into the college hoops wilderness. With a résumé of a 30-point loss to Iowa State, a home loss to little crosstown rival USD and this loss to a bad Cal team, the Aztecs are now 5-4 and have squandered virtually any chance of an at-large berth to the big dance. It’s Mountain West tourney champs or bust, y’all, and it’s hard to imagine this iteration putting together a miracle run like last season, even if No. 6 Nevada weren’t standing in the way.
Jalen McDaniels led the Aztecs with 20 points and Jeremy Hemsley had 19, including 5 of 6 on threes. Neither was enough to keep the Golden Bears from finishing the game on an 18-5 run over the last 3:53. Justice Sueing led Cal with 23 points.
San Diego State University, the city’s oldest institution of higher education, lost a men’s basketball game on its home floor to the University of San Diego, a private Roman Catholic college off Friars Road, undergraduate enrollment 5,855. It was a sad thing to witness.
Do any of us want to dwell unnecessarily on the ugly 73-61 loss that handed the City Championship to USD? Not me, palooka, and probably not you.
Maybe there was nothing of real consequence on the line Saturday night as the Aztecs played out the string against Hawai’i. We walked into the Tombstone with some concern that a seven-win SDSU team in the improved Mountain West could get left without a bowl bid. That’s possible, though consensus seems to be that the only bowl-eligible team in Southern California will merit a forgettable postseason invite.
But in a larger sense, the 31-30 overtime loss felt like the night our legends and myths dissipated into mist before our eyes.
What: Football game Who: San Diego State Aztecs at Fresno State Bulldogs When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday Where: Bulldog Stadium TV: CBS Sports Network Line: Fresno State -13
All the remaining marbles. SDSU stays mathematically alive for a conference championship with a win; a loss sends the Aztecs home with no Oil Can and only a bottom-tier bowl bid to look forward to.