With 10:07 remaining in the fourth quarter, New Mexico threw a touchdown to go up 23-14 on San Diego State and I reached for my laptop to write this here recap, which at the time was an obituary for a once-promising season.
Despite getting back their stud running back and the winningest QB in program history, the Aztecs’ offense couldn’t stay on the field and the defense could only hold for so long. SDSU was going to lose in Albuquerque to a definitely crappy Lobos team and be effectively eliminated for the Mountain West title race. The season was dead.
This projected timeline for Chapman’s recovery means that at the very least, it will be the Ryan Agnew show for games against Arizona State and Eastern Michigan. Chapman could possibly return after the bye to face Boise State on the Avatar turf, though that seems like a tough scenario to drop a rusty, hobbled QB into the middle of.
Honestly, the way Chapman writhed in agony after being hit low in the second quarter against Sacramento State, I was expecting a season-ending ligament tear. So the fact that he should be back for a division title run is a positive development.
Generally, watching your team face a Football Championship Subdivision squad offers only two possible outcomes: A meaningless, emotionless win or a humiliating loss that is a harbinger of pestilence, sadness and doom.
What went down on Saturday night felt like splitting the difference between the two.
Yes, the Aztecs notched their first win of the season, gutting out a 28-14 victory over solid FCS opponent Sacramento State. But the Aztecs needed a late rally to avoid the embarrassing upset. Even worse, they almost certainly have lost QB Christian Chapman for an extended period of time. The senior injured his knee while being hit low during the second quarter and did not return. An MRI is scheduled for Sunday.
The San Diego State football Aztecs opened their 2018 season with a 31-10 loss to the 13th-ranked Stanford Cardinal. They’re called the Cardinal because their old nickname was Indians. That’s right, smarter-than-thou “West Coast Ivy” Stanford is actually no better and no less culturally exploitative than SDSU.
Except that Stanford stopped appropriating the Indian nickname in 1972, right after winning their second straight Rose Bowl. Stanford has won eight Rose Bowls. They played in the first (and almost last) Rose Bowl in 1902.
So maybe Stanford is a little different than us.
On this night the main observable difference was how Big and Tall the Cardinal receivers were in relation to our State school defensive backs. Specifically one Jose Joaquin Arcega-Whiteside, who lit up the Aztecs for 226 yards and three touchdowns on six receptions.