Observations on the win over
San Diego State, 24-21!
1-It was a very interesting and entertaining
game: an offensive first half and a defensive second half. The
two teams were well-matched, and either could have won. Each team
created three red zone opportunities, and each had one of those
three created by their defense. The Aztecs cashed in on all three
for their 21 points while Michigan only managed 10 points in their
red zone opportunities. The Aztecs had 3 turnovers to the Wolverines
4, but took advantage with 14 points off turnovers. The difference
was an eighty yard drive to begin the second half, and the Wolverine
defenders made it stand up by thwarting a dangerous Aztec offense
in the second half. They held them to only 5 first downs and 2
of 9 in 3rd and 4th down conversions in the second half, and our
offense managed as a result to gain a time of possession advantage
of 7 minutes in the second half.
2-Dlugolecki was 26 of 42 for 277 yards,
but had only 76 yards in the second half and was 10 of 17. Ortiz
had 7 catches for 125 yards and a TD while Webb has 11 catches
for 107 yards and a TD. They are two of the better receivers that
I can remember us facing with great one-handed catches. Franklin
has rushed the ball 16 times for 38 yards, and a rushing TD while
throwing for one as well; however, we really shut down the little
guy in the second half.
3-Henne looked stronger in the second
half, but obviously has a long way to go. He was 11 of 24 for
162 yards, but 3 picks and 2 TDs. He was sacked 5 times to the
mighty Aztec defense. Braylon Edwards had 8 catches for 130 yards
and 2 TDs. Our running game was led by Michael Hart with 25 carries
for 121 yards. It looks like he'll get the most carries the rest
of the year. Underwood didn't play most likely because of his
concussion last week. We have 20 first downs and 7 of 17 in 3rd
and 4th down conversions. We were forced into 5 punts.
4-Our special teams were adequate,
but not spectacular. Rivas was one of three in field goals. Again,
the kickoff coverage is excellent with Nienberg and company doing
a great job including excellent tackling by Grant Mason and Chris
Graham. Breaston did break one great return, but then we missed
the field goal. Our coverage improved in the second half, but
the Aztec punt coverage downed us twice inside the 10 in the second
half. The two teams were very even in special teams; it was two
long missed field goals by the Aztecs that kept the game from
being tied and possibly sent to overtime.
5-McCoy led a strong Aztec defense
with 18 tackles, Morrison had 8 and Underwood had 7 including
a pass break up and a forced fumble. Lobel had 3 sacks out of
his 5 tackles.
Our defense was led by Markus Curry
with 8 tackles, McClintock and Shazor had 7 tackles each. Our
defense has created 4 forced fumbles, but the Aztecs only surrendered
If anything, the Aztecs showed a lack
of team discipline in 13 penalty calls with two declined by us
for 94 yards that gave us 2 first downs.
6-We outgained San Diego State by 327
to 311 yards, and it was a very even game from start to finish.
Either team could have won. The sad thing is that the Aztecs are
a good team, but probably won't win their conference or go to
a bowl game. We have a long way to go.
7-Kolodziej started at right tackle,
but Long played most of the game. Woods did not start for the
second game in a row. Neither Paul, Jamison nor Stewart played
on defense. We used Alijah Bradley as a flyer on punt coverage.
I thought Grant Mason really played well when he came in for much
of the second half at cornerback, and he played well on kickoff
coverage (both ways), too.
Observations on the first half with
the Aztecs, 17-21!
1-Well, what can one say other than
we've been outplayed, outhustled by a faster, quicker and more
physical team. They are ahead because they deserve to be ahead.
They have played poised, physical and smart football while we
look very mediocre. They created three red zone opportunities
and cashed in with 14 points off three Wolverine turnovers. They
outgained us 243 yards to 189, and dominated time of possession
by one minute.
2-Dlugolecki is 16 of 25 for 201 yards
and Ortiz has 6 catches for 126 yards and a TD while Webb has
5 catches for 55 yards and a TD. They aren't scared of us and
they are making the most of the opportunities we've created for
them. Franklin has rushed the ball 10 times for 31 yards, and
a rushing TD while throwing for one as well. The Aztecs are 3
of 8 in 3rd down conversions; they have been forced into 4 punts
(one on 3rd down thanks to poor officiating).
3-We have a lot of players rotating
at Quarterback and Tailback. Henne and Richard have combined for
8 of 18 for 103 yards and one TD with 2 picks (both by Henne)
and 2 sacks. Our passing game is weak and our running game is
led by Michael Hart with 8 carries for 51 yards. 4 running backs
have combined for 86 yards in net rushing with 19 carries for
98 yards. We have 11 first downs and were only one of seven in
3rd down conversions while creating zero red zone opportunities.
Our defense created one red zone opportunity and we promptly turned
the ball back. We have been forced into 3 punts.