BCS distinction means very little to Long, Aztecs

by Antonio Morales

football player

Facts are facts, the San Diego State football team hasn’t enjoyed much success against BCS-conference and Pac-12 teams in the past.

On Saturday against Washington State, SDSU has the chance to kill two birds with one stone. The team has lost 19 straight games to teams that reside in the Pac-12 and its luck against BCS teams in general hasn’t been much better.

There have been a couple of near-misses against the big boys in the past, most recently the heartbreaking loss against Missouri last year.

The Aztecs are favored this weekend against the Cougars and it appears to be their best chance to finally beat a team from a power conference.

At his weekly press conference Head coach Rocky Long dismissed the notion he was looking at this game any differently because it was against a team from the Pac-12.

“We’re Division I, they’re Division I,” Long said. “I think our league is as good as most BCS leagues. We’re in the same division they are, it’s no big difference.”

Long is trying to install the same mindset into his players, who may be looking at this game differently than he is.

The first-year coach put some onus on the media for possibly putting those thoughts into player’s heads.

According to Long it will take some time to change the mindset.

“If you ask one of our players the same question I’m sure they would say ‘Yeah, it’s really exciting to play a BCS team,’” Long said. “In two or three years of me being the head coach, they won’t say that. That’s all built up by you guys (the media). That’s all drummed into their heads, and people have made them believe that. I don’t believe that. I think it’s a bunch of hogwash.”

BCS or not, WSU seems to be much improved this year as opposed to the last couple of years. Through two games the Cougars rank first nationally in scoring offense and sixth in passing offense.

The WSU offense will be a stark contrast from the two offenses SDSU has seen thus far. The Cougars will try to air it out against the Aztecs who have seen two run-oriented offenses in the first two games this season.

Senior defensive lineman Larry Gibbs noted despite the drastic differences between offenses, the Aztecs will still be looking to be aggressive defensively.

“It’s definitely going to be different,” Gibbs said. “They’re going to try to spread us out more, but we’re going to have to attack whatever it is. It will be a transition from the run-blocking, heavy three-point stances of an Army, of a Cal Poly to the two-point stances and the lightness of Washington State.”

Senior quarterback Ryan Lindley, who was redshirted during the last meeting between the two schools, is just looking to play well.

Lindley knows the team effort against the Cougars will need to be better than it was a week ago against Army.

“Honestly, it doesn’t matter,” Lindley said. “Week in, week out, you need to play your best football regardless. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing. We didn’t play our best football last week and almost lost the game.”